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Bear Witness About the Light

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Opening Prayer

Reading of the Text

John 1:
John 1:6–8 ESV
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

Who is John the Baptist?

The forerunner of Jesus Christ.
John 1:15 ESV
15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”)
John 1:21–27 ESV
21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” 24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”
Born to elderly parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth (relative of Mary, making Jesus his causin) of the Aaronic line.
His public ministry began in the Judean wilderness with a call to repentance and baptism.
Luke 3:3 ESV
3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Mark 1:4–5 ESV
4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
His ministry is seen as a fulfilment of OT prophecy (fulfilled Malachi and Isaiah’s prophecy), in preparation for the ministry of Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 40:3 ESV
3 A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Malachi 3:1 ESV
1 “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.
Malachi 4:5–6 ESV
5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
We see this in the New Testament in the Gospels of Matthew and John
Matthew 3:3 ESV
3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’ ”
John 1:23 ESV
23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
He was executed by Herod.
Lessons learned for our personal lives from John the Baptist
Answering the Call on Our Life
Witnessing to The World
True Humility

Answering the Call on Our Life

Accepting His Role of Forerunner and Witness
God calls and sends out his people into the world.
Though some are specially commissioned by God, confirmed by the church and compelled by the gospel message to missionary service, all believers are called to share the good news of the gospel.
Examples from the Old Testament:
Psalm 96:2–3 ESV
2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
Isaiah 6:8–10 ESV
8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” 9 And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “ ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ 10 Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
Ezekiel 2:3 ESV
3 And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day.
Examples from the New Testament:
Mark 16:15 ESV
15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
Matthew 28:19 ESV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Acts 1:8 ESV
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Accepting our Calling Illustration

ONE of the reasons so many of us are unfulfilled is that we are driving in the wrong lane. We operate in lanes of life that were never designed for us. We operate in purposes that were never designed for us. All exits are good exits, but not all exits are your exits. We don’t get off at exits for no good reason when we are driving. We decide to get off at exits because they take us to our intended destination. We take exits that will lead us to where we are supposed to go.

Many people miss their purpose because they take any old exit where they see lights. We should only take exits that take us toward our destiny, our purpose, or our calling.

Accepting the Nazarite Vow
Luke 1:14–17 ESV
14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

Witnessing to The World

Gospel Truth
Witnessing is a task for all God’s people
1 Peter 2:9 ESV
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Luke 24:46–48 ESV
46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.
Isaiah 42:6 ESV
6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,
Isaiah 49:6 ESV
6 he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Acts 13:47 ESV
47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “ ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”
Witnessing is a major aspect of Christian living
Romans 10:9–10 ESV
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Matthew 10:32–33 ESV
32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
1 John 2:23 ESV
23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.
1 John 4:15 ESV
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
Importance of Witnessing Illustration

WHEN the Titanic went under, three messages had been sent that said to watch out for the icebergs. Because everything looked all right, the folks taking the message never passed it on. They never sent the warning out to people who needed to hear and, as a result, over fifteen hundred people lost their lives. The folks who knew kept quiet.

Another tragedy of the Titanic was that the lifeboats, designed to carry people away from the sinking ship, were only half full. People who had made it to safety in the lifeboats didn’t want to turn around and go pick up people who were dying. They didn’t want to take the risk of panicking people flipping over their boat. So the people who were saved and safe kept on going. Fifteen hundred people didn’t have to die, but they did. The folks who were saved didn’t want to go back because it was risky.

Sharing the gospel has risks—the risk of rejection, the risk of being made fun of, the risk of being called “holier than thou,” the risk of being called “Reverend,” the risk of being avoided, the risk of being asked questions you don’t know the answer to. Yes, there are risks, but when someone is dying, offering them the gift of salvation is worth the risk.

WHEN the Titanic went under, three messages had been sent that said to watch out for the icebergs. Because everything looked all right, the folks taking the message never passed it on. They never sent the warning out to people who needed to hear and, as a result, over fifteen hundred people lost their lives. The folks who knew kept quiet.

Another tragedy of the Titanic was that the lifeboats, designed to carry people away from the sinking ship, were only half full. People who had made it to safety in the lifeboats didn’t want to turn around and go pick up people who were dying. They didn’t want to take the risk of panicking people flipping over their boat. So the people who were saved and safe kept on going. Fifteen hundred people didn’t have to die, but they did. The folks who were saved didn’t want to go back because it was risky.

Sharing the gospel has risks—the risk of rejection, the risk of being made fun of, the risk of being called “holier than thou,” the risk of being called “Reverend,” the risk of being avoided, the risk of being asked questions you don’t know the answer to. Yes, there are risks, but when someone is dying, offering them the gift of salvation is worth the risk.

Calling out Sin
Matthew 14:3–5 ESV
3 For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 because John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.
Other examples of calling out sin in Scripture:
Jonah 1:1–2 ESV
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.”

True Humility

Simple Lifestlye
Matthew 3:4 ESV
4 Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.
Sacrificing Personal Ministry.
He recognizes that his own ministry must decrease, while that of Jesus Christ will increase.
John 3:27–30 ESV
27 John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ 29 The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Sacrificing Personal Ministry
Not Afraid to Ask the Difficult Questions
He sent his disciples to question Jesus Christ while he was in prison. John needed reassurance that his expectations about Jesus had been well-founded.
John needed reassurance that his expectations about Jesus Christ had been well-founded.
Matthew 11:2–6 ESV
2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
Humility Illustration

WHEN weightlifters want to strengthen their legs, there is no exercise that competes with the squat. You put the weights on your shoulders and you go down, up and down, up and down, in order to build strength in your legs. In order to build your hamstrings, in order to build your legs, you’ve got to squat. Most of us don’t get low enough. We’re not growing stronger because we’re not willing to bend.

Closing Thoughts

Jesus being God reveals just how expensive our sin debt truly was as it took God's sacrifice (God the Father offering up His Son and Jesus the Word to be willing to offer up Himself) to restore our relationship with Him.
Answering the call on your life if you have not done so already. It is not too late.
Make sure you are always witnessing. This is the duty of all believers.
Remember what we are witnessing about.
Luke 24:46–48 ESV
46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.
Always remember humility. If Christ, the Almighty God of the universe can lower Himself, born in humility, display a life of service and die for our sake, we have no excuse.

Closing Illustration​

TWO brothers went away to college. One brother became a farmer. The other became a brilliant, wealthy lawyer. The lawyer brother visited the farmer brother on the farm. He said, “I can’t believe you’ve not made anything of your life. You’re out here on a farm. Look at me. Look where I am. I’m on Wall Street. I’m an investor in the stock market. I have clients who are millionaires. Here you are, stuck out here on the farm. I wonder what the difference between us is.”

The farmer brother then spoke. He pointed out to his wheat field. He said, “You’ll see two types of wheat out there, brother. You’ll see the wheat that’s standing straight up. In the head of that wheat, there is nothing. It’s empty. That’s why it’s standing so high. You’ll also see some other wheat that is bent over. That’s because the head is full. It’s full of wheat.”

Some of us are standing straight up. We are walking tall. However, we are only able to do so because we are empty. Some of us walk a little bent over indicating that we are full. The test isn’t what you have in your pocket. It’s what you have in your heart

​Closing Prayer
Remember, only God can fill you. So, my question now is, are you full?

Closing Prayer

If you have made a decision to surrender your life to Christ, please see me after our closing worship song.
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