Positive Impact

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar……. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,  ……… words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord;……And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”  Luke 3:1-6

Introduction

It is imperative for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness which constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know that elects are to herald the imminent coming of the King. The King of course, is Jesus Christ.  When Jesus was born, the angels came and trumpeted His birth and gave Him a kingly welcome.

In Luke 3:1-6, the herald ‘the one who will announce Jesus’ coming is John the Baptist. John has come as a herald to make sure that the King’s subjects are well prepared for the King’s coming. John prepares the way by preaching baptism and repentance to invoke positive impact on those who were  under the bondage of sin. The Scripture provides a very detailed timeframe, about who God uses and why sinners must repent before accepting the Savior.

God’s Time For Positive Impact  Lk 3:1-2a
Through this passage, we know exactly when this event took place. Luke, the author included several names to set the date for us and to show how far Israel had fallen away from God. Politically, the Jews were ruled by foreigners and religiously, Ananias and Caiaphas had been illegally put into their position by the Roman authorities. The Roman officials constantly use their power to line their own pockets and increase their own authority. The situation is a clear reference to the prophecy in Gen 49 that the scepter has departed from Judah because of the moral decadence of the people. The political and religious condition caused the Messiah to be revealed. Likewise, the world is fallen and utterly corrupted these days. It is imminent for the Messiah to be revealed in our time and the elects are chosen to call the people back to God like how John the Baptist impacted the people in his days.

God’s Servant For Positive Impact  Lk 3:2b
God can only use the elects who are born of the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that comprises Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection. At the end of Luke 3:2, with distinctively OT terminology, elects are introduced to the last of the OT prophet. We read there that the Word of God came to John the Baptist, the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.  Zacharias was told by the angel that his son, John would be a prophet in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.  Lk 1:17  Now, 30 years later, this promise comes to pass, John is living in the wilderness and the Word of the Lord comes to him. Though, we have earlier read in Lk 3:1-2a of one emperor, one governor, three tetrarchs, 2 religious high priests and many prominent and prestigious people in the world, the Word of God does not come to them. It comes to a relatively unknown man living in the wilderness. Do not feel that we have to be somebody well known and of good influence to be used by God. God uses us, not the most prominent or popular. Just walk habitually with God by contending for the precious faith in the righteousness of God and God will use us. That is what we see here with John.  He was in the wilderness and the Word of God came to him.  John received the Word of God because of two things. In Luke 1:80 we read, “so the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.” First it says, John grew and became strong in spirit. If we want to become strong in the spirit, we simply need to become strong in the Word. Elects need to chew, meditate and practise the Word of God to become spiritually strong.  Secondly, he lived in the desert. This shows us that John lived a life separate from the world. Being separate from the world means we choose not to participate in worldly things or habits. Instead, we decide to fill our lives with things that matter to God’s Kingdom. To live life separate from the world is to be a light in the darkness for people to seek out.

God’s Preparation For Positive Impact  Lk 3:3-6
Lk 3:4-6 is a quotation from Isaiah 40. We learn from these verses that John is the herald for the Messiah. What herald would declare is exactly what John declares here about the Messiah. It is prophesied that John will tell the people to make the paths straight and the rough ways smooth. To fill the valleys and bring every mountain low. Notice this prophecy from Isaiah even mentions that the herald would come from the wilderness, just as was true of John. John was in the region of the Jordan River also point to him being the Prophet Elijah who spent his last days there. 2 Kings 2:1-13   John was to come in the spirit and power of Elijah to herald the way for a King.  It says in Lk 3:4, that this King will be LORD. John was announcing the salvation of God that would be for all flesh, in other words, salvation made available for all people. John the Baptist was teaching them that in order to get saved they must repent and be baptized. In fact, John is preparing the way for the Messiah Who will fulfill all righteousness with him when he lays and baptizes Jesus Who will carry the sins of the world and die on the cross for all men.

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