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Two Steps Forward – May 5th, 2024

Dr. Rob White - May 5, 2024

Two Steps Forward

In his baptism, Jesus took one of three steps down (incarnation, baptism, and crucifixion) in preparation for two big steps up (resurrection and ascension).

Scripture References: Matthew 3:13-17

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Two Steps Forward

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In a heartfelt sermon by Dr. Rob White from the Athens Universal Life Church, entitled “Two Steps Forward & One Step Back,” the message revolves around the spiritual journey and the sacrifices made by Jesus, paralleled with the daily struggles and setbacks we face in life. The sermon draws its lessons from Matthew 3:13-17, detailing the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist—a symbolic act that represents humility and submission to God’s plan.

Dr. White describes Jesus’ baptism not just as a simple ritual, but as a profound act of humility, which was one of the three “steps down” he took—alongside incarnation and crucifixion—to achieve the subsequent “two steps up,” namely resurrection and ascension. This notion of moving backwards to move forwards is central to the sermon, illustrating the concept of progress through regress, a common theme in spiritual and personal growth.

The sermon also weaves into its narrative the personal interactions and everyday compliments we exchange, which are seen as small affirmations similar to the divine affirmation Jesus received from God during his baptism: “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Dr. White uses these instances to draw a parallel between divine love and the everyday kindness and recognition we can offer to each other, reinforcing the community and bonds among individuals.

Furthermore, the message explored the challenging concept of enduring setbacks and losses as part of a larger divine plan, encouraging the congregation to maintain faith during difficult times. The concept of “God’s time” is introduced, suggesting that while divine timing might often feel slow, it ultimately leads to greater blessings and outcomes than we could achieve on our own.

The sermon concludes with a call to action, urging individuals to be a blessing in the lives of others, mirroring the way Jesus lived. The sermon reminds us that through acts of humility, submission, and endurance, greater spiritual heights can be achieved.

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