Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall continue to consider the inauguration of the Man-Savior (3:1-22). In His inauguration into His ministry, the Man-Savior was introduced by John the Baptist (3:1-20). Then He was baptized (v. 21) and anointed (v. 22). We need to pay particular attention to the significance of the baptism and anointing of the Man-Savior.
The fact that John the Baptist baptized the Man-Savior with water indicates that it was necessary even for Him to be baptized. For the Lord Jesus to be baptized means that He put Himself aside. He allowed Himself to be put into death so that He might minister not in a natural way, but in the way of resurrection. Therefore, as a Man it was necessary for the Lord Jesus to put Himself aside in order that He might live God.
If we would have a proper understanding of the significance of the baptism of the Man-Savior, we need to consider further what is the highest standard of morality. The highest standard of morality is actually the result of the God-created man (Gen. 1) with the human virtues created by God plus the tree of life (Gen. 2), a tree that signifies God as life to us with all His divine attributes. What is the highest standard of morality? The highest standard of morality is the result of the God-created man plus the tree of life.
In the man created by God there were the human virtues. These virtues are in God’s image and according to His likeness. In particular, these virtues are according to God’s love, light, holiness, and righteousness. According to chapter two of Genesis, this God-created man with his human virtues was placed in front of the tree of life. The tree of life signifies God as life with His divine attributes. When the tree of life is added to the God-created man, the result is a living in the highest standard of morality.
The Lord Jesus was baptized in order that He might live a human life expressing God’s attributes. If we see this, we shall realize that not only does fallen man need to be set aside, but even the man created by God in His image needs to be set aside so that he may live a life that expresses God. Therefore, no matter what kind of person we may be, if we would live a life to express God, we need to be put aside.
Although the Lord Jesus was a complete and perfect Man, He needed to be put aside in order to live a life that expressed God. To be baptized simply means to be put aside, to be terminated and buried so that we may live not by ourselves but by God. If we are set aside in this way, we shall be able to live a human life with the divine attributes expressed in the human virtues.
The Lord Jesus was a perfect Man, a Man with all the human virtues, yet He was nevertheless in the likeness of the flesh of sin. Of course, the Lord Jesus did not have the nature of fallen mankind; however, He did possess the likeness, the outward form or appearance, of fallen mankind. In Romans 8:3 Paul says that Christ came in the likeness of the flesh of sin. He did not have the nature of sin, but He had the likeness, the appearance, the form, of the flesh of sin. It was necessary for this likeness of the flesh of sin to be judged, terminated, and buried. This was another reason for the baptism of the Man-Savior.
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