Summary: Key lessons we can learn from the life of John the Baptist
What’s in a name? Names are significant. Names have a purpose.
John 1:6, “There came a man sent from God, whose name was John”
Let’s discover some wonderful truths from the Bible about this man sent from God, whose name was John.
1. Understand God’s Delays are not God’s Denials
The Godly Parents of John (Luke 1:5-13)
Zacharias and Elizabeth were barren. Jewish theology was that barrenness was a sign of God’s displeasure.
Can you imagine how they must have felt? They must have felt at times like God was displeased with their lives. They were at times rejected by the friends and families of those that were blessed with children. They felt ashamed and rejected. Insignificant. (Old age, too).
Barren, but also blameless.
They were walking out righteous lives in the sight of God. They loved and worshipped the Lord not because of what He gave them but simply because of who He was!
Your circumstances may not be that of not being able to have a child…perhaps that job you’ve been seeking hasn’t shown up….that prayer for a rebellious child hasn’t been fulfilled…you may have a cancer….God’s delays are not necessarily God’s denials.
The Gracious Prophecies of John (Luke 1:14-17)
Joy, Gladness, Many rejoice at birth, great in the sight of the Lord, drink no wine or liquor, be filled with the Spirit from the womb, turn many back to the Lord their God, Forerunner in the spirit and power of Elijah, make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
The very last prophecy in the Bible from Malachi 4:5-6 is fulfilled in the coming of John the Baptist.
That God’s Presence was with John
Here are five characteristics that made John the Baptist such a powerful man of God.
John lived a Spirit filled life. Do you know that when you give your life to Christ you can live a Spirit filled life.
John lived a Separated life. Jesus prayed for His disciples, “May they be in this world, but not of this world.”
John lived a Servant life. He would make homes stronger, families stronger.
John lived a Selfless life. He had built up quite a following of disciples, but when Jesus Christ came on the scene, John set his ego to the side and pointed them to the Messiah.
John lived a Soul winning life. John himself was not the light, but he came bearing witness to the light.
(You might want to share how 400 years had passed without hearing from God...Also how John the Baptist spent time in the desert...God's delays are not God's denials).
II. Be in the World but not of the World
A message of Preparation…Matthew 3:1-3
John’s message was the opposite of “Your Best Life Now.” At the heartbeat of John’s message was repent.
At the heart of Jesus message was repentance (Matthew 4:17, Rev. 2-3)
Wayne Grudem’s definition of repentance…“a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it, and walk in obedience to Christ.”
Repentance means we see God for who He is…and ourselves in the light of who God is (Isaiah 6:1-8).
Illus: Chik-fil Bowl several years ago…Large group of men yelling their heads of, “Repent! God hates football. You are a sinner!”
That’s not biblical repentance. That’s condemnation. In fact, Jesus said, “For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:17)
Illus: A gentleman in this church recently came to our SS class sharing how this difficult battle with cancer he was facing had set his eyes off of self and onto the Lord as never before.
Preparation. In Jesus’ days, when a king would take a trip into a town or city, much preparation would be done to prepare the rough and crooked roads so he would have a more suitable, welcome entrance to that area.
John told the people to prepare and make ready their lives for the Presence of Jesus Christ. They were to remove those roadblocks and potholes of sin….so that Christ could be crowned Lord of all.
We spend so much of our lives preparing for school, jobs, families, sports, hobbies…but how much time do we spend preparing our spiritual lives before the Lord? (Amos 4:12)
John’s Message was also a message of Examination. (3:7-10)
To the Pharisees and saducees, “Brood of vipers…flee from the wrath to come…bear fruit in keeping with repentance…don’t even think about saying, “We have Abraham as our father.”
Who are what are you trusting in today to make you right with God? Religion, Race, Rituals?
Being a member of a church will put you on the church role, but not necessarily the Lamb’s book of life!
God has no grandchildren…only children. (John 1:12)