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Summary: God meets us while we're serving ; satan meets us when we're idle.

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Text: Luke 1:5-13;3:1-22;7:18-28

INTRODUCTION

A. The Countdown to Christmas.

B. The Other Countdown.

(1) The world had awaited a Saviour for centuries.

(2) The prophets had spoken of a miracle birth.

(a) The saviour was to be born. Of a virgin (Isa. 7:14) .

(b) The eternal One was to enter time at Bethlehem.

C. The Prophecy of Another Miracle Birth

(1) One was to be born who would prepare for the coming of the Saviour (Isa. 40).

(2) John the Baptist was not born of a virgin , but his birth was a miracle (Luke 1:5-13).

Body

A. The Parents of John the Baptist (vs. 5-13).

1. Zacharias and Elizabeth had no children and were up in years.

(a) Zacharias was a priest during the reign of Herod.

(b) Elizabeth was a descendent of Aaron.

2. The announcement came in the temple.

(a) Gabriel came to Zacharias while he was serving in the temple

(b) God meets us while we're serving ; satan meets us when we're idle.

3. Zacharias was afraid and had trouble believing the angel's message (vs. 12).

4. The father of "the voice " lost his voice because of his unbelief.

5. John was born as Gabriel promised and was Spirit filled from birth.

B. The Preaching of John the Baptist (3:1-22)

1. John came to prepare the way of the Lord (Isa. 40:3-8).

2. This preparation meant preaching repentance (Luke3:3-9)

(a) John boldly named sins and confronted evil

(b) We must face our sins, or we will not flee to Christ for forgiveness.

3. John pointed to Christ as the sin bearer , "the Lamb of God" (John 1:29)

4. John called Christ the bridegroom (John 3:29)

5. John humbled himself and exalted Christ (Luke 3:16)

6. John ' s plain preaching cost him freedom (Luke 3:17-20)

(a) He warned his hearers of judgment to come

(b) He played no favourites, rebuking even Herod for immorality.

C. Our Lord's Praise of John the Baptist (7: 19-28)

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1. John 's surprising question: "Art thou he that should come ?"

(a) He asked this quest from prison with his life in jeopardy

(b) Depression drives us to foolish quest and conclusions.

2. Our Lord's faith-building answer: His miracles proved His deity (vs. 22)

3. Jesus affirmed that John was God's messenger (vs. 24-30)

(a) Vance Havner writes,When John. Said his worst , Jesus said His best about John"

(b) "There is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist"

CONCLUSION

A. John 's Message Still Prepares the Way of the Lord

B. Hear the Call of John the Baptist: "Repent!"

C.Heed the Call of Jesus : "Come unto Me ... I Will Give You Rest"


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