The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus – Gospel in Life

The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus

Tim Keller |  November 10, 1996

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  • Communion and Baptism
Matthew 3:13-4:11
RS 73-02


True Christianity is a fight. Anyone who offers you a Christianity without tears is not giving you good money; it’s counterfeit. Anybody who says, “If you receive the baptism of the Spirit, your problems are over; if you receive the voice of assurance down on your heart, if you receive the sense God is pleased with you, that’s the end of conflict, strife, temptation,” that person is not offering you the real thing.

There are three things we learn about the fight right here. Who’s the enemy? Where’s the front? What are the weapons?

Matthew 3:13–4:11

The story of Jesus’ baptism and temptation, as shown in Matthew 3:13-4:11, teaches us about the deep connection between being baptized in spirit and the spiritual battles we often face. As we grow in our faith and aim to live a life that pleases God, we are often met with more challenges and temptations. Being a Christian does not mean a life of ease, but rather, it’s more like a battle. We need to know who we’re fighting against, where the battle takes place, and the tools God has given us to fight.

1. Who’s the enemy?

The Bible tells us about a kingdom that stands against God’s. This kingdom is ruled by pride, hate, and fear, and it’s driven by a force that is intelligent. It doesn’t make sense to believe in a good supernatural being and not believe in an evil one, particularly when we see evidence of intelligent evil around us and Jesus himself taught about demons. As we grow in faith, we should be ready to face the attacks from this intelligent evil force.

2. Where’s the front?

Often we make the mistake of focusing on big, extraordinary actions when we think about the devil or demons. But the real battleground is in our everyday actions, as shown by Jesus’ baptism. This story reminds us that Jesus came to take our place, to fulfill what is right, and to die for us. Satan tries to twist Christianity by making us see Jesus as just an example and not our Savior. Even in hard times, we can find strength and purpose in knowing we are loved by God.

3. What are the weapons?

Jesus’ baptism shows us the need to receive God’s Word and Spirit. His resistance to temptation teaches us to put spiritual desires over physical ones. The Bible is crucial for guidance and fulfillment. We are warned against seeking revenge as it only causes harm. We are encouraged to find our worth and acceptance in God’s love, even when others reject us. The final advice is to be wise in recognizing and resisting the lies of the devil.



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