Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 1 Study # 11
January 29, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

<220> Thesis: The promises of God focus upon the development, and impact, of character. Introduction: Last week we took a careful look at the "summons" that stood at the root of the ministry of John as the forerunner who would prepare the people for the coming of Jesus. Theologically, this consists of promising people that God was prepared to forgive anyone who would "repent". The "problem" this presented was the apparent "trashing" of Justice in favor of Mercy. The "solution" was the announcement that Messiah was to come for the specific purpose of dealing with sin in respect to justice. This actually worked out as John identified Jesus as the Lamb of God Who would take away the sin of the world. Thus, God can be both just and Justifier of the believer. Now, last week we saw that there are two parts to the summons: a call to turn one's focus toward the revelation of the true character of Yahweh (a call that can be twisted into a "summons" to "behave"); and a call to cease putting roadblocks up before Yahweh as He seeks to direct the life of man (another call that can be twisted into some kind of self-help approach to life). These calls boil down to a summons to the humility of those who "see" the glory of God and a summons to stop evading the obvious. If a person responded to John's call in the wilderness, he would be bringing his own personal "wilderness" to Yahweh in anticipation of His grace. This morning we are going to look into the "grace" aspect of John's ministry as it is set forth in the Isaiah prophecy.