and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”
Beloved. The original word (agapetos) means dearly loved, esteemed, favorite and worthy of love. It is closely related to a verb (agapao) that means to be well pleased or fond of or contented. God the Father not only loves God the Son, but he is deeply fond of him and well-pleased with him (Matt. 12:18, 17:5, Mark 1:11, 9:7, 12:6, Luke 3:22, 9:35, 20:13, 2 Pet. 1:17).
This word also describes the believer who is in Christ. You are God’s beloved child. Your heavenly Father is fond of you. You are his esteemed favorite and he is well pleased with you.
All the epistle writers referred to believers as the beloved or dearly-loved children of God (see entry for Rom. 1:7).
Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
The gospel of God is synonymous with the gospel of Jesus (2 Th. 1:8) and the gospel of grace (Acts 20:24) because Jesus is the embodiment of the Father’s grace (see entry for 1 Cor. 1:4).
and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
(a) Repent. To repent means to change your mind. In context, it means changing your mind about Christ and the goodness of God (Rom. 2:4). “Change your unbelieving mind and believe the glad tidings of God’s grace and forgiveness.”
There is no connotation of sin or remorse in this word. To repent and believe is the same as “hear and believe” (Acts 15:7). See entry for Repentance.
(b) Believe in the gospel. In the New Testament, there are more than 200 imperative statements linked with faith. Some of these statements exhort us to: receive Jesus (John 1:11-12, 5:43), receive the message of Jesus (John 17:8), obey or heed the message or good news of Jesus (John 17:6) and turn to God in repentance (Acts 26:20). Other scriptures encourage us to accept the word (Mark 4:20), confess Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9), call on the name of the Lord (Act 2:21), eat the bread of life (John 6:50-51), be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20), submit to God’s righteousness (Rom. 10:3), and be born again (John 3:3, 7). But the one imperative that appears far more than any other, is the instruction to believe. We are to believe in Jesus (see entry for John 3:16).
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