Recognition of Personal Sin. vs.4-6
As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (5) Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; (6) And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Luke 3:4-6
John’s preaching and teaching are described here. This is not a recording of one message that he taught. This is a sampling of the themes of the message of John. You can see in verse 4 that Luke helps us to understand that Isaiah predicted the coming, the message, and the mission of John the Baptist, this voice in the wilderness.
What was that message and mission? John was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah. How were the people to prepare? The answer is repentance! It is described here starting in verse 4-6. For repentance to happen there must be a recognition and a turning from personal sin.
Like a king sending people ahead to make the journey easier for him travel, John was coming to do the same thing in the hearts of the people to ready them for Jesus.
There are topographical metaphors to speak to matters of the inner person. The crooked path is made strait. Preparing people’s hearts means straightening out what is crooked in them. The valley shall be filled. The low and base things of the heart are brought up. The mountain shall be brought low. The high and prideful things of the heart must be brought low. John said “he must increase and I must decrease. The rough ways shall be made smooth. Anything in the way of God coming and working in the heart, or any sin that is loved and keeps people from turning to Christ must be abandoned.
There is no salvation without a recognition of personal sin and repentance. If the heart is not prepared to acknowledge and turn from sin then they are not ready to accept Christ as their Savior. What did Jesus came to save us from? He came to save us from our sin and its’ consequences. Sin is the obstacle to heaven. It is the obstacle to a right relationship with God. It is also the obstacle to repentance. Often, people do not want to repent because they love their sin. We can make church as “cool” as we can, and I’m certainly not voting that we strive to be irrelevant. But no matter how “cool” you make things, if you preach the Gospel it will be rejected by some people, because to preach the Gospel you must preach repentance of sin.
Is there a sin keeping you from believing in Christ? Is there a sin keeping you from fellowship with Christ?
Repentance is the answer. Turning from your sin to Christ by faith is the answer.
Is there a sin you need to repent of today?