Only faith in His finished work on the cross rescues us from sin and death, empowers us to live for Him, and promises us life with God forever.
What gives you hope? It seems like a simple question, and most of us who regularly attend church likely know the “right” answer to the question. However, it’s the most important question for every person who has ever lived because your answer will determine your security and eternity. Unlike the hope the world has to offer, we can have a sure and steadfast hope that will never fail.
In the Gospel accounts of Jesus' baptism, we see John the Baptist offer words of warning that lead us back to the question, what gives you hope?
John warned the Pharisees sternly that no family, tradition, or outward practice is sufficient to save people from the wrath of God due to them for their sin. People are saved only by the grace of God received through faith and repentance.
The same is true today. Though we may be tempted to find our hope in the faith journey of our parents, grandparents, or even children, those experiences are not sufficient to save. Though it is a gift to have family members who have placed their faith in Christ, our hope does not come from them.
Similarly, no tradition is sufficient to save either. Though we may uphold the traditions and practices—baptism, the Lord’s Supper, prayer, and so forth—those practices alone are not able to save from sin and secure eternity with God.
John the Baptist made it clear that the faith that leads to repentance brings the certainty of salvation. The larger context of the New Testament reminds us that this repentance is always paired with genuine faith. When these are present, the believer will bear the fruit of the Spirit.
What gives you hope? The only true answer is that we must put our hope in Jesus. Only faith in His finished work on the cross rescues us from sin and death, empowers us to live for Him, and promises us life with God forever.
Check out the resources below designed to help you lead a family worship experience as well as suggestions for morning and evening prayer times and family activities. You can also find the Adult Daily Discipleship Guide that accompanies our adult groups.
FAMILY TALKING POINTS
This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.
Preschool: Baptism reminds us that Jesus died and came back to life. People are baptized to show they follow Jesus.
Kids: Jesus never sinned, but He obeyed God and was baptized like sinners are baptized. Baptism reminds us of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It reminds us that when we trust in Jesus, we turn from sin and start a new life—a life lived for Jesus.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER
This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.
Preschool: What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.
Kids: What did Jesus do to save us? Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.
This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.
Preschool: Jesus takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29
Kids: John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
Family Worship, Prayer, and Activities
Adult Daily Discipleship Guide
** Next week: Jesus Was Tempted (Matthew 4; Luke 4)