confession sign

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 3, Day 3: Matthew 3:5-10


The people heeded John’s words from Jerusalem to Judea and the Jordan. They confessed their sins and were baptized by John in the Jordan River. He called out the Pharisees and the Sadducees, telling them to repent, too.


6) Acts 3:19: Repentance is turning to God to be forgiven for your sins.

Acts 20:21: Repentance is turning to God with faith in Jesus Christ.

Acts 26:20: Repent is turning to God and showing this in their deeds.

James 5:16: Confession is admitting your sins and praying for healing.

1 John 1:9: Confessing your sins allows you to be forgiven and purified.

Confession is admitting your guilt. According to Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, confession is “to openly acknowledge the truth in anything, as in the existence and authority of God or the sins of which one has been guilty. Confession of sin before God is recognized as a conditon of forgiveness.”

Repentance is sincerely regretting it. According to Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, repentance is “a profound change of mind involving changing of the direction of life from that of self-centeredness or sin-centeredness to God or Christ centeredness. God’s forgiveness is only available to those who are repentant, for only they can receive it.”

7) Joel 2:13: Return to God with your heart and with actions.

Matthew 3:8: Produce fruit when you repent.

Acts 26:20: Repent is turning to God and showing this in their deeds.

Romans 2:4: God’s kindness to you leads you to repentance.

2 Corinthians 7:10-11: Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldy sorrow brings death.

8a ) I think I’m kinder to others, more helpful, more giving as I realize my shortcomings.

b ) This is a tough one. I’m sure there is, but all I can think of right now is just how I need to be kinder to my family and others. Lord, help me to be kinder to my family and others and forgive me for my sins and hard heart.


This was a lot of looking up, but worth it. It’s important to turn your heart and not just your words to God. Out of this, actions follow, too, as does His forgiveness. Pick up this great Bible resource, Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, today.


John the Baptist played a huge role in preparing the Jewish people to accept Jesus as their Savior. In fact, the famous historian Josephus talked a great deal about John the Baptist, even more so than Jesus. His influence was widespread. It was also the first time Jews were baptized in large numbers because they thought all they needed was the blood of animals to cleanse them.

Baptism illustrates perfectly the confession of sin and the action that follows it. You are doing something by being baptized; you are repenting. Today, when Christians are baptized, not only are we confessing our sins and our need for a Savior, but we are also being baptized into Christ  (Romans 6:3).

John the Baptist gets his name from these actions, partly because Jewish baptisms were rare up until this point. Baptism has previously only been used for those adopting the Jewish faith, not for those born into it.

Confessing of sins was new, too. Confession was rare.


The Pharisees and the Sadducees were the leadership and the law of the Jewish people. They believed if you kept the law, you would be righteous and get to heaven. They thought they were righteous for this. In reality, they were flawed humans like the rest of us, power hungry and hypocrits.

John yelled at the Pharisees and the Sadducees because they were there for appearances only; their hearts were not changed.

The wrath is God’s wrath, which is what all of humanity deserves. You must flee from it.

The Pharisees and the Sadducees believed they were saved because they upheld the law. John says this is false. They must repent with their hearts, not just follow the law. Everyone can go to hell without Jesus. The Jews believed at that time they could not go to hell because they had God.

The ax laid at the root of the trees is marking the trees for cutting, and without fruit, the trees will be cut down.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 3, Day 3: Genesis 2:8-17

Summary of passage:  The Lord planted the garden of Eden where he placed the man He has formed.  God made all kinds of plants for this garden that were pleasing to the eye and good to eat.  In the middle were the tree of life and the tree of knowledge.  A river watered the garden, two of which we know still exist today:  the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

God took the man and put him in the garden to work it and take care of it.  He commanded the man to not eat of the tree of knowledge or man would die.


6)  It has been known by many names:  Mesopotamia (which is Greek for land between the two rivers), Assyria, Sumer, Babylonia, Persia.  Both run through modern-day Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.  The region was known as the “Fertile Crescent” because so many civilizations thrived there.  It was also called the “Cradle of Civilization” since the civilization that developed there was the first on earth (namely, Adam and Eve).

7)  A garden with all kinds of trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.  In the middle were the tree of life and knowledge.  A river watering the garden flowed from Eden that was separated into four headwaters.  Animals and birds lived there.

8 )  He told them they could eat from any tree in the Garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  If they did, they would die.

9a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  As an American, everything is pleasant to be honest.  I have all the basic needs and then some.  I have a house, cars, a dog, my family, extra money to buy things I want, money for the kids’ activities, etc.  I drink coffee in the morning.  I have flowers on my kitchen table.  I have a kitchen table.

Currently, there is nothing really “hard” in terms of living conditions in my life.  Now, it hasn’t always been that way (those of you who’ve been here long enough remember the time I lived in a camper when my husband lost his job(s).)  I enjoy where I live and my life.  I am blessed.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Resisting my human nature.  I fight against selfishness, loving others, caring for others, potty mouth, being ungrateful for my blessings, letting bitterness and anger consume me and influence my actions, submitting to authority, and being kind and compassionate to others.  I got a ways to go to be more like Jesus.

Conclusions:  Simple questions with a powerful reminder of how pleasant our life is and yet we sin anyways like Adam and Eve did.  Adam and Eve led the dream life:  talking and walking with God every day and having all their basic needs met without even thinking about it; yet they still thought they were missing something so they sinned.  They thought there was something better out there and they wanted to “know” about it.  Like most of us do.

Contentment with life is one of the hardest things to achieve.  Partly because we as humans are driven to do better and be better.  Which gets us into trouble.  But also brings about some of the greatest inventions.

Great reminder to be content with where we are at in our journey as we continually strive to know Him.

Map that shows possible location of Garden of Eden with the 4 rivers: