Summary: 3 of 4. John was approached by others regarding his spiritual niche. We must identify those competing for our belief. But How are we to identify them? Identifying competitors for your belief employs...
IDENTIFYING The COMPETITORS For BELIEF-III—John 1:19-28
Signs—What are they really trying to say?
On a California freeway:—‘Fine for Littering’
In a New York jewelry store:—‘Genuine Faux Pearls’
In a Boston fast-food parking lot:—‘Parking for Drive-Through Customers Only’
Billboard on Florida highway:—‘If You Can't Read, We Can Help’
On the Triborough Bridge in New York:—‘In Event of Air Attack Drive Off Bridge’
On a Lockhart, Texas, gas station & mini-mart:—‘We're out of Rolaids, but we've got gas.’
At the basketball court in a Gastonia, North Carolina, YMCA:—‘Anyone caught hanging from the rim will be suspended’
In a Grand Rapids restaurant:—‘Half baked chicken’
In a Dayton barbershop:—‘During vacation of owner, a competent hair stylist will be here’
On a Jacksonville, Florida, bookstore:—‘Rare, out-of-print, & nonexistent books’
On the wall of a British Columbia cleaning service:—‘Able to Do the Worst Possible Job’
Likewise, there are many competitors for your belief.
John was approached by others regarding his spiritual niche.
*We must identify/concern ourselves with/ the spiritual niche of those vying for our belief.
How can/are we to identify the niche of those vying for belief?
9 considerations/keys/objectives/principles for identifying/categorizing those vying/competing for belief.
We’ve previously discovered that...
Identifying competitors for your belief employs...
1. TRUSTWORTHY INFORMANTs(:19)
2. QUALIFYING QUESTIONs(:19b)
3—Identifying competitors for your belief employs...
:20—“He confessed, & did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.””
The answer is necessarily guided by & thereby limited by the qualifying questions!
If you ask ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ questions you will get simple unqualified ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answers.
John made sure that everyone knew that he was NOT the Messiah(“Christ”).
Mat. 24:23-25(Mk. 13:21-23)—““Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs & false prophets will rise & show great signs & wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.”
Since John denied being the Messiah, they assumed that he must still be of major importance in some way having to do with the consolation of Israel that was promised thru the coming Messiah(“Christ”).
We may define ourselves negatively by ‘who we are not.’
Unqualified Confessions, for the ask-er, keep things within a framework within which I have chosen & am comfortable working. A framework which is easily & nicely managed without challenge. Tradition & rule-keeping lend themselves easily to this scenario. If something will not fit within the mold of personal Tradition it is discarded as faulty.