Sermons

Summary: "There is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist"

Text: 1:5 - 13. AMP

“In the days of Herod [the Great], king of Judea, there was a certain priest whose name was Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron [the first high priest of Israel], and her name was Elizabeth. They both were righteous (approved) in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. But they were childless, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both far advanced in years. Now it happened while Zacharias was serving as priest before God in the appointed order of his priestly division, as was the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter [the sanctuary of] the temple of the Lord and burn incense [on the altar of incense]. And all the congregation was praying outside [in the court of the temple] at the hour of the incense offering. And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, because your petition [in prayer] was heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.”

??LUK“In the days of Herod [the Great], king of Judea, there was a certain priest whose name was Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron [the first high priest of Israel], and her name was Elizabeth. They both were righteous (approved) in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. But they were childless, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both far advanced in years. Now it happened while Zacharias was serving as priest before God in the appointed order of his priestly division, as was the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter [the sanctuary of] the temple of the Lord and burn incense [on the altar of incense]. And all the congregation was praying outside [in the court of the temple] at the hour of the incense offering. And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, because your petition [in prayer] was heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.”

OTHERS TEXT.

LUKE 3:1 - 22. AMP

“Now in the fifteenth year of [Emperor] Tiberius Caesar’s reign--when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod [Antipas] was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene-- in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas [his son-in-law], the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. And he went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin; as it is written and forever remains written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “T HE VOICE OF ONE SHOUTING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘P REPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD, M AKE H IS PATHS STRAIGHT. ‘E VERY RAVINE SHALL BE FILLED UP, A ND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL SHALL BE LEVELED; A ND THE CROOKED [places] SHALL BE MADE STRAIGHT, A ND THE ROUGH ROADS SMOOTH; AND ALL MANKIND SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD.’” So he began saying to the crowds who were coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath [of God that is] to come? Therefore produce fruit that is worthy of [and consistent with your] repentance [that is, live changed lives, turn from sin and seek God and His righteousness]. And do not even begin to say to yourselves [as a defense], ‘We have Abraham for our father [and so our heritage assures us of salvation]’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children (descendants) for Abraham [for God can replace the unrepentant, regardless of their heritage, with those who are obedient]. Even now the axe [of God’s judgment] is swinging toward the root of the trees; so every tree that does not produce good fruit is being cut down and thrown into the fire.” The crowds asked him, “Then what are we to do?” And John replied, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do the same.” Even some tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked, “Teacher, what are we to do?” And he told them, “Collect no more than the fixed amount you have been ordered to [collect].” Some soldiers asked him, “And what about us, what are we to do?” And he replied to them, “Do not extort money from anyone or harass or blackmail anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.” Now the people were in a state of expectation, and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed). John answered them all by saying, “As for me, I baptize you [only] with water; but One who is mightier [more powerful, more noble] than I is coming, and I am not fit to untie the strap of His sandals [even as His slave]. He will baptize you [who truly repent] with the Holy Spirit and [you who remain unrepentant] with fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat (believers) into His barn (kingdom); but He will burn up the chaff (the unrepentant) with unquenchable fire.” So with many other appeals and various admonitions John preached the good news (gospel) to the people. But when Herod [Antipas] the tetrarch was repeatedly reprimanded [and convicted by John’s disapproval] for having Herodias, his brother’s wife [as his own], and for all the wicked things that Herod had done, he also added this to them all: he locked up John in prison. Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, the [visible] heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came from heaven, “You are My Son, My Beloved, in You I am well-pleased and delighted!””

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