…preaching [a baptism of repentance] [for the forgiveness of sins]
The opening verses of Luke 3 have two wonderful strings of “word nuggets” that begin the chapter. They bring deep confirmation and insight for the pregnant question the living word brought to me in the Spring of 2016, to seek and inquire of Him, for “What He is doing right now”. This question led me to His understanding that “I live off of His intercession in repentance”. These two passages in Luke amplify His understanding and I will use the words of the text to bear witness to His living word spoken to me nearly three years past, as well as, this morning.
These are not just words to know in the mind, to me they are words that speak to a hidden mystery of God. The groanings too deep for words that cause us to lean into His voice, to seek ask and knock for the understanding. Rom 8:26; Matt 7:7; Luke 11:9-13 Something very few even begin to undertake as THE quest of God for humanity.
“For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach…
… the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it. Deuteronemy 30:11,14
I broke out the key words of Luke 3:2-3 and color matched their Greek definitions; using bold to identify what I believe is the Father’s aspiration for everyone to understand. His unsought discharge of the javelin of His eternal purpose for us to enter and live in unity with Him!
in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.
came g1096 ginomai; to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being
wilderness g2048 erēmos; — desert, desolate, solitary, wilderness. Of persons: deprived of the aid and protection of others, especially of friends, acquaintances, kindred (flesh and blood).
And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins;
baptismg908baptisma; immersion, submersion
repentance g3341 “meta”-“noia”; with, after, behind – to perceive with the mind, to understand, to have understanding, to think upon, heed, ponder, consider.
for g1519 eis; into, unto, to, towards, for, among
forgivenessg859 aphesis; release from bondage or imprisonment, forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty
sins g266 hamartia; to be without a share in; to miss the mark; to err, be mistaken; to miss the mark; to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honor, to do or go wrong; to wander from the law of God, violate God’s law, sin.
Since The Journey, my spirit and mind have been transformed. I hear different now. I see the fruit of all the trees around me in a different light and have a greater resolve to only eat from the tree of life. I go hungry because of Isaiah 58; Yet, I am well fed in the wilderness.
The revelation of the Spirit of God to ponder, consider and heed “What He is doing right now” has changed my appetite, my speech and the fruit of my heart. My conscience is clear, though I am not innocent, it is the living word who examines and investigates me and His living voice has become my treasure.
The rhema word, the living utterance, that came into existence in John, reverberates in my spirit as well, with a new timbre and tone of the heart of God. The living words are sobering, they are warm and inviting to my soul, they bear no judgement or need for guilt or shame. They also speak to the necessity of the living words of God being listened for and sought after for the understanding of the life that is in Christ for us all.
By the unction of the living voice, the Holy Spirit, here is how the words of Luke 3:2-3 hit the mark in my spirit today. The ensuing paragraphs are “the word” I have been led to accentuate nearly three years running and hope we will all hear as we read.
The living utterance of God came into existence through the man, John, in the desolate place deprived of aid or protection of others (flesh and blood). This is the simple picture of the soul of humanity and how we were formed in the garden. Where before we could even think or ask, the living voice was speaking life to the desolate wilderness of our spirits. The very breath of God breathed into humanity, where not only was there no protection or aide of flesh and blood, there was no need either. Serpentine opinions and projections notwithstanding.
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. Luke 3:8
This living word pours forth andcalls us towards immersion and submersion of our desolate place deprived of aid or protection of others, with, after and behind whatthis living voice is saying. This baptism of repentance will imbue us and cleanse us because it draws us into His release from bondage or imprisonment. This living word is His life, the forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed),and theremission of the penalty. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. John 15:3
“…preaching [a baptism of repentance][for the forgiveness of sins]”.
This baptism of repentance was the call to humanity to enter into the living water, pondering considering and heeding His voice that leads to the release from bondage or imprisonment (as if missing the mark [not listening] never happened). Without hearing and following the living utterance, the living word pouring forth in repentance, we miss the mark and don’t produce fruit in keeping with repentance. This is a Ponder Stop.
Stated again, Without hearing and following the living utterance, the living word pouring forth in repentance, we miss the mark and don’t produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
So be immersed and submerged in this living word, with after and behind what is said. Think upon, ponder and consider these living words that are towards and for your release from bondage and imprisonment. If you do this, it will be as if you never missed the mark, or were without a share in [the living utterance]. It will be as if you never sinned. You will not wander from His path because the living word in you is the path, The Way, the Truth and the Life!