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A Life Pointing to Christ – a blog post

March 9, 2018

Whenever the calendar turns to March, my mind just naturally starts thinking about baseball season. From the time my dad introduced me to baseball as a young boy, it became a passion of mine. I watched the game, played the game, studied the game, read book after book on the game, and was an enthusiastic baseball card collector.

I enjoyed imitating some of the styles of some of the players I would see on TV, like Pete Rose’s batting stance (before we knew he was a degenerate gambler), Luis Tiant’s glove wiggle or turning to face second base in his pitching motion, or Willie Stargell’s roundhouse batting motion while the pitcher was preparing to deliver the pitch. Part of the way I learned the game was by watching those who did it well and following their example.

When John the Baptist came on the scene to begin his ministry, he was very clear that he was not the Messiah but pointed people to Jesus Christ the Messiah. In that, he was a great example for us as to what a true disciple of Christ does in pointing the way to the Savior.

In Mark 1:1-11, we see some introductory material on John the Baptist and the passage concludes with three verses about Jesus’ baptism. John the Baptist and Jesus had some similarities. They were both born in unlikely situations, they were related, both preached baptism of repentance, both had quite a following, and both were killed for the Gospel.

As John brings Jesus up out of the water, three things happen

  1. The heavens were torn open – a visual that would be sort of re-created in the tearing of the temple veil at Jesus’ crucifixion.
  2. The Holy Spirit descended on Christ like a dove – symbolizing Jesus’ empowerment for ministry
  3. God’s voice came from Heaven – identifying Jesus as the Christ and God’s Son

Many had approached John the Baptist as if he was the Messiah – after all, he was baptizing with a baptism of repentance and preaching Christ. However, John was clear that he was not the Messiah, but eagerly pointed people to Christ. He was doing what ever believer has been tasked to do – pointing people to Christ.

As a true disciple of Christ, John the Baptist…

  1. Prepared people for Jesus’ coming. We remember his statement, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” He was not referring to himself, but identifying Christ. I have to ask myself, “What am I doing to regularly point people to Christ?” Inviting people to church is important. Being active in my faith is important. Pointing people to Christ is crucial. Life and death for eternity depend on it.
  2. Preached a baptism of repentance. We cannot simply add Jesus to our life and continue on the same path. Repentance literally means “a change of mind” and involves a confession and forgiveness. A truly repentant confession promises forgiveness from a loving Savior. Without repentance, there is no forgiveness. Without repentance, there is no real change or transformation. Am I living a life where repentance is a regular part of it, and am I sharing the need for repentance with people around me on a regular basis?
  3. Pleaded for the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove, it wasn’t just a peace, it was an empowerment. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, we have no real power at all. John knew full well that when people came to Christ, they would then be filled with the Holy Spirit and be empowered to live transformed lives. The Holy Spirit draws, cleanses, reveals, teaches, and fills. Am I pleading for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in my own life and in the life of others on a regular basis?

If I’m following the example of John the Baptist, I might pray something like “Lord, break me from myself and help my life be one that points people to Christ like John the Baptist did. Fill me with the daily empowerment of the Holy Spirit and let my life consistently int others to You”. Amen.

Blessed,

Tony Watson
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church – Palestine, TX

From → Blog Posts

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