Faithlife Sermons

The Way of Joy

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Some thought that being/remaining Jewish was enough.

John called some of his fellow Jews, Vipers

Over 20 different kinds of poisonous snakes in Israel
Viper poison affects the respiratory system and destroys red blood cells
Strangles the breath of life and nullifies the blood

“Who told you that you could escape God’s wrath by attending to religious rites?”

The wrath of God is the future conquering of all that is sinful/unholy, the culmination of God’s reign.

They believed they belonged to each other and God through birthright and ritual

God does not need physical offspring.
“Trust not in your being members of the visible church, or in any external privileges.” - J.W.

We continually wither away by corruption to sin

John called ALL to Repent

John was concerned with getting into the kingdom of God and experiencing salvation; he called ALL to Repent.

John preached that baptism and holy living go hand in hand.

The Messiah was coming to separate the people of God from the pretenders.

God requires a change of heart, without delay.

As the fire that refines or the launderer’s soap that cleanses, there is divine judgment toward either that which is wasted and that which is glorious.
The consequences are real and terrible: being tormented continuously or living in eternal Joy.

Preparing the way through repentance can seem like judgment or a free and full life of joy.

When we take our inheritance for granted, we waste it.

John prepared the way for Jesus, the Messiah to come.

Our deeds (fruits) show where our heart truly is.

John shows what fruits are in keeping with repentance.

All sharing with those who have no clothes or food.
Tax collector not taking more than is required.
Soldiers who don’t extort protection money or accuse others falsely, being content with their pay.

John proclaimed that the people of God come through repentance and forgiveness

John’s morality led the people to question whether he was the Messiah.
John was horrified at the comparison: he was unworthy to untie Jesus sandals

John felt lower than even slaves.

Even Jewish slaves were not required to untie the sandals of their masters.

John could only lead others to repentance for their past sins and call them to live better.

The Messiah would free and empower them to live a life of Holiness and Happiness.

God created humanity from dust; God made barren women fruitful; and God brought into being a family where there was none to bring us Jesus Christ, our salvation.

Joy comes from Within.

Those who have repented and forgiven in Jesus Christ bear fruit by the presence of the Spirit living within them.

The Holy Ghost teaches us how to come to Christ ourselves, and how to instruct other penitent sinners to come to Christ.

God prepares us for his kingdom

We are not waiting for God to save us at the end of our lives, God is saving us here and now.

We can and should be a part of God’s kingdom coming here on earth.

What should we do? How should we respond?

No one is exempt from showing kindness to their neighbor, to share with those who have little to nothing while we have more than enough.
No fruit can be seen where there is no compassion.
No faith can be seen when there is no fruit.
Seeds of faith are found in the fruit.

When that faith is trust in Jesus, the fruit of this life are holiness and joy.

All can be refreshed and renewed with this holy fruit if we receive this Good News.

And God will delight in you, and God will sing over you, rejoicing.

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