While we cannot do the work of Christ, we can do as John the Baptist and prepare a way for him. Otherwise, what was the purpose of John’s ministry–since Christ does the work? Why did the people have to repent of the sin that would be nullified anyway?
as it has been written in the Prophets, “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You; the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” John came baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for remission of sins. Mark 1:2-4
I certainly agree that the parts have to work together. This to me is how the bigger parts work together in the grand scheme of the gospel. Christ, Paul and John the Baptist all work in concert. Isaac
Isaac, we may agree that the parts must work together, but the parts as you’ve laid them out form a much different story of the grand scheme of the gospel. First, you have separated yourself from Christ right where it counts in saying this:
While we cannot do the work of Christ
I mean, didn’t Jesus himself say:
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. John 14:12
How is it that you overlook this simple reality of our life in Christ? You see, I know you agree with many of the points I make because they comprise a lot of what you call your favorite doctrine (the finished work). I also know that you don’t want to force-fit certain verses and passages to your favorite doctrine, but what if the truth of Christ found in the “finished work” is not a doctrine? What if it is the doctrinal box that causes you to keep it all so separate? But let me go on.
While we cannot do the work of Christ, we can do as John the Baptist and prepare a way for him.
Do you not understand the ministry of John the Baptist? With no slight intended toward him (for he was a magnificent man), John was the epitome of the law. Yes, the law. He knew his purpose … he would decrease, Jesus Christ would increase. Consider Moses and the veil he put over his face so that Israel would not see the decrease of the law’s glory. John was the glory of the law (as given through Moses), Jesus Christ was the embodiment of grace and truth. John came to prepare Israel for the one who would deliver them from the sins he judged them for. John’s glory was with Israel for a while as he decreased in front of their eyes, the glory of Jesus Christ was revealed as ever-increasing in measure through his death and resurrection. It is the sense of John’s ministry that I often hear coming through you. I would hope that you soon weary of it.