“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”
The Promised Seed of Abraham
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is the promised seed of Abraham. He is the Messiah, the Christ, who was to come to redeem his people and to save them from their sins. Through him all nations are being blessed by his sacrificial offering of himself for the sins of the entire world and by the opportunity that provides us to be delivered from our slavery to sin and to obey our Lord.
By God-given faith in Jesus Christ we can be crucified with Christ in death to sin and be raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. For Jesus shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we will now honor God with our bodies and with our lives. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and he died that we might live for him and no longer for ourselves.
[Gal 3:16; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15]
As stated, the purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection is that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And it is that we might serve him without fear of our enemies, and without fear of opposition and persecution, yet not because Jesus promised us that he will protect us from all opposition and persecution. And that is because he promised us that we would be hated and persecuted as he was. But he does deliver us from their power and influence over our lives if we are willing and obedient.
[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:18-21; Jn 17:14]
In Holiness and Righteousness
And Jesus did give his life up for us on that cross that we might serve him in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. Amen! For Jesus said that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self and take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for Jesus’ sake we die with him to sin that we might walk in obedience to his commands, then we have eternal life in him (see Luke 9:23-26).
He also said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven. For on the day Jesus comes to judge we are all going to stand before him and we will judged according to our works. And on that day many will tell the Lord all the things they think they did in his name. But then he is going to declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Our salvation is not lawlessness (see Matthew 7:21-23).
And then the apostles taught us that we must die with Christ to sin and walk in obedience to his commands. For if we do not forsake our sinful practices, and if we do not obey the Lord, but if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, in disobedience to God, and if we do not love our fellow Christians and our fellow humans, then we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God. Heaven will not be our eternal destiny. Hell will be. So, we need to take this to heart, for our eternity depends on us living the truth.
[Jn 15:1-11; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Heb 10:26-27; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Ministers of the Gospel
Now the child being spoken of here was John the Baptist. He was called of God to go before Jesus to prepare the way for him. His message was a message of repentance, and repentance is a spiritual U-turn. We were walking in sin, in the ways of our sinful flesh. Then by faith in Jesus Christ we died with him to sin, and then we were raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him in the direction of holy and godly living.
John was a messenger of God to go before Jesus to prepare the way for the people to receive him as their Lord and Savior. And as followers of Jesus we follow after Jesus, but still in preparing human hearts to repent of their sins and to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). We are not only to walk in the ways of the Lord but we are to be ministers of the gospel of Christ, too, making certain we are teaching truth and not lies.
We need to be telling people that Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Peter 2:24). We need to be telling them that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:1-8). And we need to be telling them that it is required of us for salvation that we walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands (John 14:15-24; 1 John 2:3-6) and that if we don’t that we will not inherit eternal life with God.
The Lord’s Anointed
An Original Work / December 16, 2011
Based off Isaiah 61
The Spirit of the Sov’reign Lord on me;
Anointed to preach the Good News;
Sent me to bind up the brokenhearted;
Proclaim freedom for the captives.
He sent me to preach release for pris’ners
Who are walking in sin’s darkness;
Proclaim God’s grace to all men who’ll listen;
And tell them about God’s judgments;
Comfort all who mourn;
Give crowns of beauty;
Oil of gladness and thanksgiving.
They will be called oaks of God’s righteousness,
A planting of our Savior, God,
For the display of our Lord’s splendor, and
They will rebuild God’s holy church.
God will renew them, and will restore them,
And you’ll be called priests of the Lord.
You will be ministers of our God, and
You will rejoice in salvation.
The Lord loves justice;
He is faithful to
Reward those who are seeking Him.
I delight greatly in the Lord;
My soul rejoices in my Savior, God.
He has clothed me with His salvation,
And in a robe of His righteousness.
He has given me priestly garments to wear,
As the bride of Jesus Christ.
As the garden of our Lord and Savior,
He causes us to grow in Him.
He makes righteousness,
Praise, and thanksgiving
Spring up before all the nations.