Keeping with Repentance
- The Ice Breaker…If you had to choose between wearing a leather belt with camel’s hair clothing OR eating locusts with honey…which would you choose?
- John started what became the christian practice of baptism, how do you think the understanding or purpose of baptism changed before and after Jesus’ death and resurrection? (see Romans 6:1-11 for help) If you have been baptized as a believer, share about that experience, what was powerful about it? How does it remind you of and demonstrate what is true for you in the gospel?
- John calls the Pharisees and Sadducees a “brood of vipers”, based on what you know of Pharisees and Sadducees, what prompts Jesus to use that terminology…why is he calling them out? (You might reference Matthew 23 and the woes for background reference) What things (teachings or idols or behaviors) are you often tempted to think are appealing and good, but are actually a brood of vipers?
- If you were living in John’s day, what would he say to you when you approached him for baptism? What would lead you out to the Jordan River?
- What was the purpose and mission of John’s baptism; how does it differ from the way we practice baptism today? (if you use the question above this one may seem repetitive.)
John Piper says this about baptism, “The way of salvation is repentance and faith in Christ, not ethnic identity or birth to Christian parents. God calls us today, no matter who our parents were, and no matter what ritual we received as infants: God calls us today to repent and believe on Christ alone for salvation and to receive the new sign of the new covenant of the people of God: the sign of repentance and faith, baptism. So I call on every one of you who has not followed Christ in this way, “Repent and be baptized”. This is the call of God. This is the path of obedience and life.”
- What are the “presumptions” in your life that tell you that you’re “okay”? For the Jews in Palestine during John’s day, it was “Abraham’s my father, I’m okay” or “I follow the law in every point” (what is our “presumption”?)
- What has to take place in someone’s heart to 1. go out to see John, and then 2. confess sins in front of a crowd of strangers and friends? What has to take place in OUR hearts in order for true repentance to take place? What do we need to come to/realize? (is this a motive from fear of God/love of God?)
- How is it possible to truly bear fruit? (Abiding in the True Israel, the True Vine, Jesus Christ).
- What are some ways that Christ has called you to be a co-laborer with Him in His vineyard?