Five Pronouncements Made by John the Baptizer About the Christ

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Sermon Outline:

1. The Role of the Christ – “Lamb of God” (v. 29a)
2. The Work of the Christ -“takes away the sins of the world.” (v. 29b)
3. The Evidence of Deity – “Before me” – preexistence (v. 30)
4. The Purpose of John’s Baptism – (v. 31)
5. The Means used by the Christ – “baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” (v. 33)
6. The Deity of Christ – “The Son Of God” (v. 34)

Sermon Text:

John 1:29-34

Behold, the Lamb of God

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

Sermon Notes

In the Gospel of John, Jesus is referred to as the “Son of God” as contrasted with “Son of Man”. In an absolute sense, Jesus is the “Son of God”. Jesus spoke of God as “the Father”, “my Father”, “my heavenly Father and “your heavenly Father”-fifty-one times in all. 1 But what does it mean to us? “A son is of the same nature and essence as the father; in affirming Jesus as His Son, God the Father was saying that Jesus, His Son, is deity because He is of the same essence as the Father.” 2 This also reinforces the earlier declaration in Chapter One- “In the beginning is the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Jesus Christ the Lord is God!

Prophesies concerning Christ’s life and his ministries have a herald who will announce the Messiah and beginning of His ministry. Isaiah 40:3 identifies prophetically John the Baptizer as the herald: “the voice that cries in the wilderness… prepare the way of the Lord”. Similarly, Malachi 3:1 identifies him as a “messenger” and “he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple.”

As you know John the Baptist cried out in the wilderness calling the people to repentance and spiritual preparation because God had come to His peopled to baptize in the spirit. John the Baptist was preaching, calling the people to repentance because the Kingdom of God was at hand and baptizing with water in an area known as “Bethany beyond the Jordan”. So where is this wilderness? No one knows for sure. But it is likely in Perea, one of the territories controlled by Herod Antipas. The Jewish historian Josephus tell us that John the Baptist was later imprisoned in the fortress Machaeris in the same region and it makes sense that this is where he ministered and was later arrested, imprisoned and beheaded.

This brings us to our text this morning on the baptism of Jesus Christ. We will be looking at six key features of this glorious event where John the Baptizer makes Messiah known to Israel. May God be glorified in our study of God’s Word together.

1 Donald Guthrie, New Testament Theology (Downer Grove, Ill., Inter Varsity, 1981) pp. 303-304.
2 Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology, (Moody Press, Chicago, 1989) p. 87.