Our senior pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, wrapped up his Advent sermon series preaching through John 1:19-28 this past Sunday, January 3. He began by talking about the “spotlight effect”–our naturally being conscious of ourselves, what we are thinking, how we look, and what we are doing–as described in this December 2015 article in The Atlantic.
While being self-conscious generally afflicts our culture, John the Baptist in our passage answers questions to let us know he clearly knew who he was not and who he was. John was a celebrity, yet he was determined not to steal the glory or the spotlight that did not belong to him. John was “the voice in the desert” preparing the way for Jesus and pointing the people to Christ; then people followed Jesus through John’s words and actions!
As we think through questions like: Who are you? What do you say about yourself?, we need to go to Scripture for our identity, and we must always point people to Christ. We’ll never go wrong when we let the Word of God give us our identity; these verses are a great starting point:
I Corinthians 6:9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified,you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Romans 8:30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Ephesians 1:5 …he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,…
I John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.