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John 1:29-34

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord Jesus Called “The Lamb of God”

John 1:29-34

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Lesson Number 7

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The primary thought in the title, “Lamb of God,” is sacrifice.
  2. The work of Christ on the cross was not only for sins, but for sin.
  3. The baptism of the Holy Spirit took place at Pentecost.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s remember to emphasize the Person and Work of Christ, as John the Baptist did.

Questions

  1. Did the event in John 1:29 occur at Jesus’ baptism?
  2. John said, “I did not know Him” (verse 33).Is this true?
  3. Was the Holy Spirit, seen by John as descending from heaven, a symbol or a real dove?
  4. What is the primary thought in the title, “Lamb of God”?
  5. Was the work of Christ on the cross for sins or for sin?
  6. What does it mean, “This is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit”?
  7. How did John emphasize the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ? How did he emphasize His Work?

Answers

  1. No, it took place some weeks later. See John 1:35, “the next day;” John 1:43, “the following day;” and John 2:12, “after this.” In the other gospels we learn that after Jesus was baptized, He went immediately into the Judean wilderness for forty days. He did not go immediately into Galilee or perform the miracle of changing the water into wine right after His baptism. The reference to the Lord's baptism (John 1:32-33) is a reflection by John, looking back to the time when the Lord was baptized.
  2. They were cousins, but John grew up in the wilderness and perhaps only knew about Jesus. This comment, however, likely means that John did not know Jesus was the Messiah. It wasn’t until Jesus was baptized that John realized this, as God revealed to John who the Messiah would be, and it was confirmed by the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus and the Voice from heaven.
  3. Today, the dove is used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit, but this was more than a symbol. In the parallel passage, Luke 3:22, we read that the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Jesus, and a Voice came from heaven.
  4. Sacrifice. John was probably thinking of Old Testament sacrifices. See Exodus 12 and Isaiah 53. Lambs were being brought to the temple as sacrificial offerings.
  5. Both. Jesus died on the cross for all the sins that have been or will be committed, but He also died for the whole problem of sin. We commit sins because we are sinners by nature and sin dwells within us. He died for this, as well as for our acts of sin. See Romans 8:22 concerning the sin problem and the material universe.
  6. This refers to the event at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon the church. Until then, the Holy Spirit did not indwell believers. See Acts 2:1-4.
  7. John said, “I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” This was the Person of Christ. The Work of Christ was to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

Discuss/Consider

  1. Contemplate the work of Christ on the cross. Think about His dying for you, not only for your sins, but for sin.
  2. Who is the Holy Spirit? How does He impact your life?

Challenge

  1. How are you emphasizing the Person of Christ? How are you emphasizing the work of Christ? Think about this each day.

Key Verses

  • “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

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