So happy Lord’s day to all of us! It’s such a privilege to be called by God this morning to share to you His Word for all of us this morning. So I’d like to start by sharing one of the most iconic lines ever in any Disney movie is from “The Lion King!” In this movie, Simba was struggling in his journey of becoming the next king, specially when his father, Mufasa, died. Simba lost his confidence as he was grieving, and then one evening he heard the voice of his father coming from the night sky. And this is one of the most iconic lines ever. Sabi ni Mufasa “Remember who you are. You are my son and the one true king.” Of course upon hearing this, Simba was empowered to continue in his journey of becoming the next king.
In the Bible, there is a much greater scene similar to this one, and a much greater King who is also called the Lion of Judah. He has absolute authority and power over all creation, yet He experienced great suffering when He lived life here on earth. And just like Simba who was empowered to go through his mission when he heard what his father told him, Jesus Christ during His baptism, also heard the voice of His Father from heaven, saying “This is my Beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” And these words from the Father encouraged Jesus, the God-Man, to carry out the will of God, to “fulfill all righteousness.” And we will learn more about this as we go through our text this morning, so if you have your bibles with you, physical or digital, kindly open it with me to Matthew chapter 3 verse 13 to 17. Again, this is our text this morning. It’s in Matthew 3, chapter 3 verses 13 to 17. So hear now the words of our living God.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptised by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptised, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Praise God for the reading of His word and before we dive deeper into our text this morning, let us open in a word of prayer. Aming Banal na Diyos, maraming salamat muli na binigyan Nyo po kami ng set apart day that You have prescribed and that You have commanded for our good oh Lord. And this is the Lord’s day and we are grateful for this day because You will shape our hearts and renew our minds into the things of God and I pray Lord that the message that You hae for us this morning would convict us and that it would humble us and it would lead us to Christ’s likeness and be in awe oh Lord of what You have done for Your people oh Lord. May we worship You Lord today with gladness and humble hearts today. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
Alright, so far we have learned in the Gospel according to Matthew about the coming of the incarnate Christ. In the opening verses of this book, we have gone through the genealogy of the Messiah, nakita natin doon sa preaching ni Brother Josh, Josh Discipulo about the grace of God including imperfect people in hte lineage of the coming Christ. And when Jesus came into this world, He dwelt among people to do what? To fulfill the redemptive plan of the triune God. But because of the world’s fallenness, yung plan na iyon of redeeming sinners included intense suffering and hardships in the earthly ministry of Christ, even in His early years. We read about that in chapter 2, where the the family of Jesus escaped Egypt, right. And they settled in Nazareth because of Herod’s pursuit in trying to kill the baby Jesus. But even in this dangerous circumstance, we see that this was part of God’s plan, and it was actually a prophecy being fulfilled. We see here that despite opposition and suffering, God is still in control. And then, in chapter 3 we learned about John the Baptist, God used him to pave the way for the coming Messiah. Sabi pa nga ni John, He is the One, the Messiah is greater than him, and the Lamb who will take away the sins of the world. And yet interestingly, we read in our text earlier, that Jesus went to John to be baptised by him. Take note that Baptism, even before the time of John, was a Jewish tradition or a Jewish practice of purification. And although the word baptism wasn’t very clear in the Old Testament, it does imply how important cleansing is to God. And then we fast forward to the ministry of John the Baptist, people went to him to be baptised for repentance, to be baptised for cleansing and forgiveness of their sins.
But Jesus didn’t come to John because He needed cleansing. Alam natin na He lived a perfect life, He lived a sinless life. The incarnate Christ was the God-man, and He doesn’t need a baptism of repentance. And so why did Jesus go to John to be baptised? We read earlier the answer to this, in verse 15, right? Sabi doon – He is to fulfill all righteousness. And this, brothers and sisters, is an important part of God’s plan in redeeming His people. Because for Christ to be able to take away the sins of His people, He had to live in perfect obedience to God. And He needed to fulfill all righteousness so that in Him, we might become the righteousness of God. And the willingness of Christ to obey in His baptism, was a foreshadowing of what He would do on the cross where the Lamb would take on the sins of His people and give or impute His righteousness to them.
While Jesus can indeed save sinners, and that is an amazing thing, we must look deeper and see that the plan of redeeming sinners is done by our one God in 3 persons. So God The Father sent God the Son here on earth to save His people through the cross and Resurrection, and God the Spirit seals the chosen people of God, sanctifying them and making them more like Christ until the BrideGroom returns for His bride. And in the baptism of Jesus, we see this beautiful interaction within the Triune God. The scene dispayed there was the Beloved Son, carrying out the mission of God. Sino pa’ng nandoon? There was the Spirit of God, empowering Christ for His mission and then there was God the Father, affirming Christ as His Beloved Son, the one that the Father sent to fulfill their mission. And through all of these, the complete work, done through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, became the bedrock of the Christian faith. Apart from Christ’s finished work, we are nothing, and no one could come to the Father, and be adopted into His family apart from Christ. And left to ourselves, we would still be dead to our sins, and suffer eternally under the righteous judgment of God. Without Christ, we wouldn’t be able to know how gracious, how merciful, and how loving God is. That is why in our Christian life, we humbly say that ALL WE NEED IS CHRIST! And because He fulfilled ALL righteousness, we have been blessed to experience ALL the spiritual blessings in Christ. Jesus is our faith, and He is an important part in the redemptive plan of the Trinity in giving faith to those who are lost. And so my message for all of us this morning is this: The Son of God’s fulfillment of all righteousness is an integral part of the triune God’s plan to redeem sinners. And to further understand this, we will go through our sermon into two parts, the first part we will talk about The Son’s Obedience. As the Incarnate Christ, He lived a perfect life of obedience here on earth, so that He would be fit to be the perfect sacrifice for sinners to be saved. Tandaan natin that we are not saved because of our obedience. We are saved because the Son’s obedience fulfilled the Triune God’s covenant of redemption. And we will discuss this further in the 2nd part of our sermon, The Trinity’s Involvement. In this section titignan natin yung depth ng Triune God in saving sinners, in the hopes that all of us here today will be compelled to humbly worship the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Church, friends, my prayer for us this morning is that our hearts would be in awe as we remember this plan of our triune God in redeeming His people through the obedience of the Beloved Son. So let us now consider the first part of our sermon, The Son’s Obedience.
So Jesus must be baptised to fulfill all righteousness. He travels from Galillee to Judea to receive baptism from John. Pero nakita natin doon na si John, medyo hessitant siya to baptise Christ. And then he insisted that he needed Jesus to baptise him instead. Because John knew that the baptism of Jesus is waaaay better than what he was doing previously. We read this last week, in Matthew 3 verse 11 that John says “I baptise you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” And yet Jesus didn’t agree. Sabi Niya, oo nga ano, tama ka diyan, o sige, I- baptise na lang kita. He didn’t do that. In fact, He convinced John to baptise Him because it was necessary. He told John that it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness. And when Jesus said “us” He was pertaining to Himself and His people. Basically, this means that Jesus submits to baptism to identify Himself with His people, whom He came to rescue through His perfect obedience to the redemptive plan of the Triune God. And Jesus, identifying Himself with the people means He lived a life like ours. And in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet all throughout His life here on earth as the God-man, Christ did not sin. Yes, He became like us, but He wasn’t like us in our sinfulness. He is not like us who fall into sins of sloth or disobedience. When God commands us to do something from His Word, Jesus is not like us who disobeys God because of selfish reasons, because of laziness. He did not yield to temptations, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was able to fulfill all of God’s commands and was able to live a perfect life.
Indeed this God-Man is greater than any man here on earth. Even those who we think that are “holy” BECAUSE ONLY CHRIST IS PERFECT.. no one is righteous, not even one. He is God and we are not.. and what’s humbling here in the earthly ministry of Christ is that though He was in the form of God, He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. (Philippians 2:6)
Though Jesus is God, when He came into the world, He was born in the likeness of men. He willingly submitted Himself to an earthly life. And as the God-Man here on earth, He experienced a lot of suffering. He was mocked, beaten, bruised, humiliated, and rejected by many. And so because of this, brothers and sisters, Christ knows what we are going through here on earth. He knows our weaknesses, and is able to sympathise with us. (Hebrews 4:15) Ans since He experienced life here on earth, every temptation and struggle we are going through in this world today, He knows. And so when people reject you, maybe because of your biblical convictions, because of your faith, consider Christ, for He also was rejected by many. When we experience humiliation, mockery, or sadly, sometimes physical suffering, sickness, we can count on Jesus to give us hope during these times because we know that we are not alone in our suffering because JESUS WENT THROUGH SUFFERING. Actually mas grabe pa nga yung sa Kanya. And yet no matter how challenging it was, in every situation The Son was obedient to the Father. Christ lived a perfect life of obedience despite experiencing hardships and suffering. Alam nyo, ah, come to think of it, God could have actually just sent Christ here on earth as a fully grown person already and not go through years of trials and testing. He could have proceeded to the Cross right away and provided salvation immediately. But He didn’t. He chose the lowly and weak position of being human, and went through life in obedience from birth, to being an adult, and even up to His death.
Although Jesus wasn’t prone to disobedience, He still needed to learn obedience when He came into this world as the God-Man. Nabasa natin kanina, Hebrews 5 verses 8 to 9 Although He was a son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. And being made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. Actually sa unang basa medyo mahirap intindihin yung passage na ‘to. Because why would the son of God need to learn obedience, right? Since He is God, He should already know everything. John Owen said something about this text and I’d like to share it to all of us this morning to help us understand this further.. “One special kind of obedience is intended here, namely a submission to great, hard, and terrible things, accompanied by patience and quiet endurance, and faith for deliverance from them. This Christ could not have experience of, except by suffering the things he had to pass through, exercising God’s grace in them all.” Basically, what Owens is trying to say here is that the pre-incarnate Christ knew what obedience would involve, but when He lived and experienced suffering in this world, He had a complete understanding of obedience in the form of frail humanity. Christ learned what it meant to obey His Father even when it would cost Him His life. Christ knows that on the Cross the divine wrath of God was gonna be poured on Him because He will become sin for us. And because of His human nature, it was natural for Jesus to fear the horror of what was gonna happen on the Cross. That is why He says in Luke 22 verse 42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And because of the love of Christ for the Father, and His people, Christ was determined to fulfill all righteousness! And so now dear christians, if Christ had to learn obedience through suffering, what does this say about us, God’s redeemed people, when He allows suffering in our lives when we are called to obey Him?
Sadly, we live in this day and age where everything now is instant. There’s instant coffee. Alam ko marami sa inyo hindi fan ng instant coffee. There’s instant noodles. Kung kailangan natin ng transportation, we can just wait and sit back and relax on your couch and book a ride instantly. When people communicated before, they would write letters and wait for weeks, months, or even years, pero ngayon, di ba, we can receive and send messages instantly. Nagagalit na nga tayo kapag wala pang one hour, hindi pa nag-re-reply, naka- seen lang, hindi pa siya nagre-reply. You know, though many things are convenient in this day and age, the bad side of this is it has made us more impatient when we don’t get things right away. We hate being stuck in traffic, guilt. We hate long lines. In fact, even in our listening to people, we struggle being intellectually present in long conversations, and sometimes, we even struggle listening to long sermons. So huwag po kayong mag-alala, hindi po tayo aabot ng isang oras dito. But kidding aside, because of the fast advancement of technology, and how fast the pace of the world is today, sadly, kung napapansin ninyo, christians today struggle immensely in practicing patient endurance. How many times have we said to God in our prayers Lord, tanggalin Mo na ‘tong problem na ‘to Lord, take away this challenge that is in front of me, hindi Mo ito will, Lord?
Sometimes we even think, again, that it is not His will for us to wait and be sanctified. Nagtatampo tayo or nagagalit tayo kay God when He allows us to go through intense situations where extra patience is required. Brothers and sisters, perhaps the reason why we don’t like suffering and enduring is because we think of it as if it is a bad thing. If we think that this is a bad thing, then why did Jesus go through suffering? So was it bad for Jesus to suffer for our sake? I believe all of us here today that are saved by God’s grace will not say na dapat, hindi na lang nag-suffer si Christ. In fact, it is good news for us. It I s a good thing because we are saved through it, and it encourages us today to persevere, because our Lord persevered in suffering. John Wesley shares a funny way in escaping suffering, sabi niya “The readiest way to escape from our sufferings is, to be willing to endure as long as God pleases.” So wala talaga tayong takas. All we need to do is just endure it.
Christ was willing to endure suffering here on earth, because it is the will of God and it pleased the Father. And for us christians, the will of God is for us to be like Christ. And so when Christ suffered here on earth and it pleased the Father, christians will also suffer in this world in their pursuit of Christlikeness, and praise God, it will also please the Father. So whenever life keeps getting harder, pray that God would open our eyes and see the perfect will of God unfold amidst trials and testing as we endure this life of obedience to our God. Dear christian, if you think you’ve been through a lot already and you are starting to grumble because of how difficult the christian life is, I encourage you to look at Christ’s patient endurance and willingness to honour God’s will to fulfill all righteousness. And as we consider what Christ has done here on earth, I pray and hope that all of us will be motivated to live like Christ. A life that is motivated by love to persevere in obedience amidst difficult circumstances. So today let us be encouraged to do our first challenge, and that is to Exemplify Christlike obedience.
Let us keep asking God for help in following His will instead of our fleshly desires. When we are faced with the temptation to disobey God out of convenience, let us pray the same prayer that Christ uttered “Not my will but Yours be done” When we are afraid in answering God’s call to evangelise, dahil baka ma-reject tayo, let us pray that God would give us the courage and willingness to go out to the streets and share the Gospel to strangers. When the word of God clearly states that churches must gather for worship every Lord’s Day, let us ask God to obey this command and strengthen our conviction in keeping the Sabbath day/the Lord’s Day holy. When we struggle in meeting the needs of our fellow brethren only because we feel like it’s inconvenient for us, let us ask God to help us serve others just as how Christ came into this world to serve and not to be served. I know it’s gonna be hard, and as long as we are still in this fallen world, we will continue to struggle in the faith. But just as Christ was enabled by the Holy Spirit to obey the will of God, we can also rely on the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to live a life of worship and obedience to our God. And just as the Father was pleased by the Son during the baptism of Christ, we can also find comfort in knowing that when God looks at us today, He sees the righteousness of Christ in us, and He is pleased. And so when we find ourselves in difficult times, let us remember that the triune God loves His people, and the 3 persons of the Trinity have distinct roles in carrying us through in this life. And this leads us now to the 2nd part of our sermon, The Trinity’s Involvement.
In the baptism of Jesus, nakita natin doon di ba, the Father encourages the Son, and the Spirit empowers the Son. The presence of the Trinity here displayed a beautiful picture of the trinitarian nature of God and depicts the work and involvement of the Three persons in redeeming God’s people. Although the doctrine of Trinity brings mystery and makes us utter words carefully, right, in explaining it so that we don’t sound heretical, di ba? There are those who try to use analogies pa nga eh. Pero hindi ko siya gagawin dahil mahirap.
Yah, and we should still find comfort despite this mind-blowing truth knowing that because of the redemptive love of the Triune God over His people, sinners can come to the Father through the Son and by the Holy Spirit.
And when we see the depth of the Trinity’s work in saving us, it motivates us in living our Christian life and brings us into a deeper appreciation of each distinct role of the Trinity. While they have unique roles and responsibilities, they work together in the plan of redemption. For the three Persons of the Godhead act together in redeeming sinners. Again, God the Father elects, and sends His Son Jesus on earth to fulfill His plan of redeeming His people, through the life, death and resurrection of His Son, making Jesus the mediator between God and mankind. And the Holy Spirit teaches us everything about God, opening our eyes in understanding the Word of God, and empowers us to do the will of God. And so knowing all of these things about our Triune God, our hearts must respond with praise and adoration, and all three persons are worthy to be worshiped because They are God.
But because of sin, we will never fully comprehend our God. And at times we think that the doctrine of the Trinity isn’t important, or that it is irrelevant kasi nga ang hirap niyang intindihin. But we must be careful in our view of who God is, because the doctrine of the Trinity magnifies and exalts our God over other gods. You know there are other religions that profess a god who is mono-personal rather than the God of Christianity, who is tri-personal. Very crucial itong distinction na ito when it comes to different religions over the world. Mono-personal means being of one person. And tri-personal means consisting of three persons. Now imagine a mono-personal god. One person. Would that god be able to understand fellowship and love if he is just one person? Siguro kaya niya mag mahal but won’t be able to love others, right? He would be, this god would be promoting power dahil mag-isa lang siya..self-sufficiency, ganun. But in Christianity, we believe in a tri-personal God. A God that is love sabi nga sa 1 John 4:16.. And we know that God is love because the three persons of the Godhead, from eternity past, have been in community and in fellowship with one another. And not only that, there are elements in Scripture that implies the Trinity making a covenant with each other in redeeming sinners. Ephesians 1, it says there that before the foundations of the world, God has chosen people to redeem. And this electing of people to be saved, again, happened before the foundations of the world since eternity past. And we also believe that the Triune God already existed since eternity past. So that means, the Three Persons of the Godhead, were all involved in this plan of redeeming God’s people from their sins since eternity past. And so before everything else, there was The Triune God. Having eternal fellowship, and created a plan, or a covenant, to save His people. And not only that, you guys wanna know the motivation behind all of this? Basahin natin Ephesians 1… Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.
So my dear brothers and sisters, the reason why the Triune God planned this is because of love. And through this, the love within the Triune God has been shared to us in the sending of the 2nd person of the Trinity, Jesus, the Beloved Son. The eternal loving fellowship of the divine Trinity sent out one of their own to live like one of us in this world, so that He, who is love, would display true love by laying down His life for sinners. Friends, this is the hope of humanity. And if this is your first time hearing about this, about God and what the Beloved Son has done. I humbly encourage you to believe that there is a God who is in 3 persons, creating a way for sinners like you and I, to have eternal fellowship with Him. Lahat tayo nagkasala. All of us, because of sin, deserve the wrath of God. But that is why God the Son took our place on the Cross, dying the death that we should’ve gone through.
And after three days, Jesus resurrected from the grave. And amazingly, the Bible states that all three persons of the Godhead were involved in the Resurrection. Galatians 1 says that the Father raised Jesus up from the dead. Romans 8:11 it says there that it is the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead. And then Jesus, who is the Resurrection and Life, who has authority over death, resurrected after 3 days because He is God. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Spirit is God. Friends, brothers and sisters, this is the triune God! And the 3 persons are all involved in our salvation, and they are all responsible for the Resurrection! And today, He is calling all those who hear the Gospel to come to Him, by turning away from sin in repentance, and by believing in the power of God to save sinners through the Cross and Resurrection of Christ. And so again, if you are here today for the first time, at bago niyo lang ito naririnig, I call, I ask you to call upon the Name of the Lord in repentance and faith.
And to my fellow brethren in the faith, since Christ willingly obeyed on our behalf, and honoured the covenant of redemption, we can now enjoy the spiritual blessing that we have in Christ. And not only that, but the Triune God, who is in an eternal fellowship, has made a way for sinners to also experience sweet fellowship with each other by bringing them together in a local church. And God has prescribed a Day for us to exhibit such fellowship, harmony and love to each other by remembering the perfect fellowship that has existed in the Trinity since eternity past. And all the beautiful things of God to humble us, refresh us, and motivate us in knowing Him more and obeying His commands. Every Lord’s Day we also remember that Christ suffered, and because of that, we will never be alone in our suffering. Every Lord’s Day we remember the glory of Christ, that will also be shared to us when He returns and brings us to glorification. Every Lord’s Day we remember that the Spirit of God is sanctifying us and helping us understand the Word of God that is preached to us. Every Lord’s Day we remember the love of the Father to His people through His love to the Son. And every Lord’s Day, before we descend from Mt. Zion, we sing the Doxology together, praising the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Church, friends, again, behold the Triune God! For there is no one like Him. And so my last challenge for all of us this, Marvel at the beauty of the Triune God’s covenant of redemption. Long before we were born, the grace of God was already working on our behalf. The Three Persons have covenanted to bring salvation to us, and not because we are worthy, not because we are great or lovable. God planned this so that we would be able to see how awesome our God is. And so, let us marvel at the beauty of the Father’s love, that whenever He looks at us, He accepts us as His sons and daughters because He sees Christ in us. Let us marvel and be amazed at the beauty of Christ’s love for His bride, the church. For Christ gave up His life for her. And then one day, Christ, the Bridegroom, will come back for His bride. Let us also marvel and be amazed at the beauty of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in our lives, sanctifying us and shaping us to live a Christlike life, who also convicts us when we fall in sin and helps us slay it. So that when Christ returns, we have been prepared in our sanctification, fit to be ushered to glorification.This is our Triune God and so we worship Him!
A Scottish hymn-writer, named Horatius Bonar, wrote many beautiful hymns during his time here on earth. And one of those hymns is about God’s trinitarian nature and His distinct roles in the salvation of every believer. Then after years have passed, this hymn was rewritten, and the composers made a new melody for the song. And this hymn has been sung by many churches today and has tremendously benefited the people of God in understanding the work of the Triune God, and compelling churches today to worship the three persons of the Godhead. This hymn speaks about the Father, who bends to hear our every prayer. This speaks about the Son, the all sufficient sacrifice. This also speaks about the Spirit of all truth and peace, the fount of joy and holiness. And this hymn ends with a stanza of praise to the Triune God. And allow me to share this to all of us as we close. “To Father, Son, and Spirit now, our souls we lift, our wills we bow, To You, the Triune God, we raise with loving hearts our song of praise.”
So again, brothers, sisters and friends, behold the Triune God! And let this wondrous mystery of the trinity and their united plan in saving wayward sinners humble us and motivate us in living a life of obedience and worship to our Triune God!
Let’s pray. Father God in heaven, thank You for the Lord’s day where we can worship You and we can do this because of the work of Christ. Because of His obedience to the will of the Triune God. And Lord, we ask that You continue to help us see each role important in redeeming us, in sanctifying us, Oh Lord. So that we would develop a deeper heart of worshiping You oh, Lord. Thank You Lord for this set apart day that we can worship You the whole day and find spiritual rest in Christ. We love You oh Lord in Your Name we pray, amen.