Repentance is Hard – Matthew 3:1-12

I’m always looking for new things to be able to post so here is a partial outline of the message I preached yesterday.  I used to preach without notes, but I decided when I began using my iPad to preach that I would start using notes.  In part that is in recognition that I won’t always have the memory of youth, in part to be able preach well from notes allowing me to access more messages at will if the opportunity necessitates it.

My notes aren’t exhaustive, I don’t manuscript my messages.  Some is shorthand for me, sometimes I have a statement I want to make clear.  So here it is:

John the Baptist was an odd character
Cousin of Jesus
Lived in the deser
Ate desert food
Dressed funny
First prophet in Israel in 400 years

1. His message was simple – Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near
Repentance is not mere regret and remorse.
These are stops along the way – ILLUS: going to Dallas and stop and Buccee’s and Braham’s in Ennis

2. Repentance means changing the way we think

2.1 Forsake foolish thinking, crazy, madness
Read Proverbs – see how the fool thinks: Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 10:8; Proverbs 10:23; Proverbs 14:7-9

2.2 Embrace the wisdom of salvation
Change your mind, your opinions, your purposes, your inclinations
Admit that many of your thoughts were wrong, foolish

Children – embrace the wisdom of your parents.  They are right 95% of the time and you don’t have the wisdom to discern the other 5%.

In the confrontation John has with the Jewish religious leaders he exhorts them to “produce fruit consistent with repentance.” V. 8
The Pharisees had Religion, but not Repentance – It is a dangerous game we play when we act as pagans while calling ourselves Christians.

3. Repentance means changing the way we act

3.1 Forsake sinful actions that lead to misery, death, hell
Favorite speaker used to say – you’ve tried your way and it’s not working, why don’t you try things God’s way

3.2 Embrace God’s way
Admit that my actions have been wrong and they must change
John puts forth the act of baptism as the first act of repentance.
Because our repentance can only be evidenced by actions, we begin with baptism
John’s baptism of repentance gains added meaning when he baptizes Jesus – (next week’s message)

4. Confession and Pride

4.1 Confession isn’t mere apology
Agree with God that my actions were sinful
Agree that sin is wrong
Agree that my sin is MY sin – Own it – Cannot keep blaming God, my family, bad influences, my upbringing, my personality
Turn from my sin – Repentance

4.2 Set aside my Pride
I must embrace the anguish deep in my soul understanding that I have prepared myself for hell, not heaven, I have ruined my soul, and that my sins are not only against myself but also against God.

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