sf997 - Preparing The Way Of The Lord (Matthew 3 1-12)
There had been 400 years of silence in Israel, no word from God.
Then John the Baptist exploded on the scene, he was the last of the OT prophets.
He was unique, the forerunner of Jesus, given the privilege to announce the coming of the Messiah…
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
1A. The Task (3:1-3)
1B. The place
He began in a difficult place, the wilderness (desert).
But God brought the people to him.
2B. Proclaim the coming of the King
“Preach” to herald, to proclaim (loudly) the king is coming.
Isaiah 40:3-4 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth
3B. Prepare the way (3:3)
“Prepare” to make sure the way is ready and clear.
The obstacles were spiritual not physical (moral).
We must prepare also, we cannot manipulate the Lord’s coming, but we must be prepared for Him to come.
2A. The Message: Repent (3:2)
1B. Repentance is the only Biblical way to deal with sin.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
2B. When we repent we experience the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God is His rule and reign in our lives.
Repentance is the key that opens the door to the Kingdom.
3B. Repentance is a radical movement of God
2 Timothy 2:25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth
It is accompanied by grief and mourning because of what my sin has done to God.
4B. Steps of change involves the mind, heart, and actions
Ø We must grieve over sin
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
Ø We must turn from our sin and back to a love relationship to God.
Ø We refuse to allow anything to stand in our way of obedience to Him
Ø Delayed repentance is disobedience; it means that we love something or someone more that God.
3A. The Warning (3:6-12)
1B. Beware of hypocrisy in repentance
Mark 7:6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.’”
Matthew 12:34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
It is impossible to be saved without repentance.
It is impossible to serve Christ without repentance.
2B. Godly repentance involves a change of life – Fruits
God sees through phony repentance (3:10-12)
The key question is: “Do I look (act) different from the world?”
4A. The Humility (3:11)
John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease.
1B. Humility comes when I see how Big God is and how small I am.
“Lord, show me how you must increase in my life.”
2B. Humility is not the product of cultivation, it is the product of making much of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
I am just the attendant at the wedding, He is the bridegroom.
I must magnify Jesus!
John 1:30 This is He of whom I said, After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.
I am nothing without Jesus
John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
“Nothing sets a Christian out of the Devil’s reach as humility.” Edwards
“Humility is the loosing of oneself in the vision of God.” Murray