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Evidence of Repentance

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2021 12:00 am

Evidence of Repentance

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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May 31, 2021 12:00 am

As John the Baptist begins to share his message with the world, he gives the way of salvation to many different groups of people. In the process, he gives us the keys to demonstrating a life of genuine repentance and helps us see what living a life to glorify God looks like.

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John's role here in a clear way of spiritual debris to address what were essentially moral roadblocks lead people into genuine repentance as they prepared their lives for the Messiah. So here's the prophetic imagery bill the roadway to clear the roadways of the Messiah directly into the hearts fascinating character in the New Testament named John the Baptist he was a prophet and a forerunner of Jesus began a preaching ministry prior to Jesus public ministry.

When John the Baptist began to share his message with the world. He taught the way of salvation to many different groups of people as he did that. He also gave us the keys to demonstrating a life of genuine penitence.

John helps us see what living a life to glorify God, looks like does your life lineup will explore this today.

This is wisdom for the heart, and Stephen Devi has a message for you called evidence of repentance couldn't help but think, without any doubt, the greatest obstacle to genuine repentance, self-confidence, self enamored self defending self-justifying hearts like yours and mine. We can justify anything we can defend anything that happens to be the perfect description for a world in need of the Savior world in need of dropping the defenses and coming clean God this is the audience to whom a prophet by the name of John is going to preach the he shows up on the world when he is wearing his camel hair cloak and leather belt legacy you the locusts and honey embedded in his beard he would be quite the site we find is ministry prophesied by Isaiah, go to where that's repeated in Luke's gospel were now in chapter 3 were left off with verse four.

This is where his job description is laid out for us as the advance man, the forerunner of the Messiah notice when Luke writes, he's simply quoting Isaiah verse four as it is written in the book the words of Isaiah the prophet, the voice of one crying in the wilderness. This is John's voice fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy. What you say prepare the way of the Lord make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled in every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight and the rough places shall become level ways and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

John is is this messenger is this Harold, which would've been understood in this generation that Harold would would go ahead of a royal procession to make sure the roads were clear. There were no obstacles in the way of keying would be soon arriving, spiritually speaking and applied in this manner, Israel was living in a wilderness of religion and rules they frankly had there not books all filled out. They were living hypocritical lives and they were never missing a service in the synagogue is John's role here to clear the roadway of spiritual debris to address what were essentially moral roadblocks in the lead people into genuine repentance as they prepare their lives for the Messiah. So here's the here's the prophetic imagery bill. The roadways you to build ways to clear the roadway said that the key Messiah can ride directly into the hearts and people and that's can involve a lot of work to get that red ready repentance in this message is as you can imagine creating a sensation stir among the people is been 400 years without a prophet, that one does not look like this. Preaching this kind of message and so they all it'll come out to see in verse seven. If you notice great crowds come out to show their interest in in in John sort a look at it is a spectacle. This is better than the state fair. Can you imagine how any any preacher any evangelist today following charms method here comes this massive crowd, and John begins his sermon here in verse seven, you brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come as a reference sermon open you bunch of snakes. What are you doing slithering out here to hear me now in Matthew's gospel which is the parallel account of this passage here were told John specifically looked at the religious leaders when he said the Pharisees said what John does here is call them vipers. Now it's actually more offensive than you might think is not a pejorative statement you bunch of snakes which I teased. He's actually using the phrase in the Old Testament there were first of those who are the enemies of God for listings are called vipers same friend.

The Egyptians that enslave the Israelites were called vipers during my 46 and Isaiah 14. So what he's doing is instead of calling them what they thought they were sons of Abraham and say he's not saying anything exactly what the people of God, you are actually at war with you are you are you guys are no better than the Philistine and the Egyptians, and like snakes, then the imagery comes out of the fact that if there's a brush fire that come up out of the halls and then they slither away from the fires that are coming.

So in other words, your your dad, you hear something about fire you want to play with matches but you don't want to get burned. So now you come out to me you just want to cover your bases so he just cuts right to like one author who wrote this when I served in the military I had an army buddy who wore around his neck. Three different metals a Catholic saints metal Protestant cross and a Jewish star David.

When I asked him about it he said I'm not taking any chances he said… Bases covered 11 repentance doesn't try to cover all the bases, repentance and mix it before God, there is nothing that Jesus is going to preach a little later on in Luke chapter 12 of the final judgment of all of the unbelieving world is in say this, there is nothing covered up. That will not be revealed. There is nothing hidden that will not be made known.

Repentance then takes the cover off your sin, instead of trying to pull all of… Loki I got 13 perches that you will notice this, then you will see that repentance is still open before the eyes of God go back to what John says in verse seven, you brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come. Bear fruits in keeping with repentance the Lord to be really are people who want to belong to God, then you really gonna want to live as God would want you to live if you truly repented, but show some evidence is of repentance noticed further in verse verse eight bear fruit in keeping with repentance and do not begin to say to yourselves, we have Abraham as our father for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham you think. Especially her son. Abraham.these rocks improvement. One of the children even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees of other words that Orchard developer already has the actual ready this tree dead, the need to take any space. Therefore, because it doesn't bear good fruit. You will be cut down and thrown into the fire. The imagery of fire is a reference to the coming judgment and eternal hellfire for those who will not repent. Don't misunderstand, he's not saying you can avoid hell by doing good works.

John is not saying that salvation is by faith plus good works, what he's stressing here as other passages do in the New Testament is that salvation is by faith proof in by good works now need to understand the religious leaders are actually teaching the nation Israel that they don't need faith and they don't even need good works. All they need to be as related to the bloodline of Abraham appear related to the bloodline of Abraham.

You may think God need to update God look like you want to live you're a member of the Jewish nation you don't even need to keep a notebook. They were being taught that anybody who was a descendent of Abraham was safe from judgment and notice what John says. Did you notice do not begin to say to yourselves, somebody literally don't even let that thought? His mind reminded me. My mother gonna let that thought cross your mind, don't even think what he say don't say, well, Abraham is my father, my friend, you do not get into the family of God by your bloodline you get in by following the word of God which is going to be revealed ultimately in the Messiah of God and his blood shed for you.

You don't inherit eternal life, and your parents made it clear this dedication earlier. You don't inherit from your grandparents. I don't know how many people have said and I got a brother is a preacher that can actually be a bad thing.

We just don't know where I got a grandfather or we go to church. You don't inherit eternal life.

From family you inherited by grace through faith.

Jesus now. No doubt this message from John is highly offensive to the nation Israel just as offensive as it would be to our country today any culture at any time she John is placing the Jewish people in particular on the same level as the Gentile people is essentially called the Philistine and Egyptians. We we can imagine the explosion. His words created here. People who for the most part it come out to John, thinking that they were okay but maybe we better add what John is saying poor little bag of tricks to cover our bases. Now some of them are ready to listen. After that kind of sermon open and will summarize as far as the response of three groups of people freedom very quickly first group is this crown diverse 10. The crowd asked him.

Members within this crap.

What shall we do, and he answered them.

Whoever has two tunics is to share with him was not an whoever has food is to do likewise. Now you might think this is no big deal. Give your tunic literally your T-shirt the original Greek word they would wear underneath their garment, both men and women give money or T-shirts away when the proud.

I got 12 they might have just one it beyond that to give one of them away and he also asked share your food refrigerator so effectively what he saying to do is bring somebody home for supper tonight eat the food you have and share start sharing what you have and what we need to understand what I love about John's completely surprising answer is it's entirely different than what you would expect a prophet to tell people to do to evidence repentance, you would say that they would say well you need to do something penitential you know something like walk somewhere for a mile on your knees you make make it hurt you to suffer. Or maybe would tell them to do something ecclesiastical you like the synagogue sign up, make sure you never miss another service set or maybe something devotional like you need start memorizing the Torah or start praying for the Saul do that darling friends or maybe something educational or medical school become a prophet like me got really be impressed with that none of that. It is penitential ecclesiastical devotional is an anything educational. It is entirely ethical. Change the way your living for yourself. Start sharing your stuff with others. Now to the next.

John tells them to stop stealing verse 12 tax collectors also can be baptized and set teacher, what shall we do, and he said to them, collect no more than you are authorized to do and we could spend a lot of time on the system in place are surrounding collecting taxes will probably do a little bit with it. When Jesus calls Matthew the tax collector, but for now I only say this, the Roman Empire and set up a system of taxation call tax farming. They literally farmed it out the different layers and levels in their culture they gave the right to collect taxes to wealthy Roman families and they were either able to pay the fees or bribe officials for the privilege of owning a franchise and it was lucrative and what they would do is hire these tax collectors would be out in the field which would've been Matthew was their role collect them from the citizens of what they would do is they went at the tax realm required by giving his bosses a cut and they went out on top of that, their own cottonseed skim off for themselves and they were all becoming wealthy in the process, as will see later in this gospel account with Zaki that this is a legitimate occupation, but it had been thoroughly corrupted by greed that Lucia is a writer who wrote about 100 years after Luke wrote this gospel said that the worst of society were composed of informers, adulterers's and tax collector. They were among the most despised people group on the planet. So here they are there asking what we do it again. This is surprising price to me. John doesn't tell quit your job and become a tax auditor that fiction you stop collecting taxes or or take 10% of what you're skimming off the top and give it to the charity in your region know he saying keep your job, but from now bring God to work with you like your honesty and your integrity become known in the way you collect taxes now is 1/3 group.

These are the soldiers there told to stop something and start something first told to stop abusing people with their power. Verse 14 soldiers also asked and we, what shall we do, and he said to them, do not extort money from anyone by threat or by false accusations. These are essentially military police they work for Rome there sign to keep the Jewish people in line and you notice he says here do not extort money from anyone by threat that work threat, literally translated would be by shaking violently, we get our expression of the day shaking somebody down same idea you want to get money from him. Well, you're getting shaken down threat. A push him around. You might even be them unless they pay you for protection they had essentially created a Mafia in Jerusalem added that as the comet did notice extorting money by making false accusations to make a false arrest to come up with something. Maybe a little of drugs in the salad. I don't in their locker.

Whatever negatives will look at your if you don't pay as anybody would have to fill out this report written attorney when you're going to jail at this affected soldiers in the first century have the right to demand room and board. Wherever they wanted. They could knock on your front door to move in and take over your master suite. You gotta feed and take care of and if you mess with them there to make your life absolutely miserable job cuts right to the heart right to the motive right to the practice of these men anything bad guys… These rough back home more intimidating soldiers in the any points or prophetic finger in their face and he says you stop pushing people around start their lives, they change everything see in these days a is telling them to be kind to people to to be gracious, kind soldier in these days would be as impossible to imagine as an honest tax collector. Those words never went together, kind soldier, honest tax season long before their world, their nation, their city is revolutionized by people 10 of my said, I really did believe in is it ever going to be belongs to God. John adhere at least briefly mentioning yes essentially be soldier will pull this off with a gingerbread picture. Verse 14 the latter part and be content with your wages be satisfied with your salary. All these evidences of repentance would apply to everyone the crowd. Tax collectors, soldiers start sharing stop stealing stop pushing people around. Start being content with what God is providing repentance and becomes godliness in every day living spring it on your own life as we wrap John's verdict apply to us today told the crowd to start sharing. I wonder if it somebody looked at your bank balance your monthly expenditures your credit card report they uncover any kind of priority for God for people to give anything away. Are you generous stingy tax collectors well but I'm not one of those you're thinking well if someone secretly watched you in the workplace and listen to your personal interactions with would they walk away convinced of your honesty and integrity. What's on your tax return what's on your computer. No one's looking for your smart what's that fine print in that contractor getting that got excited as he signed kind of smiling, what about the soldiers really do love somebody observed her treatment of others, with the be struck by grace, kindness. If I can summarize this paragraph with just one question. It would be this if you were taken to court and accused of being a Christian with there be enough evidence to convict. How long would it take something that seems to indicate they live for God. They belong the character the prophet John preach to you today. What would your response be call repentance where we stand. You could be a thousand other things that I haven't even mentioned that Mike come to your mind and heart. If the prophet John preached to you today to say to John preached is all I can explain concepts so we where you stand as you listen to this message you've been confronted with this question. If the prophet John were to preach personally to you today. What would your response be to his call to repentance.

This is wisdom for the heart.

Stephen Davey is passionate about helping you understand God's word and teaching you how to apply that truth to your life. I hope you'll take advantage of all the Bible-based resources we have available to help you grow closer to God and walk faithfully with him if you visit our website wisdom you'll find the entire wisdom for the hard teaching archive.

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