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Summary: OVER THE CENTURIES A QUESTION THAT IS CONTINUALLY ASKED IN CHURCH LIFE IS “WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT OUR SIN?” WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR AN EASY ANSWER TO DEAL WITH THIS DIFFICULT QUESTION, WHEN THERE IS ONLY ONE ANSWER AND IT IS DIFFICULT.

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WHAT DO PEOPLE DO ABOUT THEIR SIN

LUKE 3:1-20

OVER THE CENTURIES A QUESTION THAT IS CONTINUALLY ASKED IN CHURCH LIFE IS “WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT OUR SIN?” WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR AN EASY ANSWER TO DEAL WITH THIS DIFFICULT QUESTION. OUR ANSWERS HAVE RANGED FROM DOING NOTHING, TO BOASTING ABOUT OUR SIN, AS IF BEING BAD IS SOME FORM OT STATUS SYMBOL.

HOWEVER WE DEFINE IT, AND BY WHATEVER NAME WE CALL IT, WE CANNOT ESCAPE THE FACT THAT SIN, AS IT IS DEFINED IN THE BIBLE, IS SOMETHING THAT WE WILL ALL HAVE TO DEAL WITH. IT WILL BE WHAT WE DO ABOUT OUR SINFUL NATURE, THAT WILL DETERMINE OUR ETERNAL DESTINY.

JESUS CAME INTO THE WORLD AS THE BIBLICAL ANSWER FOR SIN. HIS SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS CREATED THE ONE AND ONLY OPPORTUNITY TO BEGIN AN ETERNAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM AND FOREVER CHANGE OUR SIN NATURE, SHOULD WE CHOOSE TO ACCEPT HIM AS LORD AND SAVIOR.

JOHN THE BAPTIST, OR THE BAPTIZER AS HE IS ALSO KNOWN, CAME INTO THE WORLD AS THE FORERUNNER OF CHRIST. HE PREACHED A FRESH MESSAGE OF REPENTANCE AND BAPTISM. THE ACCOUNT OF JOHN’S MINISTRY IS MENTIONED IN ALL OF THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS, BUT IS MOST DETAILED HERE IN LUKE.

WHEN IT COMES TO SIN, THE MOST COMMON PROBLEM PEOPLE HAVE WITH IT IS THAT THEY WANT TO DEAL WITH IT IN WAYS OTHER THAN WAYS THE BIBLE TEACHES. THHEY HAVE A PROBLEM COMMITTING TO A BELIEF THAT IS GOING TO CHANGE THEIR LIFE, AND THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT REPENTANCE ASKS US TO DO.

JUST BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION LET ME TELL YOU THAT IN THE FIRST TWO VERSES, LUKE THE HISTORIAN, IS SEEKING TO GIVE US THE TIMELINE FOR JOHN’S MINISTRY. THE LIST OF OFFICIALS HE PRESENTS ALLOWS US TO DATE HIS MINISTRY AT APPROXIMATELY A.D. 28-30 . THE MORE INTERSETING FACT ABOUT THESE OFFICIALS IS THAT MANY OF THEM WILL BE IN POWER AT THE TIME OF JESUS’ TRIAL AND CRUCIFIXION.

THE CONTEXT FOR OUR PASSAGE BEGINS AT V. 2 WHERE LUKE RECORDS THE PHRASE “THE WORD OF GOD CAME TO JOHN…..IN THE DESERT.”

IT HAD BEEN 400 YEARS SINCE THE TIME OF THE PROPHET MALACHI. JOHN THE BAPTIST WOULD IN FACT BE THE LAST OF THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS.

HE WAS A UNIQUE PROPHET WITH A UNIQUE TASK. HE WAS ROUGH AND RUGGED, LIKE ONE YOU WOULD EXPECT LIVING IN THE JUDAEN DESERT REGION.

HIS METHOD WAS BLUNT AND TO THE POIONT. HIS DIET WAS ECCENTRIC. HE WAS ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT. HE WAS FEARLESS IN THE FACE OF POWERFUL AND DANGEROUS PEOPLE. HE WAS VERY MUCH LIKE THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS. HE WAS A TRANSITIONAL PROPHET FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT TO THE NEW THESTAMENT.

LUKE 16:16: 16 “THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS WERE PROCLAIMED UNTIL JOHN. SINCE THAT TIME, THE GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS BEING PREACHED, AND EVERYONE IS FORCING THEIR WAY INTO IT

WHAT EFFECT JOHN HAD ON THE PEOPLE! HIS REVIVAL IN THE JUDAEN WILDERNESS DREW BIG CROWDS. HIS MESSAGE DREW THEM. IT WAS SIMPLE BUT HAUNTING, MUCH LIKE BILLY GRAHAM BACK IN THE 1900’S. REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED.

JOHN CALLED FOR MORE THAT THE IMNMERSING OF ONE’S BODY IN WATER. JEWS WERE USED TO THIS. IT WAS A RITE OF PURIFICATION FOR TOHSE GENTILES WHO WISHED TO BE JEWS. JOHN CALLED ON EVERYONE TO CLEANSE ONE’S SOUL, ADMITTING TO WRONGS DONE AGAINST GOD AND AGAINST OTHER PEOPLE, AND TURNING AWAY FROM SUCH ACTIVITIES AND ATTITUDES THROUGH REPENTANCE. PIOUS JEWS MUST NOW ADMIT THAT THEY, AS WELL AS THE GENTILES, WERE SINNERS.


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