Repent And Be Baptized
2nd Sunday of Advent
Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10
Romans 15: 4-13
God has given us so much and yet we strive so hard and try to achieve to gain more and more things. We are taught to move on but we keep going back and repeat the same things we’ve gone through over and over. We must look at the Scriptures and go forward. God won’t fail us. He won’t forsake us. When we walk with Him daily we will not fail.
Today we look at John the Baptist in the wilderness. He came preaching not in the temple, not in the synagogue, not in an established organization, but in the wilderness. The people were coming out from the cities, and were going into the wilderness to listen to him. How was John related to Jesus? Mary was with child when she visited Elizabeth her cousin who was 6 months pregnant. When Elizabeth saw her, the baby in her womb leapt for joy. Both Mary and Elizabeth’s babies had a connection. One was going to save mankind, the other to lead the people to Him. When John grew up, he became the messenger. His life was a simple one. He was the voice crying out in the wilderness. He was the voice bringing hope. The people were coming to him to be baptized. John tells them that he was just the one baptizing because there was one coming who was greater than him. John’s message to the people was that they had to repent before being baptized. No longer was it enough to invoke the name of Abraham. Malachi said that God was going to send a messenger. Malachi 4:5-6 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” We think we are in the world system but in reality we should accept the fact that we are in the Kingdom. Repentance, however, is a requirement and turning away from evil ways. Isaiah 1:16 “Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong.” We should not only give up our evil ways, but we turn to do good.
Mary was willing to risk her reputation and image by giving her body to be the vessel to carry the Holy Child. In our lives, we are to confront evil and live a life that God wants us to live in. God is our strength. He is with us at all times. Christ was baptized in water and when He emerged out of the water, the Holy Spirit came down upon Him. When we repent, we set aside the old because all things are new with Christ. With God, who has established all things, we are stable. He does not change. Repent from our evil ways and turn to good.