"The Gospel of Grace and
In Malachi 4:6 it is prophesied that John the Baptist would turn the hearts of parents to children and children to parents. However, John never once mentioned parents or children. Instead he preached the good news, pointing people to Jesus as the Lamb who would take away the sin of the world. It was and is God's intent that those who truly understand and embrace the gospel will enjoy the fruit of strengthened family bonds. In this session Reb and Beverly discuss the core elements of the gospel and provide listeners with the chance for personal revival that will be contagious to their families.
is Session 4 of the CD set "Influencing Children's Hearts."
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Malachi 4:6 -- Reb Bradley
I. God’s chief means for blessing and building families
John the Baptist held the secret for strong family bonds
Mal 4:6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers... (Luke 1:17)
> Strong family bonds were meant to be a side effect of John’s ministry
> It will not happen as a result of methods, steps, or self-working Bible principles
II. What in John’s ministry does God use to knit family hearts?
A. He preached the Gospel.
Luke 3:18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.
ê The gospel will weave its binding fibers deep into the parent/child relationship
Truly “good news” energizes those who believe it. It fosters a contagious “life”
> The core of the good news is that God desires relationship with sinners.
Rom 5:6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
> He proclaimed the need for and availability of forgiveness of sins
Mark 1:4 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
> If we do not know God is merciful we will avoid Him. Knowledge of forgiveness is power.
Mat 25:24 "Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
> The gospel changes primarily WHO we ARE -- not just WHAT we DO.
B. He sought to reconcile people to God.
Luke 1:16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.
> Reconciliation has already occurred
Rom 5:10 For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
2 Cor 5:18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Heb 10:10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
C. He pointed people to Jesus
Mat 3:3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'"
John 1:26 "I baptize with water," John replied, "but among you stands one you do not know.
John 1:34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."
John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
1. In Jesus alone is there reconciliation with God and eternal life.
Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
We get caught up in Christian “stuff“ -- worship style, liturgy, clothes, house church, translation, curriculum. Our life must be about Jesus -- not about lifeless “religion” and its trappings
2. He portrayed Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb who would suffer for sins.
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"
Those who truly grasp how Jesus suffered in their place will love him.
3. Christ has made us at peace with God
Rom 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
4. He brought us near to Him
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
5. He allows us to come boldly into His presence
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Heb 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
6. He did all our work for us and gave us the task of believing in him
John 6:28 Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" 29 Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
Rom 4:4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
D. The fruit of truly grasping the gospel is deep understanding of the love of God
> Those who truly receive God’s love will give it away to their children
Eph 3:17 ...I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.