The Power of the Incarnation – Gospel in Life

The Power of the Incarnation

Tim Keller |  December 18, 2016

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John 1:19-28
RS 372-04


The Power of the Incarnation – Video Preview

Sermon Summary

Religious leaders question John the Baptist’s identity, revealing profound shifts in his inner life. Even with limited knowledge about Jesus and His mission, John experiences a significant inner transformation. The narrative accentuates the importance of comprehending our identity in the context of Christ’s arrival.

1. John’s view of himself

John the Baptist, despite lacking formal religious credentials, played a significant role in the religious community, causing controversy among its leaders. He denied being the Messiah, Elijah, or the Prophet, yet Jesus later affirmed John as the prophesied Elijah and the greatest person ever born. John’s revolutionary baptism ministry, which included both Jews and Gentiles, stressed the need for profound grace and repentance, asserting that no amount of purity, morality, or religiosity could save a person.

2. John’s view of Jesus

John the Baptist’s identity was not rooted in performance or achievements, but in his relationship with God, allowing him to embody both humility and fearlessness. This contrasts with our culture’s tendency to base self-worth on performance, leading to either confidence or brokenness, but rarely both. This paradox of boldness and humility in John the Baptist challenges our comprehension of identity.

3. The resulting character change

John the Baptist exemplifies a selfless focus on Jesus, finding his identity not in personal achievements but in his relationship with Christ. His humility, mirrored in Jesus’ act of washing His disciples’ feet, underscores the humble nature of Jesus’ life and sacrificial death. Our faith in Jesus allows us to base our relationship with God on His perfect performance, not ours, a humbling yet affirming truth that illuminates our need for Jesus and God’s unconditional love.

4. How we can have change

The importance of a secure identity in Jesus Christ, rather than one based on societal standards or others’ opinions, is paramount. This Christ-centered identity fosters humility and boldness, freeing us from the need for approval and enabling us to share Jesus with others. Drawing inspiration from John the Baptist, we find true purpose in pointing others to Christ, and we should pray for the Holy Spirit to cultivate this unique Christian identity within us.



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