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Summary: Proposition: John shares with us 1. A powerful exhortation of genuine repentance 2. The need for personal examination 3. The expectation of living a life of holiness and 4. The excitement of possess the fire of the Holy Spirit in our lives

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Scripture: Luke 3:7-18; Philippians 4:4-7 and Isaiah 12:2-6

Theme: Roots and Fruits

Scripture: Luke 3:7-18; Philippians 4:4-7 and Isaiah 12:2-6

Theme: Roots and Fruits

Proposition: John shares with us 1. A powerful exhortation of genuine repentance/forgiveness and grace 2. The need for personal examination and reflection 3. The expectation of living a life of genuine holiness and 4. The excitement of possessing the fire of the Holy Spirit in our lives

INTRO:

Grace and peace from our Father in Heaven and the Lord Jesus Christ! Shalom!

How many of us would agree this morning that one of the most rewarding and yet challenging tasks today is how to be a good parent or step parent? Parenting is one of the most wonderful life realities that any of us can experience and yet it can also be one of the most frustrating experiences as well.

For example, how do you and your mate balance the loving and caring part of parenting along with the part that requires a measure of accountability and discipline? How do you balance being a parent full of grace and mercy while at the same time promoting responsibility and accountability? It is not easy is it? It's hard to balance everything.

Some couples result to the roles of good cop/bad cop. One chooses to take the role of the loving, compassionate and caring parent while the has to be the disciplinarian, the authoritarian and the heavy. One chooses to be all peaches and cream while the other is left being the stale bread and water.

Just so you know, that particular way of parenting is unfair, lazy and lousy way to fulfill you God given role of being a parent. It is also extremely unbiblical and even damaging to the child and to each of the parents. Instead, each parent has to help the other and there can't be just one parent of grace and one parent of accountability. Both mom and dad (and grandparents) have to help one another in all situations that arise, including those when one needs grace and those when one needs discipline. No one likes to be the disciplinarian, but if we don't have a balance then we have highly unbalanced children. That is not good for them or for their future mates.

Our Lukan passage this morning is one of balance. John the Baptist takes on both the role of disciplinarian and amazing grace. His message resonates with tones of mercy and judgment. Let's take a few moments and see what John the Baptist seeks to share with us this third Sunday of Advent.

I. John's exhortation (preaching) is simple, direct and full of power.

As you read verses 7 -9 John delivers a simple and direct clear cut message concerning the need for repentance and accountability. John is very plain spoken and unswerving. He doesn't mix his words. His message is easy to understand. You are not left having to wonder what John is saying. John does not live in a world of abstracts. His world is black and white.

It is very evident that John is not trying to appease anyone except his Heavenly Father. He steps right in line with the prophets of old by giving a clear, well defined message from God. Repent for the forgiveness of sins or be thrown into the fire. Repent for the forgiveness of sins or feel the axe of judgment. Repent for the forgiveness of sins or God will simply choose another people.


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