“Choosing Change” 
Luke 3:1-20  

And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins… – Luke 3:3 

In the original language of the New Testament, the word “Baptism” is baptisma, which literally means “immersion.”  “Repentance” is metanoia, which means “a change of mind,” literally an about-face; a 180-degree change of direction. When you put the two together, “baptism of repentance,” means immersed in a change of direction, submerged in an adjustment of your mind. 

And that was the ministry of John the Baptist. He preached a baptism of repentance, a change of mind, an about-face in direction. 

But John went on in his ministry to foretell of another, the Christ, Who would execute change through a baptism of the Spirit and fire. “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” [Lk 3:16] 

John prepared the way by preaching change, Jesus followed by executing change through the Holy Spirit. 

That is why John was called the forerunner. He would [for the Church] be the Elijah that preceded Christ [ref. Mal 4:5; Lk 1:17; Matt 11:14; 17:10-13]. 

But notice the importance of John’s ministry. Repentance precedes salvation. Only Christ can save. Only the better blood and superior sacrifice of Jesus can remove sin [ref. Heb 10:1-18]. It starts, however, with repentance. One must first acknowledge he is a sinner and then choose to change direction. 

Nothing has changed from the time of John the Baptist. We, too, must preach repentance of sin, and then introduce Jesus Who forgives us our sins and saves. 

Only Jesus can turn a repentant life into a saved life. We repent, He forgives and saves and empowers us to live Godly lives. 

Christ will take a willing heart that chooses change, one that decides to go God’s way and no longer his own, and then He ushers him into the Kingdom and uses Him for His glory.

This is the Good News of Jesus Christ!