As John the Baptist preached the gospel of the Kingdom and immanent unveiling of Israel’s King, the crowds who heard him wondered if John might be the promised Messiah. John emphatically declared, “I am not the Christ” (John 1:20). In Luke’s account, John stresses the vast difference between himself and the Christ. He described Jesus as the mighty, glorious, empowering Judge who saves and condemns.
The hymns were chosen for this service because they voice these themes that describe our Lord Jesus.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship Psalm 57:9-11
Note, we welcome the King and joyously acknowledge him as Almighy.
Worship through Giving
Response: 72 Glory Be to God the Father
Hymn Insert I Greet Thee Who My Sure Redeemer Art
Note: John’s ministry was to prepare the people to welcome their King. We, though not Israelites, love to welcome King Jesus, and so we greet him as our “sure Redeemer.”
Hymn 128 Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Note: John emphasized the vast chasm the existed between himself and Jesus in terms of honor. Jesus is worthy of all honor and praise. Thus we sing, “Hallelujah! What a Savior!”
Scripture Reading Psalm 2
Note: John described Jesus coming with a winnowing fork. This was a threshing implement. The image of Jesus threshing the harvest to separate grain from chaff was a vivid description of judgment to come. Psalm 2 identifies the Jesus’ true identity and looks ahead to the judgment he will bring when he returns.
Hymn HBC 16 Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending
Notes” The final part of John’s description of Jesus will occur when he returns. This majestic hymn taps our imagination to “see” Christ coming to reign and to judge.
Message John the Baptist: “I Am Not the Christ”
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn Insert Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
Notes: The sermon text concludes with a summary of John’s preaching ministry: “he preached good news to the people.” He exhorted people to turn to King Jesus and welcome him with saving, repentant faith. In keeping John’s purpose, we conclude with a call for all to come to Jesus in repentant faith.
Prayer Response Mark Buhr
Benediction John Miles