Tag Archives: John

The Devastation of Sin


Psalm 32:1-5
“I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah,” Psalm 32:5.
Jesus gave us insight into the true heart of mankind and the devastation of sin when He explained what happens when a person sins: “Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:20). The most devastating thing about sin is not the offensive act of sinning, though that is bad enough. We sin when we do something wrong, offending or violating someone, transgressing God’s definition of right behavior. As if that were not bad enough, the devastation that takes place in the hearts of the offenders is even worse.
Because we were made in the image of God, we each have a God-consciousness and a general moral code written on our hearts. Add to that moral code the overwhelming conviction of God’s Spirit, and you have little chance of escaping feelings of personal guilt when you sin. This is the devastation of sin—the feelings of personal guilt and shame that overwhelm us and prevent us from bringing our sin to light for fear of rejection and rebuke. This desire to keep our skeletons in our closets is what drives many people into spells of discouragement, depression and despair. That is why the psalmist said his bones were wasting away while he remained silent about his sin (Psalm 32:3).
What is the answer for this devastation of sin? We must expose it to the light of God, confess it and seek reconciliation with God and with the offended person. When confession is made, forgiveness is enjoyed.

JUST A THOUGHT
Will you confess your sins today?

Mark Clements

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He Takes Away Sin


 

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,” John 1:29. 

 

 

 

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him” (Psalm 103:12, 13).

 

And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat . . . Then shall he kill the goat of the sin-offering, that is for the people, . . . he shall bring the live goat: and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness (Lev. 16:7, 8, 15, 20-22).

 

God has demonstrated from Genesis to Revelation, that before the world was created, He had a plan to take away mankind’s sins. He put them on His Son who carried them away when He died on the cruel cross. That’s why the repentant sinner feels liberated; the Holy Spirit has lifted the burden of the consequences of his sin.

 

 

 

Just Saying

 

Ever hear your grandmother say, your chickens have come home to roost? We must truly repent.

 

 

 

Robert Brock

 

 

 

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BIBLE ANALYSIS GUIDE


I.THE PRESENT RULE AND GUIDE

The whole Bible is to be studied under right divisions, as indicated in the previous part of this chapter. But this does not mean that men are to practice today everything taught in the whole Bible. Parts of both the Old and New Teatament have been fulfilled, that is some of their divisions or distinct teachings, and are not to be practiced by children of God now.

It has been pointed out that there are three divisions of the Old Testament:

1.the law of Moses,
2.the Prophets, and
3.the Psalms,

the first two of these divisions are declared to have been fulfilled, as a rule and guide for men. That is, the Law and the Prophets, two of the three distinct divisions of the Old Testament, are not to be sought or leaned upon as a rule and guide for faith in practice of any person during this present church age – Col. 2:14-17; II Cor. 3:7-11.

The Law of Moses was given solely as a rule and guide for the Jewish people in view of the coming of Jesus, the Messiah – Exodus 20:1,2,22; Lev. 27:34; Mal 4:4. In like manner the prophets admonished, wrote, and instructed the Jews, not the Gentiles. Their teachings were directed, not to the people of this age, but the age in which they lived. It is true that many principles that guided their ministry, lives, and testimonies are still operative today. But they are stated for man’s following today, in specific instructions, not in either the Law of Moses or the Prophets, but in

1.the Psalms and
2.the New Testament,

which rightly divided, our sole guide for our faith in action today – Matt. 5:17, 18; Luke 16:16; Gal. 3:10, 13, 18-25.

While it is specifically stated that both the Law and the Prophets were fulfilled, abolished, completed their main objective in guiding people to Christ, in no place is it stated the Psalms, the third division, of the Old Testament had fulfilled its purpose, was to last only until Christ, or had been abolished. Rather and instead, the apostles in teaching the doctrines of Christ commanded and admonished New Testament Christians to teach and admonish one another in psalms (evidently the inspired Psalms), – Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16.

Paul commended the members of the church at Corinth for each having a psalm when they came together to worship – I Cor. 14:26. In rightly dividing the Bible and learning what divisions of the Bible present an harmonious view of what and how God wants men to work today, there is wisdom. It is the Psalms that specifically authorize all men to praise God in connection with the use of musical instruments in worship the New Testament endorses and admonishes this.

Three things are called to the reader’s attention and should be remembered in rightly dividing the Bible:

1.The Bible is one harmonious whole, without any discordant note or contradiction, between the two grand divisions, the Old and the New Testaments.

2.The Old Testament is to be studied under the three specific divisions our Lord recognized:

1.Law,
2.Prophets, and,
3.Psalms.

3.The New Teatment’s contents fall logically into three divisions:

1. the historical,
2.doctrinal, and
3.prophetic books.

Let it be remembered that the Bible specifically states that the Law and the Prophets, were till John or Christ, but in no instance is such said of the Psalms. Rather and instead the New Testament authorizes that they be taught and men admonished in them in this age. These are the general divisions of the Bible, rightly divided, that enable men to teach and preach and testify in a way that they need “not to be ashamed” – II Tim. 2:15.

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ECCLESIOLOGY (Study of the Church) Lesson 2


LESSON 2
THE MEANING OF ECCLESIA

I.DEFINITION OF TERMS.
A.As previously stated, most scholars agree that the English word “church” comes from a Greek word (kuriakos) which means “the Lord’s” and joined with day (hemera) or supper (deipnon) describe exactly what is refered to as being the Lord’s.
B.When the Greek kuriakos (church) is used to replace ecclesia (assembly), it is used to define what assembly. It is not simply any assembly, It is the LORD’S.
C.I. K. Cross says, “In Acts 19:39-41 the term is used twice. Once to refer to the ‘lawful assembly’ which was called out of the citizens of Ephesus to handle legal matters in the city. The other to refer to the assembly that had been called together to run Paul and his companions out of town. In either case the assembly, or ecclesia (for this is the word used here), was a called out group, called together for a specific purpose, and local in nature. This was the common usage of the term and always the proper definition of an ecclesia. THIS IS WHAT OUR LORD SAID HE WOULD BE BUILDING.”
D.Cross continues, “If Jesus Christ had intended to build another kind of company there were other words in the language He could have used. He could have used the word ‘Synagoga,” a term without such limitations and yet designating an assembly. It would certainly have been more fitting for a ‘universal company.’ He could have also used the word ‘panagris’ if he had a solemn assembly in mind of a massive and festal nature. But these were rejected in favor of the most limiting term in the Greek language with reference to an assembly; a term that can only be properly interpreted as an assembly local in nature” (Ibid).
E.Cross in another place says, “The word ‘ecclesia’ is more than a mere assembly. The word is really a compounding of two words. ‘Kaleo,’ to call; and ‘ek,’ meaning out, or literally ‘to call out.’ Thus, an ‘ekklesia’ is a Called out assembly, implying some conditions. The Lord did not call all Christians in the area that cared to assemble into His ‘ekklesia,’ but he was very selective about it in Matthew 4:17-22; Matthew 9:9; John 1:43,44 and on until he had 120 in that assembly by the time he went back to the Father. I Cor. 12:28 says that ‘God hath set some in the church (ekklesia)…,’ not all. The same passage states that He set the apostles in the ‘ekklesia,’ and on the occasion when the apostles were chosen there was quite a congregation of disciples present of whom he chose the apostles – and Paul says the apostles, not the crowd, were set in the ‘ekklesia’” (Landmarkism on Trial, Cross, p. 7).
F.Overby concurs, “To change the meaning of a word you must have good evidence that the speaker or writer of that word intended it that way. A basic principle that all scholars recognize is that a word must retain its usual meaning as long as the word used makes good sense that way. Only when it will not make good sense are we allowed to give it a new or rare meaning. If we apply this principle in this passage (Matthew 16:18), we will see that ‘assembly’ makes good sense so we cannot agree with those who would try to change the meaning here” (Brief History of the Baptists, Overbey, pp. 26,27).
G.Roy Mason asserts, …I submit the proposition that the church that Jesus founded was the local assembly, and that to use the word ecclesia to designate a ‘universal,’ or ‘invisible’ church is to pervert its meaning, and to fall into serious error” (The Church That Jesus Built, Mason, p. 26).
H.Mason also says, “The word ecclesia rendered ‘church’ in English translations, was not a new word coined by Jesus, but a word already in current use at that time and moreover a word the meaning of which had become definitely fixed and established” (Ibid, p. 27).
I.A. C. Dayton said, “The Greek ‘ekklesia’ consisted of certain individuals who, when assembled and organized, constituted an official body for the transaction of such business as might come before them. It was not merely an assembly, but an official assembly, consisting of persons specifically qualified, and who had each his specific rights and duties as a member of the ekklesia. It was not every resident in the city who was, strictly speaking, a citizen; nor was it every citizen who was a member of the ekklesia to which was intrusted the management of public business; but the ekklesia were called out from the mass… Every assembly was not an ekklesia, nor was every ekklesia an ekklesia of Christ” (Theodosia Earnest, pp. 72, 73).
J.Again, “The Greek ‘ekklesia’ was an assembly of called and qualified citizens, invested with certain rights, and registered in the city records” (Ibid, p. 129).

II.IMPROPER MEANINGS ATTACHED TO ECCLESIA.
A.The worship service (in contrast to Sunday School).
B.The clerical profession (so used in most modern terminology).
C.Building in which Christian assemblies meet:
1.Dayton says, “…history informs us that the Chrisitans had no such buildings (church-houses) for some two hundred years after this, (the time of the apostles), but continued to meet from house to house, or in the Jewish synagogues, or wherever they might. And the word (ekklesia) is never used in the New Testament, or any other Greek book written before or during the time of the apostles, to signify a house or building” (Ibid, p. 81).
2.This usage, so common even among those who know the truth, has come about by an original misconception of the word ekklesia.
D.All of One denomination:
1.That each denomination is a “branch” off the one big church.
2.Thus, the “Methodist Church,” the “Presbyterian Church,” etcl
E.Historical sense – the whole field of ecclestiastical activity in history since the days of Jesus here on earth – “the church in history.”
F.Modal sense:
1.Terms like “a scriptural church” “church of the N.T.,” etc.
2.These terms are not unscriptural as far as teaching, but the terms themselves are found nowhere in the Bible.
G.Universal, invisible sense:
1.That all the saved are in the mystical body, the church.
2.This theory is dealt with thoroughly in a further lesson.
H.From the modern usage of “church” one can easily see that the vast majority of those who use the word are totally ignorant of the Greek ekklesia.

III.QUOTES FROM RECOGNIZED SCHOLARS.
A.Liddell and Scott (Lexicon) – “An assembly of people called together; an assembly called out.”
B.Dean Trench – “Ekklesia, as all know, was the lawful assembly in a free Greek city of all those possessed of the rights of citizenship, for the transaction of public affairs” (Synonyms of the N.T., p. 17).
C.Edward Robinson – “Ekklesia, a convocation, assembly, congregation. In the literal sense a popular, or rather assembly, composed of persons legally summoned” (Lexicon).

D.A. H. Strong – “Ekklesia signified merely an assembly, however gathered or summoned. The church was never so large that it could not assemble” (Systematic Theology).
E.Vincent – “Originally an assembly of citizens, regularly summoned” (Word Studies in the N.T.)
F.Thayer – “Take the entire range of Greek literature in all its dialects, secular and sacred, and there is not one passage in which ecclesia means an invisible and universal spiritual assembly” (Lexicon).
G.Alexander Campbell – “Ekklesia literally signifies an assembly called out from others and is used among the Greeks, particularly the Athenians, for their popular assemblies, summoned by their chief magistrates and in which none but citizens had a right to sit. By inherent power it may be applied to any body of men called out and assembled in one place. If it ever loses the idea of calling out and assembling, it loses its principal features and its primitive use” (Ekklesia – The Church. Ross, p. 7).LESSON 2
THE MEANING OF ECCLESIA

I.DEFINITION OF TERMS.
A.As previously stated, most scholars agree that the English word “church” comes from a Greek word (kuriakos) which means “the Lord’s” and joined with day (hemera) or supper (deipnon) describe exactly what is refered to as being the Lord’s.
B.When the Greek kuriakos (church) is used to replace ecclesia (assembly), it is used to define what assembly. It is not simply any assembly, It is the LORD’S.
C.I. K. Cross says, “In Acts 19:39-41 the term is used twice. Once to refer to the ‘lawful assembly’ which was called out of the citizens of Ephesus to handle legal matters in the city. The other to refer to the assembly that had been called together to run Paul and his companions out of town. In either case the assembly, or ecclesia (for this is the word used here), was a called out group, called together for a specific purpose, and local in nature. This was the common usage of the term and always the proper definition of an ecclesia. THIS IS WHAT OUR LORD SAID HE WOULD BE BUILDING.”
D.Cross continues, “If Jesus Christ had intended to build another kind of company there were other words in the language He could have used. He could have used the word ‘Synagoga,” a term without such limitations and yet designating an assembly. It would certainly have been more fitting for a ‘universal company.’ He could have also used the word ‘panagris’ if he had a solemn assembly in mind of a massive and festal nature. But these were rejected in favor of the most limiting term in the Greek language with reference to an assembly; a term that can only be properly interpreted as an assembly local in nature” (Ibid).
E.Cross in another place says, “The word ‘ecclesia’ is more than a mere assembly. The word is really a compounding of two words. ‘Kaleo,’ to call; and ‘ek,’ meaning out, or literally ‘to call out.’ Thus, an ‘ekklesia’ is a Called out assembly, implying some conditions. The Lord did not call all Christians in the area that cared to assemble into His ‘ekklesia,’ but he was very selective about it in Matthew 4:17-22; Matthew 9:9; John 1:43,44 and on until he had 120 in that assembly by the time he went back to the Father. I Cor. 12:28 says that ‘God hath set some in the church (ekklesia)…,’ not all. The same passage states that He set the apostles in the ‘ekklesia,’ and on the occasion when the apostles were chosen there was quite a congregation of disciples present of whom he chose the apostles – and Paul says the apostles, not the crowd, were set in the ‘ekklesia’” (Landmarkism on Trial, Cross, p. 7).
F.Overby concurs, “To change the meaning of a word you must have good evidence that the speaker or writer of that word intended it that way. A basic principle that all scholars recognize is that a word must retain its usual meaning as long as the word used makes good sense that way. Only when it will not make good sense are we allowed to give it a new or rare meaning. If we apply this principle in this passage (Matthew 16:18), we will see that ‘assembly’ makes good sense so we cannot agree with those who would try to change the meaning here” (Brief History of the Baptists, Overbey, pp. 26,27).
G.Roy Mason asserts, …I submit the proposition that the church that Jesus founded was the local assembly, and that to use the word ecclesia to designate a ‘universal,’ or ‘invisible’ church is to pervert its meaning, and to fall into serious error” (The Church That Jesus Built, Mason, p. 26).
H.Mason also says, “The word ecclesia rendered ‘church’ in English translations, was not a new word coined by Jesus, but a word already in current use at that time and moreover a word the meaning of which had become definitely fixed and established” (Ibid, p. 27).
I.A. C. Dayton said, “The Greek ‘ekklesia’ consisted of certain individuals who, when assembled and organized, constituted an official body for the transaction of such business as might come before them. It was not merely an assembly, but an official assembly, consisting of persons specifically qualified, and who had each his specific rights and duties as a member of the ekklesia. It was not every resident in the city who was, strictly speaking, a citizen; nor was it every citizen who was a member of the ekklesia to which was intrusted the management of public business; but the ekklesia were called out from the mass… Every assembly was not an ekklesia, nor was every ekklesia an ekklesia of Christ” (Theodosia Earnest, pp. 72, 73).
J.Again, “The Greek ‘ekklesia’ was an assembly of called and qualified citizens, invested with certain rights, and registered in the city records” (Ibid, p. 129).

II.IMPROPER MEANINGS ATTACHED TO ECCLESIA.
A.The worship service (in contrast to Sunday School).
B.The clerical profession (so used in most modern terminology).
C.Building in which Christian assemblies meet:
1.Dayton says, “…history informs us that the Chrisitans had no such buildings (church-houses) for some two hundred years after this, (the time of the apostles), but continued to meet from house to house, or in the Jewish synagogues, or wherever they might. And the word (ekklesia) is never used in the New Testament, or any other Greek book written before or during the time of the apostles, to signify a house or building” (Ibid, p. 81).
2.This usage, so common even among those who know the truth, has come about by an original misconception of the word ekklesia.
D.All of One denomination:
1.That each denomination is a “branch” off the one big church.
2.Thus, the “Methodist Church,” the “Presbyterian Church,” etcl
E.Historical sense – the whole field of ecclestiastical activity in history since the days of Jesus here on earth – “the church in history.”
F.Modal sense:
1.Terms like “a scriptural church” “church of the N.T.,” etc.
2.These terms are not unscriptural as far as teaching, but the terms themselves are found nowhere in the Bible.
G.Universal, invisible sense:
1.That all the saved are in the mystical body, the church.
2.This theory is dealt with thoroughly in a further lesson.
H.From the modern usage of “church” one can easily see that the vast majority of those who use the word are totally ignorant of the Greek ekklesia.

III.QUOTES FROM RECOGNIZED SCHOLARS.
A.Liddell and Scott (Lexicon) – “An assembly of people called together; an assembly called out.”
B.Dean Trench – “Ekklesia, as all know, was the lawful assembly in a free Greek city of all those possessed of the rights of citizenship, for the transaction of public affairs” (Synonyms of the N.T., p. 17).
C.Edward Robinson – “Ekklesia, a convocation, assembly, congregation. In the literal sense a popular, or rather assembly, composed of persons legally summoned” (Lexicon).

D.A. H. Strong – “Ekklesia signified merely an assembly, however gathered or summoned. The church was never so large that it could not assemble” (Systematic Theology).
E.Vincent – “Originally an assembly of citizens, regularly summoned” (Word Studies in the N.T.)
F.Thayer – “Take the entire range of Greek literature in all its dialects, secular and sacred, and there is not one passage in which ecclesia means an invisible and universal spiritual assembly” (Lexicon).
G.Alexander Campbell – “Ekklesia literally signifies an assembly called out from others and is used among the Greeks, particularly the Athenians, for their popular assemblies, summoned by their chief magistrates and in which none but citizens had a right to sit. By inherent power it may be applied to any body of men called out and assembled in one place. If it ever loses the idea of calling out and assembling, it loses its principal features and its primitive use” (Ekklesia – The Church. Ross, p. 7).

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ECCLESIOLOGY (A Study Of The Church)


LESSON 1.
THE ENGLISH WORD “CHURCH”

I.THE WORD DEFINED.
A.Overbey says, “According to most scholars the word church comes from a Greek word meaning ‘the Lord’s’ with the word house usually understood.” (The Meaning of Ecclesia in the N.T.. – Overbey, p. 7)
B.The Greek “kuriakos”:
1.Easton’s Bible dictionary says, “Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., “the Lord’s house), which was used by ancient authors for the place of worship. In the New Testament is is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew kahal of the Old Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly, the character of which can only be known from the connection in which the word is found. There is no clear instance of its being used for a place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times it early received this meaning. Nor is this word ever used to denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same profession, as when we say the “Church of England,” the “Church of Scotland,” etc.
2.Smith’s Bible Dictionary says,
a.The derivation of the word is generally said to be from the Greek kuriakon, “belonging to the Lord”. But the derivation has been too hastily assumed. It is probably connected with kirk,the Latin circus, circulus, the Greek kuklos, (kuklos), because the congregations were gathered in circles.
b.Ecclesia, the Greek word for church, originally meant an assembly called out by the magistrate, or by legitimate authority. It was, in this last sense, that the word was adapted and applied by the writers of the New Testament to the Christian congreagation.
3.Kuriakos used in the New Testament.
a.Revelation 1:10, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day (kuriake hemera), and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.”
b.I Corinthians 11:20, “When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper (kuriakon deipnon).”

II.SUGGESTED READING.
A.Ecclesia – the Church – B. H. Carrol
B.Ekklesia – the Church – Bob L. Ross
C.Theodosia Earnest, Bol. II – A. C. Dayton

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Forth of July and Christmas


“Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Saviour of the world,
your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this
day the Fourth of July? Is it not that, in the chain of
human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly
linked with the birthday of the Saviour? That it forms a
leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation?
Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first
organized the social compact on the foundation of  the
Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone
of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?”
John Quincy Adams, when he
delivered a Forth of July
speech at Newburyport
Massachusetts.

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CHRISTIAN RULERS


“Providence has given to our people the choice
of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well
as the privilege and interest of our Christian
nation to select and prefer Christians for
their rulers.” – John Jay

This flies in the face of so many today that believe it might be economy or social issues
where we need to make decisions. There are those “Christians” that see a label
of religion and decisions are made upon the label. The true test for one that
claims to be a child of God and faithful to the word is their stand on
abortion and homosexuality. These are very well covered in the
Word of God. Why not base our decisions upon these to
doctrines as stated by the Word of God.
It is a better measurement of
the relationship one has
with God than most
any other except,
Is Christ your
personal
Saviour.

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JOHN JAY QUOTE


“By conveying the Bible to people thus circumstanced, we certainly do them a most interesting kindness. We thereby enable them to learn that man was originally created and placed in a state of happiness, but, becoming disobedient, was subjected to the degradation and evils which he and his posterity have since experienced.” John Jay – First Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court and President of the American Bible Society.

This is a very interesting quotation from a well educated lawyer that became Supreme Court Justice. Those that try to demean  those that believe in God and that God is a crutch must include in the vast ranks of the unwashed, illiterate and unworthy people, those that had great responsiblilty. I love the company I keep and do believe it rather reflects on the intelligence of those that making little of believers.Technorati Tags: , , , ,

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WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT THE CHURCH – THE VERY BEGINNING


THE BEGINNING

Today there is a lot of misconceptions about the Church. Because of this we will begin before the beginning of the Church. There is a prophecy that was fulfilled that one would come and prepare the way for another.

THE PROPHECY
Isaiah 40:3-4

“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. 4. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made ow: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:”

An explanation of this verse will help us to see what this prophecy means in the New Testament. Prepare ye the way. This is a picture of a king that will be travelling among the countryside in his domain. There would be those that would herald the coming of the king and preparation would be made for his travel. My dad used the terminology – this road is crooked as a dogs hind leg. Roads would be straightened as much as possible, valleys filled in or bridges built, mountains reduced in size where the road went and pot holes filled. The purpose was to make the travel a little easier for the king. As the king travelled a herald would precede the king announcing, “the king is coming, the king is coming.”

We need to see the application of this principle in fulfilled scripture. Matthew 3:1-3 gives this picture to us – “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3. 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.

Matthew makes the statement that John the Baptist is the fulfilment of this prophecy. We then have in John 1:23 John the Baptist statement about himself. “He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.”  Here we see that John the Baptist is the herald for the Saviour that was to come. John the Baptist had a very specific message. Matthew 3:2 – “And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Notice the response to this message in Matthew 3:5 – “Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6. And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. Now what was John the Baptist doing? Preparing the way for Jesus.

How is this preparing the way for the Lord?  John chapter 1 explains a lot that was prophesied. Verse 15 records John the Baptist witness of the Word that was made flesh – “…This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. Verse 29, John utters those immortal words “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John stands with two of his disciples saw Jesus and made the claim – Behold the Lamb of God! These two disciples them followed Jesus. As we read further we find Jesus calling Philip and Nathanael to follow him. Matthew 4:18-22. This is the passage where Jesus walks the seashore of Galilee and calls his disciples to follow him. Verse 19 contains the words that every child knows – Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Their response contained in the next verse – “And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

Let us now examine the purpose of John the Baptist as he came to prepare the way for the saviour. 1. He preached repentance in the wilderness. 2 When a person repented, John the Baptist baptised them. 3. He preached and extolled the superiority of Christ. Now Jesus has come and preparation has been made for his coming. There are saved and baptised believers that are ready to be put into the church. Jesus walked the seashores of Galilee and called out his church that had already been prepared.

God made great provision for his Son to come and give his life for the lost and also to give his life for his church.

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