Summary: Luke shares with us what a Christ centered post-baptismal life involves: 1. A life of intimate prayer 2. A life empowered and led by the Holy Spirit 3. A life that reveals in its true identity and mission as a child of God
Theme: Post Baptismal Life
Proposition: Luke shares with us what a Christ centered post-baptismal life involves: 1. A life of intimate prayer 2. A life empowered and led by the Holy Spirit 3. A life that reveals in its true identity and mission as a child of God
Grace and peace to you from God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world.
What a joy it is to worship with you and your family this morning. Thank-you for being here. If you would please, turn in your Bibles to Luke chapter three where we see Luke sharing with us some new and exciting events that were taking place near the Jordan River around 26/27 AD. After many years of silence, God had raised up a Spirit-filled prophet among the people of Israel. This prophet's was the only son of a Levite couple named Zacharias and Elizabeth who went by the name John the Baptist.
John the Baptist proved to be a most unusual prophet. First of all, John was the son of a religious insider. He was the promise child of a Levite couple. All of his life, John had been raised in and around the Temple. He had been taught the ways of a priest and skilled in what it meant to serve as a mediator between God and man. He was well acquainted with the intricate rituals, prayers and sacrifices of the Temple. Everything about being a priest was second nature to John. He was a man of all the smells, bells and whistles so to speak.
No doubt, Zacharias and Elizabeth thought that their promised son John would live out his life as a faithful Levite priest serving in and around the Temple. They probably thought John would proclaim the coming of the Messiah in some type of major Temple event. And yet, as Luke writes, John being led by the LORD was told to live out in the rugged wilderness and proclaim a powerful message centering on repentance, forgiveness of sin and water baptism.
John traded in his priestly robe for the prophet's camel haired garment. John traded in his comfortable room for camping out in the wilderness and desert area near the Jordan River. John traded working inside the hallways of the Temple for the waters of the Jordan River. And John traded in a daily diet of bread, fish and the occasional lamb or goat feast for a meager diet of locust and wild honey.
John's message was simple, to the point and packed with supernatural power - "Repent of your sins, seek God's forgiveness, submit to water baptism and follow it all up with a life dedicated to holy living". John's message of repentance of course was not new; plenty of prophets, priests and scribes had proclaimed, prayed and penned down the message of repentance. John's message centering on the need for the forgiveness of sin was not new. That too, had been proclaimed by all the ancient men and women of God. And of course the challenge to live a holy life was not new either. Even the ritual of water baptism was not new. So, what was new? The newness was how John employed the ritual of baptism and to the audience he was calling to experience water baptism.