Bible Society of South Africa
Ds Hein Barnard

Forgiveness – Day 14

The purpose of John the Baptist was to prepare the way for the ministry of Jesus to the Jews – and later the Gentiles too. He had to remove possible obstacles and bring about moral reform (4-5).

Bible text(s)

The Preaching of John the Baptist

1It was the fifteenth year of the rule of the Emperor Tiberius; Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip was ruler of the territory of Iturea and Trachonitis; Lysanias was ruler of Abilene, 2and Annas and Caiaphas were high priests. At that time the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. 3So John went throughout the whole territory of the River Jordan, preaching, “Turn away from your sins and be baptized, and God will forgive your sins.”

4As it is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah:

“Someone is shouting in the desert:

‘Get the road ready for the Lord;

make a straight path for him to travel!

5Every valley must be filled up,

every hill and mountain levelled off.

The winding roads must be made straight,

and the rough paths made smooth.

6The whole human race will see God's salvation!’ ”

7Crowds of people came out to John to be baptized by him. “You snakes!” he said to them. “Who told you that you could escape from the punishment God is about to send? 8Do those things that will show that you have turned from your sins. And don't start saying among yourselves that Abraham is your ancestor. I tell you that God can take these stones and make descendants for Abraham! 9The axe is ready to cut down the trees at the roots; every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown in the fire.”

10The people asked him, “What are we to do, then?”

11He answered, “Whoever has two shirts must give one to the man who has none, and whoever has food must share it.”

12Some tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what are we to do?”

13“Don't collect more than is legal,” he told them.

14Some soldiers also asked him, “What about us? What are we to do?”

He said to them, “Don't take money from anyone by force or accuse anyone falsely. Be content with your pay.”

15People's hopes began to rise, and they began to wonder whether John perhaps might be the Messiah. 16So John said to all of them, “I baptize you with water, but someone is coming who is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to untie his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17He has his winnowing shovel with him, to thresh out all the grain and gather the wheat into his barn; but he will burn the chaff in a fire that never goes out.”

18In many different ways John preached the Good News to the people and urged them to change their ways. 19But John reprimanded Herod, the governor, because he had married Herodias, his brother's wife, and had done many other evil things. 20Then Herod did an even worse thing by putting John in prison.

Luke 3:1-20GNBOpen in Bible reader

Forgiveness in the Gospels – 1

The moral reform involved the following: –

Turn to God – they needed to repent, meaning not only a change of mind but also a change in attitude towards God.

Live God’s way – the person’s whole lifestyle changes to live the way God wants the believer to live.

Baptise – the physical proof that a person’s sins had been washed away and that the person had truly repented.  No repentance, no forgiveness.

John baptised not only in one place, but several places along the Jordan River.

We read the same in Acts 2:37-41.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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