BSF Matthew Lesson 3 Additional Bible Resources

Hey all!

Since we saw a lot of symbols this week in our Matthew study, I thought I’d find some great additional Bible study tools for you!


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a dove descended upon Jesus when baptized

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 3, Day 5: Matthew 3:13-17


John the Baptist baptizes Jesus who came from Galilee to the Jordan River. John said that Jesus needed to baptize him, not the other way around. Jesus told him he needed to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness. When Jesus was baptized, heaven opened up and the Spirit of God came down upon him. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”


12 ) Jesus came to earth as a human partly to show others how to live. He was baptized to show that Christians should be baptized as well.

13a) That the Spirit would come down from heaven as a dove and remain, baptizing with the Holy Spirit.

b) He was praying.

14 ) We are here only because of God. We are here to do His will, not ours. If we were doing our will, we’d all be sinners, doing whatever we pleased in utter chaos. Instead, we work to please our God, our Creator, as a form or worship and honor for what He has given us and done for us.

15) It is important as Jesus showed us how to live and what to do. Baptism is a special day when you accept Christ into your life publically. If Jesus did it, we should, too. Here, Jesus being baptized also legitimizes John’s baptisms of the people since it was outside of Jewish tradition.


map of jesus' baptism www.atozmomm.comI love how God opens up the heavens, showing his pleasure. God gives us many signs of how to live, as well as signs of reassurance that we are walking with Him. God does so much just for us. Try to digest that thought today. Great stuff!


John questions Jesus because Jesus had no sin so therefore had nothing to repent of. Yet, Jesus knew this was the right thing to do. This one act allowed Jesus to identify with mankind. This is the official beginning of Jesus’s ministry. It’s an important sign to all that Jesus is here.

God showed all sinners that Jesus was identifying with them, not being cleansed of any sin. It was important that God show everyone this was His Son and that Jesus was different, so he sent the physical sign of the dove for all to see. Jesus now has the power of God (he always did, since he is God, but this is official for humans, like a ceremony). It was also important that John the Baptist, now hugely popular with the people, recognize Jesus as the Savior. John 1:32-33

Note Noah sent a dove that returned with an olive branch from the ark. Doves in the Bible represent peace, love, gentleness, and hope for a better future.

God set his stamp of approval upon Jesus. Here, we see the Holy Trinity together in the Bible: God in heaven, Jesus on earth, the Holy Spirit coming down between the two. Beautiful picture, isn’t it?

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baptize into the Holy Spirt

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 3, Day 4: Matthew 3:11-12


John the Baptist baptizes with water, but after him will come one more powerful who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He will gather his wheat (his people) and burn up the chaff with fire (their sins).


9) The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity sent to be with us always and guide us in our ways. According to Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, the Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity. He is God’s agent in creation, in the providential work of God in the moral sphere, history, and relationships, and a personal endowment. The Spirit is wise, has power and influence, and inspired the prophets. The Holy Spirit works in the lives of believers. If you are filled with the Holy spirit, you experience Christ living within.

John 15:26: The Holy Spirit is sent out from God to testify truth about Jesus.

John 16:13-14: The Spirit of Truth will guide you into all truth. He speaks to you and will tell you what is to come. He will bring glory to God by taking what is God’s and making it known to you.

Romans 8:9: Those who belong to Christ have the Holy Spirit within them. The Holy Spirit controls you.

2 Corinthians 13:14: The Holy Spirit is with you in fellowship.

Galatians 4:6: The Holy Spirit lives in your heart.

10) Ezekiel 36:25-27: You will have a new heart and a new spirit within.

John 7:37-39: Those who believe in Jesus will have the Holy Spirit flow within them as it will come upon them.

John 16:13: The Spirit of Truth will guide you into all truth. He speaks to you and will tell you what is to come.

Acts 1:5, 7-8: Jesus baptizes with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives them power.

11 ) The Holy Spirit helps me when I am tempted to sin and thereby draws me closer to God. He comforts me when no one else is there or can. He gives me strength in my weak moments.


I never really thought of the Holy Spirit as a person before. I think of the Holy Spirit as a being that comes down upon us. Thinking of the Holy Spirit as a person to me lessens the power of the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is way above humans. (Romans 6:3-4). Lots of references today so leave extra time to look everything up. Great look at the Holy Spirit in the Bible. Here’s a link to Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, if you are interested in this great resource today.


John baptized with repentance; whereas Jesus baptizes with himself by granting the Holy Spirit within.

John is humble, making it clear Christ is above himself.

Fire has always been a symbol of judgement in the Bible. Thus, Jesus is coming with blessings and with judgement for those who do not accept him. Fire also purifies in the Bible. Chaff is the part of the wheat that we not consume, and workers used a winnowing fork to separate the grain from the chaff.  (Isaiah 4:4Zechariah 13:9Malachi 3:2cf. Isaiah 1:25).

Too many Christians today forget that Jesus will judge at the Second Coming. He comes to save and to judge. Contact me with questions!

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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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picture of desert of judea

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 3, Day 2: Matthew 3:1-4


John the Baptist came preaching in the Desert of Judea, saying repent for the kingdom of heaven is near. He quoted Isaiah, saying to prepare the way for the Lord. He wore clothes of camel’s hair, had a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.


3a) Jesus identifies John the Baptist as the one predicted by Malachi in Matthew 11:14; 17:9-13.

Luke 1:17 repeats almost exactly that verse, saying he will go before the Lord in the spirit of Elijah to turn the hearts of the father to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

2 Kings 1:8 says that he was a man with a garment of hair and a leather belt around his waist.

Mark 1:6 repeats Matthew, saying John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.

Matthew 17:9-13: Jesus says that Elijah has already come but no one recognized him as such.

b) John identified himself as the voice calling in the desert for God’s glorious arrival, preparing the way for repentance from sin and turning to Jesus.

4) Nothing happens without God’s will and way. God uses people and others to carry out His will. It’s all perfection.

5a) God has been extremely good. He has given me this forum and the knowledge to share with you all. He has always provided for me and my family, and I try to do His will and help others, too. It all comes together in God’s perfect plan for your life and mine.

b) Tell others that Jesus is coming. Pray for others. Prepare myself and my family.


Matthew skips over all of Jesus’s youth. We go from the baby Jesus to Jesus’s baptism. It jarred me a bit, but then I love a good story. I also love how Jesus is not alone in his task to save humanity. God has given him help, guidance, and companions. Great stuff!

From Jordan to Wilderness. Wilderness Wilderness of Judea: The desolate region between Judah and the Dead Sea. John the Baptist preached here. (Matt 3:1-3)


John the Baptist is son to Zacharias and Elizabeth, whom we met in Luke and how the couple had John by God’s miracle, too. John’s purpose is to prepare the hearts of God’s people for Jesus by telling them to turn to God.

Note the importance of the word “repent.”

John wanted everyone to know that the Messiah was coming so be ready!

Note that kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God is used interchangeably in the Bible. Both refer to God’s kingdome. Scholars believe that kingdom of heaven was used by Matthew since he was writing to Jews who did not like direct references to God. You’ll see kingdom of God used more in Mark and Luke.

It is super important to prepare for Jesus, which is why you all are here in Bible Study Fellowship’s study of Matthew! We must learn about Jesus, draw closer to him, and prepare for his Second Coming. Thus, John’s work is huge for believers.

A straight path to Jesus makes sense. Truthfully, is there any other way?


It doesn’t matter what John the Baptist wears; the point of this is that it was predicted that someone looking like John the Baptist would arise and point the way to the Messiah. Secondary is the fact that John the Baptist led a very simple life, and he made a powerful impact. We can do the same, too. We don’t need a lot to shine God’s light to the world. Contact me with questions!

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 4, Day 3: Genesis 3:1-6

Summary of passage:  The crafty serpent asked Eve, “Did God really say not to eat from any tree in the garden?”  Eve tells him they can eat from any tree except from the tree in the middle of the garden or they will die.  The serpent plants doubt, saying surely you won’t die; you will just be like God, knowing good and evil.

So, Eve took some and ate it and gave some to Adam (who was with her the whole time) and ate it as well.


7)  Matthew 13:19:  He snatches away the message (Word) that was sown in man’s heart

Matthew 13:25, 39:  He sows weeds amongst the crop while you are sleeping (unaware)

John 8:44:  He is a liar, murderer, and father of lies.  He has nor speaks no truth

John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11:  He is called the prince of this world

2 Corinthians 4:4:  He is called the god of this age

Ephesians 2:2:  He is called the ruler of the kingdom of air

8a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Ephesians tells us he’s a schemer, so much so we need the full armor of God to resist him.  2 Corinthians tells us he masquerades as an angel of light.  Luke shows us that Satan knows scripture and he will use it to tempt us to sin and he will twist it’s meaning like he did to Eve when she ate the fruit.

Satan’s life purpose is to make us fall.  He spends his entire time scheming and using our weaknesses against us.  He will use all the tricks in the book and then some.  He has no morals or values as we know them.  He is pure evil.

b)  With Job the devil could not touch the man himself but only those people and things around him.  The devil had 40 days to tempt Jesus but when he was done tempting he left Jesus alone.  In Revelation we see the devil is limited in time.  He has only a certain amount of time before God says enough and defeats him.

1 Corinthians 10:13:  “He (God) will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear…he will also provide a way out so tht you can stand up under it.”

God sets limits to what the devil can do to us.  God is there, protecting us.  God allows the devil to exist and to tempt us (to test our faith).  He is in control.  We are choosing either the devil or God.  Always.

9)  1 Thessalonians 5:17, James 5:16:  pray continually, confess your sins and pray for each other

Matthew 4:1-2; Luke 4:1-2:  Be full of the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12:  The Word of God–the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit

James 4:7:  Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you

Conclusions:  This was a study on the devil.  To be honest, I didn’t even read the passage (since we read it yesterday).  Every question had us looking elsewhere so leave some time for today’s lesson.  Even though a lot of the books are small that’s what makes them tricky to find.

If you did Acts last year, a lot of this will be familiar.  We discussed in detail our weapons against the devil (the Word, prayer, the Holy Spirit, and obeying God’s commands).  I hold to 1 Corinthians 10:13:  there is nothing God gives us we can’t bear, including the devil’s temptations.  If we believe we can overcome and God is on our side and He’s in control, then we will!