Key Scriptures: Matthew 3:1-6
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “a voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’”
Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
Lesson One: Repentance requires a new order.
• Jesus is King—I am not.
Matthew 3:1-2, In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Micah 5:2, But you, O Bethlehem, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth one who is to be ruler in Israel…
Lesson Two: Repentance requires a new attitude.
• A change of mind bout sin.
• A change about who Jesus is.
Lesson Three: Repentance requires a new condition.
• If there is no change in the way that we live our lives—there hasn’t been true repentance.
• Repentance leads to a change in the condition of our hearts.
Matthew 3:3, For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “a voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’
Isaiah 40:3-4, A voice of one crying in the wilderness; Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight. Verse 4, Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
Lesson Four: Repentance gives us a new opportunity.
• Repentance is God’s opportunity for us to make a fresh start and change our lives.
2 Kings 1:5-8, The messengers returned to the king, and he said to them, “Why have you returned?” And they said to him, “There came a man to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says the Lord, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’” He said to them, “What kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?” They answered him, “He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.”
Malachi 3:1, 4:5-6, Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts…Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
Matthew 17:1-3, 9-13, And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him…And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.