Monday, April 7, 2008

Things John Had That We Need

Temple Baptist Church - 4-6-2008

Matthew 3:1-12


A. Both Old and New Testaments are all about the sinfulness of man and the coming of the Christ to take away the sin of the world. Christ is the Word and the Word is all about Christ. As we come to Matthew, we see the fulfillment of the promised “Lamb of God” which was to take away the sin of the world.

1. The Promise Of Christ’s Coming – verse 1-3 - 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.

2. The Prelude Of Christ’s First Coming – verse 7

a) There have been 400 Silent Years between Malachi and Matthew. No revelations, no preaching, and no prophesying.

b) Judaism in now firmly imbedded within the religion and culture of the nation of Israel. Here we find Pharisees and Sadducees instead of Prophets.

Judaism - the religious beliefs and practices and the way of life of the Jews The term itself was first used by Hellenized Jews to describe their religious practice, but it is of predominantly modern usage; it is not used in the Bible or in Rabbinic literature and only rarely in the literature of the medieval period. The word Torah is employed when referring to the divinely revealed teachings of Jewish law and belief. Judaism is used more broadly, including also the totality of human interpretation and practice. Thus, one may speak of "secular Judaism," referring to an adherence to values expressed by Judaism but removed from any religious context.

3. The Performance Of Christ’s First Coming – Matthew 1 and 2

a) The Annunciation by the angel Gabriel
b) The Virgin Conception and Birth of the Christ

4. The Predecessor Of Christ’s First Coming – John The Baptist – The Forerunner of the Messiah!

B. I have several Old and New Testament heroes that stand out to me personally. I want to look at one of them this morning, John the Baptist. Not only is he a hero of mine, but he was highly regarded by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 11:7-15 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. 15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

C. We live in a day of “plastics” but John was REAL! He was the “real deal” of that day and the Lord used him to prepare the way for our Lord Jesus Christ.

D. John was not popular among the religious folks of that day, but the sinful and needy came to hear him.

1. John Was Not Great In The Sight Of Men Because He Was Not Charismatic - John 10:39-42 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. And many believed on him there. (John was a preacher, not a performer)

2. John Was Not Great In The Sight Of Men Because He Was Not Social - Matthew 3:1-3 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (Wilderness – dry or desolate place) (He evidently was not an active member of the local Ministerial Association)

Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

3. John Was Not Great In The Sight Of Men Because He Was Not Elegant - Luke 7:25a But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, (Rich and elegant)

Mark 1:6a And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; (They were shocked at the appearance of this plain man! No $500.00 suits, no Florsheim—wing tipped shoes, not expensive automobile, no diamond stick pin, no Rolex watch, no $650,000.00 home, no gold faucets, no air-conditioned dog houses, just a plain preacher)

4. John Was Not Great In The Sight Of Men Because He Did Not Have An Expensive Cuisine – Luke 7:25b Behold, they which are gorgeously appareled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. (Rarely ate at Ryan’s and, evidently, rarely was invited to dinner)

Mark 1:6b And he did eat locusts and wild honey

5. John Was Not Great In The Sight Of Men Because He Would Not Compromise - Mark 6:17-19 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife. Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:

Isaiah 30:8-11 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not (turn your head to sin); and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things (stay off of certain subjects), prophesy deceits (handle the Word of God deceitfully): Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

Luke 6:26 Woe unto you (man of God!), when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their

6. John did no miracles. John was a preacher man! John was a righteous man! John was God’s man! John was a real man and what you saw was what you got.

E. We need those qualities in our lives in the light of the Second Coming. He has promised it! There have been 400 Silent Years since 1611! Phariseeism in the rule of the day with salvation being of works and not of grace! We have the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth! We are the “voice of one crying in the wilderness” saying, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

1. John Was Distinct – vs. 1 - His Doctrine “John the Baptist”

a. John Was A Distinct Man – He was distinct in his doctrine - 1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

b. John Was A Marked Man – vs. 5-6 - Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (God give us distinction in light of His Second Coming!)

2. John Was Daring – vs. 2, 7-9

a. John Was Bold In His Preaching – vs. 2-3 - Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

1) John Was Dynamic In His Delivery – vs. 7-9 - Ephesians 6:19-20 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

2) John Was Dynamic In His Damning – vs. 10-11 – Jude 23 And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

b. John Was Bold In His Confronting – vs. 7 - Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

1) His Preaching Was Powerful – “repent”
2) His Preaching Was Personal – “Ye” (God give us boldness in light of His Second Coming!)

3. John Was Dedicated – vs. vs. 1, 4

a. John Was Not In The “Camp” – vs. 1, 5 - Hebrews 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

b. John Was Not In Style – vs. 4 - Matthew 11:8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft [clothing] are in kings’ houses. (God give us dedication in light of His Second Coming!)

Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?)

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