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Born to Baptize

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Analyzing the history, Theology, prophecy and ministry of John the Baptizer.

Text: Luke 3:1-6
Date: 07/04/2021, the Combined service.
Series: "Luke: Thy Kingdom Come" Part 26

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As Luke turns the page from the early life of Christ to the beginning of His ministry, he focuses first on the herald sent to announce His coming-- John the Baptist. We will study his twofold function: to introduce Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, and to prepare people's hearts for the coming of their Redeemer. Luke the historian will first ground us in the history of the times, and then anchor us in Old Testament prophecy concerning both John and Jesus. After establishing the importance of Luke's historical approach, we will analyze John's baptism and what makes it distinct from Christian baptism. But ultimately we will find how crucial the imagery of John's message of repentance is to the redemption process, and thereby understand the vital importance to us today of the fact that John was born to baptize.

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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, Luke 3:1-6.
A. Context
B. The historical setting of Jesus' ministry, vs. 1-2a.
1. The importance of history.
a. The "de-historicizing" of Christianity.
b. A devastating impact.
c. The importance of Luke's historical writings.
2. The historical setting, vs. 1.
a. Setting the date, vs. 1a, Luke 3:23.
b. The rulers of the region, vs. 1b.
i. The governor of Judea, John 18:38.
ii. Herod Antipas.
iii. Herod Philip.
iv. Lysanias
3. The religious setting, vs. 2a.
a. Annas
b. Caiaphas
4. The evil nature of the times, Matt. 4:15-16.
C. Introducing the ministry of John the Baptist, vs. 2b-6.
1. The last Old Testament Prophet, vs. 2b, Jer. 1:1-2.
2. A voice in the wilderness, vs. 2c-3a.
a. The location of John's abode.
b. The reasons for John's abode.
i. A place of spiritual cleansing.
ii. Allusions to Elijah the prophet, 1Kings 19:4, 2Kings 1:8, Matt. 11:11-15.
iii. The fulfillment of prophecy.
3. A message of repentance, vs. 3b.
a. Jewish proselyte baptism.
b. The baptism of John, Mal. 4:5-6.
c. Christian baptism.
4. The fulfillment of prophecy, vs. 4-6.
a. The return of the exiles, Isa. 40:3-5.
b. The symbolic meaning.
III. Application
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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