“15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ ”
16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.” - John 1:15-18 NLT
John the Baptist came preaching repentance and claiming that the “kingdom of God” has come, embodied in the Lord Jesus. When we repent, we must be diligent to go beyond simple sorrowful confession. We must be dedicated to decisive change in our life so that we do not sin again. Simply feeling bad, and then repeating the sin again, isn’t enough.
What was unique about John the Baptist was the urgency with which he preached. The arrival of the promised Messiah meant that the time to repent was at hand, and failure to repent would result in eternal damnation. John knew that God’s wrath would fall upon all people who failed to repent, including God’s chosen people of Israel. However, God is loving and faithful to forgive. Salvation is a gift of God, not something that can be earned.
Father, thank you for the gift of salvation. Thank you for giving us understanding in our time of need. Thank you for giving us comfort when everything seems to be working against us. Help us to be biblical, full of forgiveness and love for our neighbor, and consistently repent when we fail.