Monday, February 2, 2015

The Testimony of John the Baptist

Apostle John's prologue = John 1:1
What he's trying to tell us = John 1:14

John's purpose = John 20:30-31 - that you might know Christ and have eternal life

In between = Evidence (miracles, fulfilled prophecies, teachings, testimonies, observations, opinions, etc.)

Exhibit #1 = the Testimony of John the Baptist - John 1:6-7, 34- sent from God

Why is John the Baptist's testimony so weighty?  powerful?  important?
Because - John the Baptist was well known by the people, highly esteemed by the people, and considered a Prophet!!  Mark 1:1-5   Last prophet was Malachi - no prophet for 400 years.

So, crowds came, religious leaders took note, even civil leaders feared him!!! -
Political reasons - John the Baptist so popular with the people, that if he started a movement against what was going on, the people would follow him!!  Could cause a huge uprising.

John's testimony so weighty that John the Apostle (writing 60 years later)
A)  made his testimony exhibit #1, and,
B)  spent little time introducing him!!!

John the Baptist's testimony of Jesus:
John 1:19-21 - Elijah - see Mal. 4:5 and Deut. 18:15 - like Moses - John 1:22-23
Isa. 40:3-5
John 1:24-34 - issue was with what authority he was doing these things
This = the testimony of John the Baptist = Jesus is the One.

Now => the Message of John the Baptist - Matt. 3:1-12

Huge deal in the 1st. Century

The Message of John the Baptist

ie:  SELF - (heart, mind, etc.)
for the coming King, Kingdom

How?  - Repent - Be Baptized - Produce Fruit ---- sums up his message

1)  Repent = about face - 180 degree turn around - change mind => change direction
    for non-believer = turn from  _________  TO Christ
    for believer = turn from worldly things to Godly things.  This still an issue -still find ourselves following things shouldn't be following

2)  Be Baptized -
Then this signified - turning, cleansing, identity with coming Kingdom, identity with Christ.
Now this signifies - a public declaration of a PERSONAL decision

3)  Produce Fruit - in keeping with salvation = James 2:17
Reformer's formula = Justification is by faith alone; but not by a faith that is alone!

NOTE:  those who accepted, responded to the message of John the Baptist - were the First to recognize and receive Christ!!  Because they had prepared.

You cannot (in truth, practice) separate the message and the Messiah.

Application in life:  non-believers = come to Christ
                             believers = be strengthened and encouraged in the faith

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