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Scripture Reading: Luke 1:76-80
John's Call of Faith
1. Few were ever prophesied of more than John:
a. Voice crying in the wilderness, Isa. 40:2-3 (Mk. 1:2-3).
b. The Lord’s messenger to prepare His way, Mal. 3:1 (Matt. 11:10).
c. “Elijah” who was to come, Mal. 4:5-6 (Matt. 17:10-13).
2. Although predicted, his life was not forced upon him. John’s life was a life of faith. He chose to be a just and holy man, Mk. 6:20.
3. His call to repentance challenged his hearers (Israel) with a call of faith:
a. John preached to give knowledge of salvation, Lk. 1:76-77 (“voice crying in the wilderness”, Isa. 40:3).
b. That all might believe on Jesus, Jno. 1:6-9 (Acts 19:4).
4. The gospel of Christ is a call of faith, Rom. 10:8, 11-17.
5. Learn lessons from John about the call of faith that help our faith.
I. THE CALL OF FAITH TURNS HEARTS BACK TO GOD'S WORD AND WAYS, Lk. 1:16-17.
A. John Used God's Word to Call People to Repentance and Faith, Lk. 3:2.
-God's word turns hearts to lives of justice, righteousness and faith (1:17).
B. Knowledge of Salvation is from God's Word, Lk. 1:77.
1. Must appeal to it to bring people back to God, Rom. 10:17.
2. Not creeds, policy statements, position papers, etc.
II. THE CALL OF FAITH DEMANDS FULL REPENTANCE OF SINS, Lk. 3:8-14.
A. The Persuasion to Repent:
1. In view of the kingdom (blessings), Matt. 3:2; cf. Eph. 1:3.
2. In view of God's judgment (curse), Matt. 3:7-8, 10-12.
3. In view of the nature of God Matt. 3:9.
4. Our repentance motivated by same things, Acts 17:29-31.
B. The Extent of Repentance Must Be Complete.
1. Preached an active repentance, Lk. 3:10-14.
2. Repentance based on God's law, Mk. 6:17-18.
3. Our repentance must be of the same nature, Acts 26:20.
4. Genuine repentance removes the sin, it does not attempt to redefine the sin, 2 Cor. 7:11.
III. THE CALL OF FAITH DEMANDS SUBMISSION TO CHRIST.
A. John's Message Continually Pointed to the Christ and Honored Him, Jno. 1:29-34.
1. Honored Jesus as Lamb of God (sacrifice); as Son of God (deity).
2. John never sought personal honor and promotion, (Matt. 3:4; Jno. 1:19-23).
3. Preachers and brethren today who are notable because of their PhDs, D.D.s, etc.! cf. 1 Cor. 2:2
4. The gospel call of faith focuses on Christ (we are debtors), Rom. 1:14; 1 Cor. 9:16.
B. John Showed His Honor for Christ by Submitting to Him.
1. By yielding immediately and completely to the word of Jesus, Matt. 3:13-15.
2. By fulfilling his work and rejoicing over Jesus' success, Jno. 3:26-30.
3. By refusing to deny the truth, Mk. 6:17-20.
4. We must yield immediately and completely to the words of Jesus and be an asset to His work – not fight against it! Col. 3:16
5. You will honor Christ by obeying Him, Lk. 6:46.
1. John is highly honored by Jesus as the forerunner and herald of Christ, Matt. 11:7-11a.
2. His call of repentance was a call of faith, Lk. 7:29.
3. God is calling you to respond to the call of faith, Matt. 11:28-30.
4. If you humbly submit yourself to enter the kingdom of Christ (through faith, confession of faith, repentance and baptism into Christ for salvation) you will surpass John in the blessings you receive! Matt. 11:11b