Summary: 4 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-IV—John 1:19-28
There are many competitors for your belief.
Identifying God’s servant(s)
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. UNQUALIFIED CONFESSIONs(:20)
4. EXHAUSTING Our LIMITATIONs(:21)
5—Identifying competitors for your belief employs...
Explanation:(:22) Open-ended(beyond ‘Yes’ or ‘No’)
:22—“Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?””
Since he denied being either the Christ, Elijah or the Prophet, they were at a loss as to what function he served. The priests & Levites were bound to the Jews to bring news of John’s purpose. The emissaries had exhausted the Jew’s repertoire of possibilities for John.
Since John maintained he was none of those figures which the leaders imagined, they asked him to explain who he was in his own words.
Don’t limit your inquiry to leading questions(news talk shows/lawyers). Open to the opinion of the one asked. Allow them to speak for themselves! Don’t put words in their mouths! They will either hang or exonerate themselves, in regard to particular faith.
Such Questions expose the belief of the one being asked to the light, while simultaneously exposing that of the ask-er. This is why many Christians are afraid to ask probing questions!
Mat. 16:13-20—“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, & others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered & said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered & said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh & blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, & on this rock I will build My church, & the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, & whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, & whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.”
?Do you know for certain that you have eternal life & that you will go to heaven when you die?— ‘Yes or No’ question(Qualifying Question :19b)
*?Suppose you were standing before God right now & He were to ask you, “Why should I let you into My heaven? What do you think you would say?
*? In your personal opinion, what do you understand it takes for a person to go to heaven?
What happens in Sunday School & on Wednesday Nights/I ask questions that expose my faith(things for which I may not have answers at the time)/Yet these are not frightening or faith destroyers...They are faith builders...because there will usually be someone in the audience who is familiar with that particular area of Christian doctrine & can lend credibility or wisdom to a discussion/PROBING QUESTIONs
?You employed PROBING QUESTIONs to identify the competitors for Your belief?
Jesus is competing for your belief & so are others(people, the devil, etc.)!
? You Identified those competing for Belief?
6—Identifying competitors for your belief employs...
A LISTENING/Hearing EAR(:23-24)
:23—“He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the LORD,”’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
John gave them his answer by quoting Isa.40:3. John’s purpose was to be the preparer & the herald of the coming of the Lord as specified for the future in Scripture.
Isa. 40:3—“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.”
John recognizes that his preaching is not only literally crying in the wilderness, but that his preaching was a lonely voice of truth in a lost world devoid of the ability to hear it.
Isa. 40:3 is a quote by which Hebrew ‘YaHWeH’ is captured in the Greek word “Lord”(kuriov) here.
Did John the Baptist state “as Isaiah the prophet said” or is it John’s(the apostle & writer’s) addendum?
“Voice”—fwnh—1) A sound, a tone—1a) Of inanimate things, as musical instruments; 2) A voice—2a) Of the sound of uttered words; 3) Speech, 3a) Of a language, tongue. Strong—probably akin to fainw[To lightent(shine), i.e. show] through the idea of disclosure; A tone(articulate, bestial or artificial); by implication--An address(for any purpose), saying or language.