What is a great life to you? In our post-modern society greatness is sought out by everyone. Everybody wants to be great. Greatness is usually judged by how famous, rich, and important you are.
How does God judge greatness? The word of God tells us of a man named John the Baptist. We learn much about him. The most amazing thing we hear about him comes strait from Christ. Jesus calls John the baptist the greatest man ever born. What a statement...In Gospels we can find some aspects of his greatness.
You will notice throughout the Gospel's description of John the Baptist some aspects of a great life....
1. No royal birth, born into a plain common ministry family
2. He had no formal education, lived isolation
3. He made no fashion statement, he had no concern for what was in style
4. He was not involved with any institution
5. He started no real movement
6. The religious leaders despised him…he despised them
7. He spent his last days in Jail, eventually was beheaded.
8. Despised, hated, and decapitated, at a young age (early thirties)
In the worlds eyes this is anything but greatness
I. Life that is Christ Centered
a. “He must increase, I must decrease”….”I am unworthy”
b. Understood his calling ---to prepare
c. Uncertainties…he went to Christ..
II. Life that Calls for Repentance
a. Requires a Response
i. Living in such a way that the lost people in your life respond with persecution or repentance
b. True Repentance
i. Not, religious repentance---having sorrow for everyone elses sins and not yours…pointing out theirs and not yours, self –righteousness,
ii. Pagan-assuming God is not good and we have to manipulate him “if I tell God I am sorry he will he is obligated to help me, GOD is Sovereign and good and free to do what he wants…he is not a good luck charm
iii. Worldly Sorrow—feeling bad and seeking someone to tell its okay…celebrities are notorious for this….Oprah…Dr. Phil, or Barbara Walters..No new life, No Holy Spirit, No Jesus….counterfeit.
iv. Mere Confession—this is confusing …I was wrong I am sorry…”I thought you were sorry last week…you will be sorry next week too”
v. Blame Shifting---I did this but it was their fault….Adam, Eve…
vi. Minimizing---At least I did not kill someone….Well I am not a Nazi…
vii. Excuse making – Yeah I did it, but it was the way I was raised, I did not get hugs when I was a kid
i. Is …Conviction…this is of God through the Holy Spirit…through the conscience, the scriptures, bible teaching, testimonies…
ii. Confession…this is agreeing with God..telling God your sin
iii. Repentance….is not managing or minimizing your sin…its killing it…
iv. Reconciliation….This were God and people are reconciled
III. Life that Endures
i. Scoffed him
iii. Confronted them
b. Persecution …
i. he was in prison for…
ii. he died by losing his head
iii. By the way…if you are not experiencing persecution you will
IV. Life that is Mastered …he did not master anything…he was mastered by Christ
a. By the Word of God
b. The Holy Spirit
i. Spirit filled…..Life out of the box….
c. Even unto death---Are you willing to let God lead you into what he has for you even if its death?