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Summary: The ministry of John the Baptist.

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THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS

Text: Matthew 3:1 – 12

Introduction:

· All the preparations for a new baby

· Preparations by God the Father

· Angels, stars, census, details according to prophecy (virgin, Bethlehem)

· Cap it all off with a special messenger – John the Baptist

Body:

A. The Character (vv. 1, 4)

· His life foretold by prophecy

i. Isaiah 40:3

ii. Malachi 3:1; 4:5,6

· His miracle birth

· His childhood (Luke 1:80)

i. Raised by the Essenes?

· His ministry (John 1:6 – 8, 15)

B. The Cry (vv. 2, 3)

· Repent

· The Messiah is coming

C. The Confession (vv. 5, 6)

· Essenes practiced daily baptism for ritual purity

· John introduced a baptism of repentance (Luke 1:13 – 17)

· We have a baptism of identification

D. The Caution (vv. 7 – 10)

· Vipers – their hypocrisy was dangerous

· Repentance is needed

· Repentance brings a change in behavior

· Being born a Jew was not enough

· Judgment was coming (70 AD)

E. The Coming (vv. 11, 12)

· Baptism of Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36:26, 27; Acts 2)

o 1st Coming

· Baptism of fire

o Foreshadowed in 70 AD, 2nd Coming (Revelation 20:11 – 15)

Conclusion:

· God will fulfill all prophecies

· Are you faithfully pointing others to Jesus as John did?

· We need to convince our lost loved ones that they need to repent

· We all need to confess and repent

· Repentance should bring about a change in conduct

· Trusting in family or nationality or denomination is not enough

· Judgment is coming

ISAIAH 40:3 – The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

MALACHI 3:1 – Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me:

MALACHI 4:5, 6 – Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

LUKE 1:80 – And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

EZEKIEL 36:26, 27 – A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.


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