Jan. 10, 2010
Baptism of the Lord
Luke 3:15-17
The newspaper is filled with want ads. There are want ads for jobs, used cars, new cars, tractors, boats, airplanes, toys and more. However, I’ve never seen an ad for “a righteous voice.” Maybe there ought to be because righteousness seems to be in short supply today, just like it was in John the Baptist’s day.

Many voices spoke out luring people into sinful practices and habits. The same applies today. The voices come whispering in the night and blare out in the day
that sin is OK and that God understands our weakness and never would judge or punish us.

The Scriptures reveal that during the days of John the Baptist, neither the secular nor religious voices called for a moving away from evil practices of the day. The truth was that one could not tell the difference between the secular and religious voices in their unholy formations. God brought a clear voice from the rubble of the day. John’s voice called for truth, righteousness and an end to evil in the lives of the people.

His voice brought a needed message to a world destitute and lacking holiness. He paved the way for the One who could bring that hope—Jesus!

I. His Voice Brought a Message of Truth for the Day
John Stott wrote in his comments on the Epistles of John: “To walk in the truth is more than to give assent to it. It means to apply to one’s behavior. He who ‘walks the in the truth’ is an integrated Christian in whom there is no dichotomy between profession and practice. On the contrary, there is in him an exact correspondence between his creed and his conduct…to him truth mattered.”

As I read about the great men and women of righteous in history, truth has always mattered. Truth helps us in so many ways:
• To discern God’s purpose;
• To discern God’s action;
• To discern God’s judgment; and
• To discern God’s grace.

II. His Voice Brought a Message of Hope for the Day
John’s message brought hope to people in need. He preached to a smattering of professionals, but predominantly to those who were economically in need. His
message was not about economics but about spirituality! People needed a message of spiritual hope more than a message on finances!

What people needed in John’s day is what we still need. Dwight L. Moody once said, “A man filled with the Spirit of God will be very hopeful. He will be looking out into the future and knows that it is bright because the God of all grace is able to do great things.”

From where does your hope come?

III. His Voice Brought a Message of Salvation
This great message of hope brings awareness of our need of a Savior. It convicts us to the point of repentance and gives us forgiveness. John introduces his audience to the only One who could transform their lives: “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Luke 3:16). That was Jesus!

Blaise Pascal, physicist, mathematician, and religious philosopher said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.”

Today, Christ wants to come into your heart and fill it completely full of God!

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