Witness to Grace

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness.. to bear witness about the light, that all might believe – through Him. John 1:6;7

Men of Faith
Abraham is a highly esteemed prophet, who is honoured as the great father of faith, and rightly so for when called he trusted God and it was credited as righteousness. Moses was the great prophet, who is held in honour by the religions of the world, and rightly so, for He was the one who gave God’s perfect Law to the people of Israel.

Greatest Prophet
But John the Baptist is the greatest of all the prophets that have been sent by God, for he was witness to the perfect Word.. witness to the Light – witness to Grace. Grace and truth came by Jesus, the light of the world,  and John testified of Him. John was sent to witness of Christ – the light to men, Who was full of grace and truth.

Christ’s Witness
John, whose name means: God is gracious, bore witness of Jesus: God is salvation. John was to point to the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. John was a witness to the grace of God – that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. John was sent as a moon to reflect the Son – the only true Light of the world.

Sacrifice for Sin
Though acknowledged by the Lord Jesus as the greatest of all men born of women. John was the one who testified that he must decrease – but Christ must increase. John was not the Light, but he witnessed about the true and only Light of God. John did not bring Grace, but he was to testify of the One Who was full of Grace. John could not forgive sins, but pointed to the Messiah, the only Sacrifice for sin.

Gospel of John
But the Baptist was not the only man called ‘John’ that witnessed of the grace of God. The beloved disciple wrote his gospel of John so that we may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing – may have life in His name.

Gospel of Matthew
In the gospel of Matthew we see John stride onto the scene with a message to Israel, Repent for the kingdom of the heavens is here – their promised Messiah had arrived. This message to the ‘circumcision’ was to testify to the fulfilment of God’s promises – the King had arrived: the kingdom was near… repent and believe on Christ Jesus.

Witness to Jews
The Baptist’s message in Matthew was one of judgement that called for penitence. He is calling for all Israel to repent of their sins – to turn to God and His Messiah. The lost sheep of Israel were to bring forth the fruit – which called for repentance.

Witness to Gentiles
But in the gospel of John was a witness to the gentile nations of the mercy of God. The true Light that lights ALL men had come into the world – full of grace and truth. This message to all men was to testify of the Lamb of God – the Sacrifice for all sin. The Saviour had arrived – the Light and Life of men… full of grace and truth.

Witness to Grace
The Baptist’s message in John had its focus on the fullness of the grace of God. He is proclaiming the fullness of grace that alone comes through the person of Christ, For from His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. The witness of grace, proclaimed by John, emanated from God’s infinite love and grace. It proceeded from the Father through the Son – to sinful man in need of a Saviour.

Embryonic Gospel
John’s witness of grace was more than restoration of life for the descendants of Adam. He was presenting the embryonic gospel of grace, which was to be more fully revealed by the ministry of the apostle Paul – to include the Church as the Body of Christ in Union with Him  – a new creation and joint-heirs of God’s Son – a heavenly citizenship and the indwelling Holy Spirit as a down-payment from God the Father – our Abba.

Repentance and Grace
Abraham was a highly esteemed prophet and honoured as the great father of faith. Moses was the great prophet – reverenced by the many religions of the world, but John the Baptist is the greatest of all the prophets that have been sent by God. John was no more than a voice crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord. His witness was to both Jew and gentile – a double message of repentance and grace. The LAW of Moses was given to REVEAL sin… but GRACE through faith in Christ REMOVES sin.

Greatest and Least
Though among those born of women there is no one greater than John, nevertheless Christ told us that even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than John. John was a man sent from God, who came as a witness.. to bear witness about Jesus – the Word of God made flesh; the Messiah and King of Israel; the Saviour of ALL the world – the Light that illuminates every man that comes into the world…  so that all might believe – through Him.

Special Man
There was a very special man sent from God, whose name was John. But he came as a witness.. to bear witness about Jesus:- the Son of – God; the Messiah of Israel; the Light of the world, Who was full of grace and truth, that ALL might believe – through Him.


Bible References

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

Psalm 46

Psalm 91-94

46 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.

He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Psalm 91-94

91 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

92 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:

To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,

Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.

For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.

Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.

A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.

When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:

But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore.

For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

11 Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.

12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

13 Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.

14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

15 To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

93 The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.

Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.

The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.

Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.

94 O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.

Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.

Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?

How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?

They break in pieces thy people, O Lord, and afflict thine heritage.

They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.

Yet they say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.

Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise?

He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?

10 He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?

11 The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.

12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law;

13 That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.

14 For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.

15 But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.

16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

17 Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.

18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.

19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

20 Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?

21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.

22 But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.

23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the Lord our God shall cut them off.

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