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The Changing of the Guard

John 3:22-36

 

The Prophetic Nature of The Ministry of John the Baptist - Matthew 3:3; John

1:23

The Voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the

Lord. ..Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1

 

The Proclamation of John the Baptist - Matthew 3:1,2

Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 

The Practice of John the Baptizer - Matthew 3:5,6

and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

 

The Purpose of the Ministry of John the Baptist. - John 1:15

John testified of Him and cried out saying, 'This was He of whom I spoke. He

that comes after me is preferred before me: for He was before me.

 

The Purification Performed By John the Baptizer

And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem,

and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their

sins. - Mark 1:5 ... and they were being baptized by Him in the Jordan

River, as they confessed their sins. Matthew 3:6 ... And He came into all

the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the

forgiveness of sins. Luke 3:3

Baptism in water - In the Jordan River

Confession of sins - confessing their sins ...as they confessed their sins

Baptism of repentance for the remission of sins - bring forth fruit worthy

of repentance Luke 3:8

 

The Parallel Ministry - Period of Transition - John 3:22-25

After these things (talk with Nicodemus) Jesus and His disciples came into

the land of Judea, and there he was spending time with them and was

baptizing. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salem because there was

much water there; and they were coming and were being baptized. For John had

not yet been thrown in prison. There arose therefore a discussion on the

part of John's disciples with a Jew about purification.

 

The Problem Presented To John the Baptizer - John 3:26

And they came to John and said to him, " Rabbi, He who was with you beyond

the Jordan, to whom you have borne witness. Behold, He is baptizing, and all

are coming to Him. "

 

The Perception of Purpose by some disciples is often distorted by loyalty to

a particular leader

in spite of the preaching by the leader. " Repent, For The Kingdom of God is

at hand " John the Baptizer Matthew 3:2 " From that time on J____ began to

preach " Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand. " Jesus of Nazareth

Matthew 4:17

 

John's answer to His disciples discloses the earmarks of an effective

ministry.

 

I. An Effective Ministry Respects Parallel Ministries - 3:22-26

A. Jesus and John worked in harmony

B. Apostles and the Greeks - Acts 6:1-7

C. Equippers and just plain folks - Ephesians 4:1-13

 

II. An Effective Ministry Recognizes and Solves Problems - 3:27-29

A. Human leaders are human messengers with a heavenly calling - 27

B. Remember: Our leaders are not God - 28

C. The Voice of God is better than the voice of the spokesman. 29

III. An Effective Ministry Reverence The Pre-eminence of Jesus - 3:29-36

A. The Position of Jesus In every Ministry - 29

B. The Purpose of Service For Jesus - 30

C The Presence of God in our ministry of service - 31,32

D. The Presence of Integrity in our ministry together - 33

E. The Power Source for our ministry is the Holy Spirit - 34

F. The Primacy of Christ in our lives - 35

G. The Precepts of Jesus must be believed and obeyed - 36

 

Conclusion:

 

1. Every Christian is not a leader in the church but every member of the

Lord's church is a minister of Jesus for His church. 1 Peter 2:1-10;

Ephesians 4:11,12

 

2. It is God's desire that every person in the world become a Christian - 2

Peter 3:8-14; Matthew 28:18-20

 

3. It is the purpose of this congregation to equip every saint for the

ministry so that every person in this community might have an opportunity to

hear the Gospel and invited to become a Christian.

 

4. The First Christian Harbor Youth Camp Encounter -

Hiking - no problem, everybody knows how to walk.

Canoeing - big problem, not everyone knows how to paddle

1/2 day trip became a ten hour ordeal for all.

What should have been four separate canoes became one.

I and another brother had to try to do the work of 9 people.

How did we do? - We managed but not well.

 

5. The point: What happens when the church lets a few try to paddle the

Gospel canoe down and sometimes up the river and just goes along for the

ride?

 

6. We manage but we have additions instead of multiplications. 75-90% of all

people come to the assembly for the first time because someone was involved

in their life other than the preacher.

 

7. The strong stroke of the paddler sitting in the rear of the canoe that

corrects the direction of the canoe is called a J-stroke. I can teach you

the stroke but I can't sit in the back of everyone's canoe. Learn the stroke

yourself and teach it to someone else so they can spell you once in a while.

 

8. Have you had the J-stroke of God change your life? Jesus gives direction

to our lives and sets us on the course for heaven.

 

9. Are you having trouble keeping your life in the heart of the river? Turn

your life back over to Jesus and let Him help you steer the course.

 

Jesus said, I am the way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the

Father, but through Me. John 14:3

" If you live for love you spread kindness and compassion everywhere you go.

When you stop believing in your heart you are but a sterile vessel wandering

in the wilderness. " Francis Hegmeyer