Summary: John the Baptist gives us a clear picture of the attributes of a Spirit filled Christian.
The most evident attribute of a Spirit filled Christian is their inability not to proclaim the name of Christ. Since the work of the Spirit is to bear witness to the world of Christ, His filling in our lives will produce the same result. John bears this out in his actions in John 1:15. John bear witness of him and cried, saying, this is he of whom I spake. John’s cry is not a cry for help (The cry for help would be "boao" in the Greek.), it is also not a contemptuous or belittling cry (The word for a contemptuous cry would be "kraugazo" in the Greek), it is a cry of warning and/or vengeance. (John uses the word "krazo" which is often a scream of warning much like the scream of a crow.)
There is a coming judgment an impending doom that awaits this present world. The Spirit of God filling the heart of the believer causes him or her to voice the warning and, much like the cry of the raven, the call is a natural reflex. Those under the control of God’s Spirit cannot stifle this cry. It comes naturally to their lips as they go about their daily activities.
The Greek word "krazo" also gives the implication of a cry that is inarticulate or brutish. To the person quietly walking though the woods the shriek of a crow disturbs and irritates but to other crows the cry is heard and welcomed. So it was with John and will be with all others who walk in faith. The majority of those who hear this cry will recoil with distaste but the children of God will accept the message with thanksgiving.
Turn to I Corinthians 1:17-24 to see why the preaching of the gospel will be rejected by many yet accepted by others.
What is this cry which irritates some and rejuvenates others? It is the exclamation that the Savior has come and His attributes are as follows:
1.) He is the eternal God. "He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me." John understands that although Christ came into the world as a man He existed before John came into existence. This is a truth the human mind outside of Christ cannot comprehend. Preincarnation is a truth that can only be accepted by faith. But it is a truth that is vitally important for the children of God to understand.
Jesus Christ was preincarnate, in fact He is eternal, there is no time in eternity that Christ was not there. The literal translation of the verse from the Greek would be - This was he of whom I said, He who after me is coming, hath come before me, for he was before me;
He is the uncreated second person of the God-head. As we saw a few weeks ago Christ is also the creator. He made us and He knows what makes us tick. As eternal God He knows each and every one of us in this room. He knows our likes and our dislikes. He knows how each of us acts toward the temptations that occur each in our lives. Yet in spite of all of this He still loves us and cares for us both physically and spiritually!
2.) Christ has made Himself known to all creation. "And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace." Each person who has ever drawn a breath has experienced the grace of Christ in the physical realm. We have all received the breath of physical life which He has given and it is His continual life-giving presence that keeps us going from day to day. We observe His grace in the world regardless of our relationship to Him.
(Matthew 5:43-45: 43 ‘Ye heard that it was said: Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and shalt hate thine enemy; 44but I—I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those cursing you, do good to those hating you, and pray for those accusing you falsely, and persecuting you, 45that ye may be sons of your Father in the heavens, because His sun He doth cause to rise on evil and good, and He doth send rain on righteous and unrighteous.)
No one in this world can do anything to make the sun rise or set. No one on the face of this earth can cause the rain to fall let alone determine who it will fall on. Only the creator has that ability and His loving grace is such that He causes both of these occurrences to happen to both the just and the unjust. Therefore, as the children of God, we should not pick and choose who we will do good to.
This is a very important reality check for us because Matthew directly links our sonship/daughtership to the action of grace. Not a single person in this room or on this planet meets the requirement for salvation, yet Christ, in grace and love, saved us in spite of ourselves. Whenever our enemies confront us remember Christ loved us and poured out His grace on us when we were His enemies. How can we as his children do any less?