Temple Baptist Church - 5-17-2015
A. Over the past few weeks, we have been taking a biblical look at one of the greatest men every born of woman, John the Baptist, the fore runner of our Lord Jesus Christ.
B. John was God’s Messenger.
1. The voice of one crying in the wilderness. Notice the importance of one! What a difference that one can make.
2. In a land of spiritual darkness, the voices of God’s men had fallen in silence. In a land where few remained faithful to the promise of God concerning the “seed of the woman,” the Messiah!
3. In a land where biblical salvation had apostatized into the self-righteousness of the Pharisees and Sadducees!
C. Then we took a look at John as God’s Man. Most churches of our day have no biblical knowledge of just what a God called preacher should be. What things did not make John great in the sight of the Lord.
1. John was not charismatic. Compelling, magnetic, fascinating, captivating, appealing. John drew no attention to himself. He pointed men to the Lamb of God! John was God’s man!
2. John was not social. He was not there to please men. John pleased God!
3. John was not elegant. Stylish, chic, well dressed. He did not impress men but he did impress God! God called him great.
4. John was not well to do financially. John could not be bought! He was fed in the wilderness by his God and was satisfied with what he was given.
5. John was not a compromiser. God’s Word was just that, God’s Word, and was not to be compromised! John was true to the message.
D. What Did Make John Great In The Sight Of The Lord
1. John was a Chosen Man - John 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. (To be commissioned for a special task or mission. John answered the call of God to be unpopular and rejected in this world as he preached God’s Word. The Bible says that many are called but few are chosen. Some would have you to believe that John had no choice about serving God but he did. John was no “robot” who had no desires. John was God’s man because John belonged to God by choice.)
2. John was a Clean Man - Luke 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. (As the leper was the living symbol of sin, so was the Nazarite of holiness. I do not know for sure that John was a Nazarite but he lived the separated life of one. His life was one that could not be rebuked. John lived for God!)
3. John was a Consumed Man - John 5:35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. (Before John could shine for God, first, he had to burn for God. He was willing to put all his energy into the work of God. Burning speaks of his desire and effort. His energy was not just potential, it was kinetic! Energy in action. So many people are wasted potential but John was not one of them. He was consumed with his calling.)
4. John was a Contented Man - John 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. (John had no earthly aspirations. He was a simple man who sold out to God and His will. He wanted no honors; he wanted no wealth; he wanted no fame; he cared nothing about being called “Rabbi, Rabbi” or “Doctor, Doctor.” His only desire was to decrease and his Lord increase.)
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
5. John was a Courageous Man - Matthew 3:7-8 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: (John was not politically correct in his preaching. In our day, people become offended when God’s men point their spiritual “finger” under the noses of lost preachers. John feared not what men could do to him. John feared God!)
Matthew 11:7 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? (John did not shake!)
Mark 6:17-18 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. (18) For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. (John lost his head, not his integrity!)
6. John was a Candid Man - Matthew 3:10-12 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (John was what we would call a “blunt” or “outspoken” man. John was not afraid to preach the truth of God’s Word to the unsaved. He did not mince words nor did he “skirt around” spiritual truth. He preached God’s Word as it was to men as they were. When John got through preaching, people knew where they stood with God.)
Matthew 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
7. John was a Committed Man - John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (He had been send to bear witness of the true light, Jesus Christ, and that is exactly what he did. It is one thing to be called to preach and another to accept it with commitment.)