- OPENING PRAYER – Ask one person to open the meeting in prayer.
- GROWTH QUESTIONS – Ask everyone the Growth Questions.
- ATTENDANCE – Take attendance through the DG Attendance System.
- TODAY’S LESSON – Go over this week’s DG lesson.
- GIVING – Encourage everyone to give on the App.
- CLOSING PRAYER – Ask for prayer requests and pray.
Matthew 3:7-12 NLT 7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. 9 Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 10 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.”
- The proof that someone has repented of their sins is a changed life! (v. 8)
- DEFINITION – Repentance (metanoia): a conviction that results in a change of thought and behavior
- Just because someone claims to be a Christian, goes to church or wears a t-shirt with a cross on it, doesn’t make him/her a follower of Jesus Christ.
- To follow Jesus, we must first turn away from our sin so that we can turn toward Him.
- Turning away from our sin is called repentance and is generated through the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Change your thinking, change your life.” – Marco Garcia
- Anyone who has not repented of sin and been born again, cannot bear spiritual fruit and can only look forward to a day of fiery judgment. (v. 10)
- DEFINITION – fruit (karpos): the effects or results that are produced by being connected to Jesus Christ; the attributes, character, and works of Jesus Christ; the fruit that is produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer (Galatians 5:22-23)
- Being fruitful doesn’t save you from the fiery judgment, it only proves that you have been saved.
- Only those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and have become children of God can bear fruit. For apart from Jesus, we can do nothing.
“We cannot connect with the Lord and be fruitful until we are willing to disconnect from our sin.” – Marco Garcia
John 15:5 (NLT) – Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
- A branch that is disconnected from the vine can never produce fruit. That is who we are before we are joined to Jesus Christ.
- God requires that we repent of our sins and turn to Him through faith in Jesus Christ before we can be baptized. (v. 11)
- We should not get baptized as a ritual.
- Baptism is a physical representation of a spiritual reality.
- Going under the water signifies that we are burying our old sinful way of living. Coming out of the water represents the power of God raising us up to live a new life in Jesus.
Colossians 2:12 (NLT) – For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.