Luke 3:7 – 18
The Promise of something better
I. Prepare for the King of King!
A. John’s message in one word… “repent.”
Repentance – Sorrow for sin and forsaking of it. [Barnes]
“…repentance makes no satisfaction for sin, or atonement for it… there is no true evangelical repentance without views, or at least hopes of pardoning grace, and mercy… such who have the fullest view of the remission of their sins, have the clearest sense of sin, and have the most sorrow for it, and loath themselves on account of it, and are ashamed of it, and do most frankly confess it, and most thoroughly forsake it.” [Gill]
1. People react in all sorts of ways to the coming of the King.
a. Pharisees and Sadducees (the religious elite) were alarmed, disturbed, jealous, fearful… all natural reactions to an “outsider” with strong words and ideas.
b. The idea of repent is often softened. We prefer “faith, grace, and love.”
c. FACT: without “repent” there is no “forgiveness.”
2. Repent brings the individual to their most basic need… (two reactions)
a. RESISTANCE of the hearer to perceived condemnation.
b. CONVICTION of the soul to salvation.
3. Repent is necessary…
a. … because the human nature is “depraved” (helpless, “rotten to the core”)
b. … because unless we have a change in attitude behavior will never change and relationship with God will not change.
*****”If sorrow for sin is genuine with us, it will work a reformation immediately in our conduct. We shall not do the old hard-hearted things we were once guilty of.” [unknown]
B. REPENT requires action.
1. Baptism (symbol) and confession.
a. Agree with God in condemning our sin.
b. We become desperate for change and WANT to do something different.
2. “Produce fruit”
a. “Fruit” is the result of the root and plant, process of living.
b. “Fruit” is the excess energy/resources after all the planet has enough to live.
C. REPENT seeks results not reasons.
1. The question that can not be answered: “Why?”
a. Ask a guilt child, “Why did you do that?”
b. Answer: “I don’t know.”
c. Truthful: “I’m a sinful and selfish person who wants their own way. No matter who it hurts, including me.”
2. Repent means to deal honestly with the problem of sin and moves us forward to a solution.
D. REPENT means relationship not religion.
1. Religion is futile:
a. The Pharisees are good at religion.
1.) Venomous heart: “you brood of vipers.”
2.) Pride: false security that came from being Abraham’s descendents. (Calvin did not invent the concept of “eternal security.”)
b. NO family relationship, outward rite, relationship, or spirituality decides our state before God or gets us into heaven..
2. Religion is difficult:
a. “Easy” God can make children of Abraham out of rocks. (Rocks do not have a will to resist God.)
b. “Hard” God does not force the disobedient and stubborn.
c. But God can soften the hard heart, humble the proud spirit, direct circumstances.
d. God does invite, touch, warn, and wait!
3. Religion is severe:
a. “the axe is laid unto the root.”
1.) There is a severe sentence against disobedient and unfruitfulness.
2.) The greater the privilege and opportunity, the greater the responsibility and exposure to divine severity.
b. That’s what false religion does: when it replaces a real relationship with God.
1. Make a true estimate of yourself.
2. Make a true estimate of your position.
3. Make a true estimate of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4. Ask yourself: What are you going to do about it?