Matthew 3:1-12 God’s Call To Repentance

by | Oct 19, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. God’s Call To Man V. 1

A. John Came Preaching

1. “In those days…” Jesus is now about 30 years old
2. God is always the Initiator with man

a. God the Father – John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
b. God the Son- Philippians 2:7, 8 (He) made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

B. Sincere Penitents Accept God’s Message In Any Form V. 4

1. John’s appearance was extreme

a. His lifestyle separated him from the softness of the world
b. It had been 400 years since a prophet of God had spoken
c. Reminded the people of Elisha, an O.T. prophet. See 2 Kings 1:7, 8

2. John had a strong message- Matthew 11:7-10
3. Sincere penitents do not dictate God’s content or style of delivery
4. The message is the main thing; the delivery is secondary

a. Many people miss heaven because they don’t like the messenger-John
b. Many don’t like the environment-wilderness of Judea
c. Don’t focus more on the messenger & the environment than on the message
d. The message of repentance transcends cultures and societal dictates

C. The Message-Repent Vs. 2, 3

1. Repent- to change your mind and life

a. Must be accompanied by a change of actions- see vs. 8, 10
b. More than regret-regret rests in the mind: sorry I got caught
c. More than remorse- remorse rests in the heart: We feel bad
d. Repentance is found in the mind, heart, and will. Repentance brings change

2. Prepare the way of the Lord- Get ready for the coming King

a. Roads would be repaired, straightened, filled in, made smooth
b. We must be willing to remove every obstacle that would keep us from Jesus

3. Preparation implies that things aren’t prepared or ready

a. Spiritual evaluation must be taken before one can spiritually repent
b. See Matthew 5:1-6 Notice the pain, humility, hunger, thirst involved
c. The self-judged are not condemned. The self-righteous are condemned.

4. For them, Jesus was coming the 1st time. For us, Jesus is coming again
5. We could die or be killed at any time, and then comes judgment
6. Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment
7. Verse 3- “For this is he…” Isaiah prophesied 750 years earlier.

a. They had waited so long for their Messiah
b. They wanted change, but were unwilling to repent
c. How many among us want change, but are unwillingly to repent?

D. Flee From The Wrath To Come Vs. 7, 10

1. “Brood of vipers”- They thought themselves righteous and without sin
2. Flee- to seek safety by flight, to escape safely out of danger

a. They seem to be there because of the popularity of John
b. “Flee”-This implies that the sinner realizes his guilt, and wants forgiveness

3. “Even now…” Judgment is close at hand; anyone could die at any moment
4. Root of the tree

a. Not the “fruit” of the tree. Some people just try to change outwardly
b. “Root of the tree” declares that the entire person is bad, not just their actions

5. Some will suffer eternal judgment. Hell. Unquenchable fire, outer darkness.

E. God Will Judge Between The Wheat & The Chaff V. 12

1. Winnowing Fan is in His hand- this speaks of the gospel message. (Picture)

a. When the gospel is preached, the wheat comes forth, and the chaff turns away
b. It is the work of Jesus Christ, not man.
c. The preaching of the gospel reveals what you are: wheat or chaff

2. He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor. Every piece will be assigned
3. He will gather His wheat. Are you His wheat?
4. He will burn up the chaff

F. The Work Of Jesus In The Believer’s Life V. 11

1. John’s baptism was unto repentance. A baptism of preparation towards salvation
2. Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Spirit & fire

a. Holy Spirit- Ezekiel 36:26, 27 26I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
b. Fire-purifies the pure, but destroys the wicked

II. Man’s Response To God

A. Those Who Were Sincere

1. They Went Out To Hear The Word V. 5

a. Distance from Jerusalem to Jordan river-25-30 miles
b. Those turning to God made whatever effort was needed

2. They Confessed Their Sins-They Agreed With God V. 6
3. They Committed Publicly V. 6

a. Baptism doesn’t save you, but it is an outward sign of an inward work
b. It is also a public declaration of repentance and faith

B. Those Who Were Insincere V. 7

1. The Insincere Come Insincerely

a. “Attendance” doesn’t mean anything without true repentance

2. The Insincere Don’t Show Any Fruits Of Repentance V. 8

a. Notice that John uses the word “fruit”
b. That is something that comes forth naturally from a tree
c. Fruit isn’t produced or manufactured, it flows naturally from the tree
d. Whatever the tree is, the fruit will come forth accordingly

3. The Insincere Have False Assurance V. 9

a. The Pharisees trusted in their ancestral relationship to Abraham
b. They trusted in their own self-righteousness