Trusting God For The Right Words

Have you ever said the wrong thing and not realized you did it? Today we will be talking about trusting God for the right words at the right time. But our following story is about someone who didn’t have the right words at a particular time
A woman named Wanda was at Publix and the cashier was having a hard time trying to open one of the plastic bags. She made a groan, and Wanda meant to say “Yeah, those bas con be tricky sometimes.” but all that came out was, “This is bag.” The cashier responded, “Yes, it is a bag.”

Historical/Cultural Context -

The Gospel of John was written between 90 AD and 100 AD. Scholars also believe that John wrote the three Epistles and the book of Revelation around the same time-frame as he wrote this Gospel. The Gospel of John was written after Matthew, Mark, & Luke had been written and circulated. John has been dubbed by most scholars as “The Spiritual Gospel.” In it we find profound truths and deep meaning. He sticks to the behind-the-scenes spiritual truths of who Jesus is, and what He is about.

Biblical Text -

John 1:19–34 NKJV
Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord,” ’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.” And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”


Life Principle - If You Know Your Position In Christ, Then You Can Trust God For The Right Words At The Right Time.

Life Point- Trust God For The Right Words At The Right Time.

Exegetical -

John 1:19–28 NLT
This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.” “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?” “No,” he replied. “Are you the Prophet we are expecting?” “No.” “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’ ” Then the Pharisees who had been sent asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?” John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.” This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.

Homiletical -

We talked a little about John last week.
Here we find that John the Baptizer has become such a big deal and had such a great following that the Pharisees, a large religious sect who believed in the resurrection of the dead, had sent a number of people to ask him some pointed questions.
You see there had been plenty of people in the past who claimed to be the Messiah. They would draw away followers and would always declare themselves the messiah the saviour of Israel.
But John, knowing this trend, doesn’t do this. He comes right out and says I am not the Messiah. So they probe a little more.
They asked if he was Elijah, because there was a teaching that before the Saviour comes Elijah must come back first. But John tells them no.
I believe the Pharisees had mixed up their prophecies. In the end times there will be two prophets who proclaim God’s kingdom and will be able to call down fire upon the unrighteous. One of those prophets will be Elijah. Not only because of the prophecies in the Old Testament, but because he was one of two people in the Old Testament that didn’t die.
He was taken up in a chariot of fire and did not die.
Then they ask if he is The Prophet. This refers to a prophecy given by Moses that a Prophet would rise up amongst the people of Israel.
Deuteronomy 18:15–18 NLT
Moses continued, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. For this is what you yourselves requested of the Lord your God when you were assembled at Mount Sinai. You said, ‘Don’t let us hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore or see this blazing fire, for we will die.’ “Then the Lord said to me, ‘What they have said is right. I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him.
But John’s answer is again that he is not this prophet.
Now at this, they are probably breathing a sigh of relief thinking that John is not as big a problem as they thought. So they ask him, “Well who are you.” So he responds by quoting scripture.
Isaiah 40:3 NKJV
The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.
Malachi 3:1 NLT
“Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Now they get a bit indignite and ask by what authority does he baptize. Instead of answering directly he answers like King Solomon would, with wisdom and power.
You see John baptized with water as a sign pointing forward to whose ministry was to come, that is pointing to Jesus.
What the crowd and pharisees didn’t know was that Jesus was already in the crowd. John tells them their is another in the crowd that he isn’t even worthy to untie his sandal straps.
In that time, that is pretty unworthy. You see they wore sandals in the dirt, muck and mire and so people’s feet got pretty dirty and when one would come into your home you would offer to take their sandals off and wash their feet as a sign of respect.
Yet John finds himself even too unworthy to do that dirty Job.
So what can we take away from this encounter?
We have John, the Pharisees, and the crowd.
The first thing we can apply here for the Christian, is that you have the Holy Spirit inside of you and you can rely on him with answers about your faith in what you have studied in God’s Word.
When people try to trap you in words or when they are sincerely asking about your faith, you can rely on the Holy Spirit to bring God’s Word to your remembrance.
Hebrews 4:12 NLT
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Matthew 10:16–20 NLT
“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been talking to someone who tries to trap me, but because I have read the Word of God, the Holy Spirit brings the right words at the right time for that particular situation.
There are times when the conversation is over that I have been known to stop and thank God for the words, because that seemed to come out of nowhere. Whether it was a scripture that I hadn’t remembered in years or just the right words for the conversation, God made it happen in spite of myself.

Illustration -

I was talking to a pastor who told me when he was young in Christ that he had studied the old Evangelism Explosion method of witnessing and on the final day he had to go out and put into practice what he had learned. So he goes to the first house on the block and says to himself, “I got this.”
But he didn’t have it. He messed up every verse, every talking point and made a huge mess out of it. His mentor that was with him looked stunned and when he was done, he asked the lady if she wanted to give her life to Christ. You know what happened? The Holy Spirit knew exactly what she needed because she gave her life to Christ right then and there.
Man’s methods may tell you to something one way, but God knows what people need when they need it. So rely on Holy Spirit to guide you.

Life Point - Know Your Position In Christ

Exegetical -

John 1:29–34 NLT
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.” Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”

Homiletical -

This is the following day. John comes out and again is doing his baptizing, only on this day something different happens. This day the Messiah is revealed to him so that he can reveal Him to the crowd.
Notice John didn’t recognize Jesus until the sign that God had given John came to pass.
What is that sign?
John 1:32–34 NLT
Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”
Some things to not here.
1) It does not say that the Holy Spirit is a Dove or the form of a dove. Just that the Holy Spirit came upon him gently, like a dove.
2) Whatever this looked like to John, only he saw it. Not the crowd, otherwise he would not have to declare Jesus is the Messiah because everyone would have known.
3) Jesus will baptize, and still does, baptize with the Holy Spirit. To baptize, in the original Greek language, means total immersion. To be completely submerged. This miracle happens at salvation and is not subsequent to salvation. This happens at the moment of conversion.
Ephesians 1:13 NLT
And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.
The Holy Spirit was with the Old Testament prophets, but He was not living in them. Where as today, The Holy Spirit lives in the believer.
John 14:16–17 NLT
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
This has some implications for the believer. One problem we have today is that we don’t know where we are positionally in Christ. The believer has more closeness with God and more power in them than any of the greatest Old Testament Prophets.
Matthew 11:11 NLT
“I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!
It is because of our sin being dealt with that we are allowed to have such a close relationship with God The Holy Spirit. It is because of the sacrifice on the cross that there is peace between man and God. Because of this peace and cleansing from sin, positionally, we have the Holy Spirit in us.
A major misconception about the Holy Spirit is that He is some mythical force, without a will of His own. That He is not a person, buy a power. Folks, this isn’t star wars. The Holy Spirit is not a force. He is a He and is the third person in the trinity. You can speak directly to Him if you want to. As a matter of fact the scriptures say that He prays for us.
Romans 8:26–27 NLT
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
Speaking of prayer, have you ever been lead by the Holy Spirit in prayer? You start out praying one way and then all of a sudden you are praying for something or someone you weren’t even thinking about. That is reliance on the Holy Spirit in prayer.

Life Principle If You Know Your Position In Christ, Then You Can Trust God For The Right Words At The Right Time.

Call to Action – altar call….

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