Chapter 6



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(Mat 3:1-4)  In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye [Gk: to think differently]: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John [who was also a Nazarite from birth: uncut hair, no touching of the dead, no wine] had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey [in similitude to the prophet Elijah].

1.       The Full Life Study Bible: Repent = The basic meaning of repentance (Gk: metanoeo) is “to turn around.” It is a turning from evil ways and a turning to Christ, and through Him to God (John 14:1,6, Acts 8:22; 26:18; 1 Pet 2:25). (1) The decision to turn from sin and to salvation in Christ involves accepting Christ not only as Savior from the penalty of sin, but also as Lord of one’s life. Thus, repentance involves a change of lords – from the lordship of Satan (Eph 2:2) to the Lordship of Christ and His Word (Acts 26:18). (2) Repentance is a free decision on the part of the sinner, made possible by the enabling grace given to him as he hears and believes the gospel (Acts 11:21). (3) The definition of saving faith as mere “trust” in Christ as Savior is wholly inadequate in the light of Christ’s demand for repentance. To define saving faith in a way which does not necessarily involve a radical break with sin is to dangerously distort the Biblical view of redemption. Faith which includes repentance is ever a condition for salvation (cf. Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3,5; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:21). (4) Repentance was a basic message in the preaching of O.T. prophets (Jer 7:3; Ezek 18:30; Joel 2:12-14; Mal 3:7), John the Baptist (Mat 3:2), Jesus Christ (Mat 4:17; 18:3; Luke 5:32), and N.T. Christians (Acts 2:38; 8:22; 11:18; 2 Pet 3:9). The preaching of repentance must always accompany the gospel message (Luke 24:47).

a.       (Luke 24:46,47)  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 

2.       (Isa 40:3-5)  The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness [wild, unsavedness], Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert [Heb: (in the sense of sterility): wilderness] a highway for our God. Every valley [low, humble] shall be exalted [made high], and every mountain [high, pride] and hill [pride] shall be made low [humble]: and the crooked [Heb: deceitful] shall be made straight [Heb: upright], and the rough places [Heb: a mountain ridge (as of tied summits)] plain [Heb: a wide level valley]: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together [“every eye shall see him” (Rev 1:7), every eye shall see “the glory (of the LORD) which shall be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18)]: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

(Mat 3:5-9)  Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan [Heb: the descender] [a symbol of the Holy Spirit], confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance [“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” NIV]: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

(Mat 3:10)  And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit [love] is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

1.       Commentary: The ax is a symbol of judgment. Jesus is both the carpenter and the judge, and in both cases, Jesus is the ax wielder, effecting the action. The sharp ax (undoubtedly shaped like a cross) is also the Word of God, and now Jesus is also the ax (John 1:14). Do you remember the two trees in the midst of the Garden of Eden, one had a root of love (Jesus-Christ) and one had a root of bitterness (Lucifer-Satan)? What kind of fruit will each tree produce?

2.       (Luke 3:9-14)  And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them [“love thy neighbour as thyself” Lev 19:18; Mat 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14; James 2:8], He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat [Gk: food], let him do likewise. Then came also publicans [Gk: tax collectors] to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. [CONCLUSION: ACTS OF LOVE ARE THE FRUIT OF LOVE DERIVED FROM THE TREE OF LIFE]

3.       (2 Ki 6:1-7)  And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait [Heb: small] for us. Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence [Heb: there] every man a beam [Heb: a rafter, for the roof], and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye. And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go. So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan [Heb: the descender] [symbol of the Holy Spirit], they cut down wood [Heb: trees] [symbol of men]. But as one was felling a beam, the ax head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed [belonging to someone else]. And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he showed him the place. And he cut down a stick [Heb: staff], and cast it in thither; and the iron [Biblical symbol of judgment] did swim [to the stick]. Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.

a.       (Mat 16:24)  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

b.       Commentary: We each are an instrument for the Lord, co-laborers with Him, working in cooperation with Him “For we are labourers together with God” (1 Cor 3:9). We are the wooden “stick” and the Lord Jesus Christ is the “twoedged” (Heb 4:12) “ax head.”

(Mat 3:11,12)  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost [Jesus’ first coming, His first baptism was of salvation], and with fire [Jesus’ second coming, His second baptism is of judgment – for all]: Whose fan [Gk: winnowing-fork] is in his hand [Gk: power], and he will thoroughly purge [Gk: to cleanse perfectly] his floor, and gather [Gk: assemble] his wheat into the garner [Gk: barn] [made of wooden priest boards, i.e., men – the finished product of the Carpenter, e.g., the ark of Noah, the tabernacle of Moses, the “ship” (Mat 14:22) of Jesus Christ]; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

1.       (1 Cor 3:10-15)  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed [Gk: behold, beware] how he buildeth thereupon [take heed for your doctrine/deeds]. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones [not burnable, symbolic of eternal doctrine/deeds], wood, hay, stubble [burnable, symbolic of temporal doctrine/deeds]; Every man's work shall be made manifest [Gk: apparent]: for the day [of the Lord] shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire [Isa 40:5; Rom 8:18 & “For our God is a consuming fire.” Heb 12:29]; and the fire shall try [Gk: test: discern, examine] every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide [Gk: remain] which he hath built thereupon [upon the foundation of Jesus Christ], he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss [of reward]: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

(Mat 3:13-17)  Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee [i.e., John said, “my baptism will not save me, but your baptism will”], and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized [God the Son], went up straightway out of the water [connoting birth; birthed by the Holy Spirit]: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove [God the Holy Spirit], and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven [God the Father], saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.


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