We’ve been looking at who the Messiah is, that he is the Christ, the Anointed One, the promised Holy One of God, and that his name is Jesus. And so, we’ve been looking at the hope that he brings into our lives, because it’s in this season of Advent, we remember all that God has done to restore our relationship to himself. It’s amazing to think of God humbling himself, stripping himself of all of his glory, leaving the worship of angels, and coming in human flesh as a baby; being born in the lowest place and demonstrating in a very practical way that none of us are too low for his grace.
And yet, that’s exactly what happened, God so loved the world that he sent his Son, the Messiah, to be the Savior of the world. God is so madly in love with you, that he was willing to pay the highest price to restore your relationship with himself. And he did this, not because of what you’ve done, but because of his goodness and love. And so, he set a course of redemption, with plans to prosper you, to give you a hope and a future, because he is our source, our everything, and he is all that we need. It’s for this reason, that the apostle Paul prayed,
“Asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And (he says) we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:9-13).
And so, we’re celebrating the coming of the Messiah, the coming of his Kingdom, and this is what John the Baptist came proclaiming. He said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” and people were coming from far and wide. There was a great revival as people were repenting of their sins, they were being baptized, and yet there were still those who were doubting. Even though God was moving powerfully through John’s ministry, number one, there were still those who were questioning.
Some people mocked him, they doubted his authority, they discredited him, and asked, “Who are you?” John replied saying, “I am not defined by what you say, I am who God said many years ago through the prophet Isaiah. I am the voice of one calling in the desert, 'Make straight the way for the Lord'" (John 1:23). But the Pharisees kept questioning him. They said,
"Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, (if you’re not the Messiah) nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?" (John 1:25).
John replied, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie" (John 1:26-27).
And so, no matter what the people said, John continued pointing them to the Messiah, but in just a few short months his critics would take away his ministry and they would put him in jail where he would eventually be killed. But nonetheless, John wouldn’t be quieted because he knew that he had been called by God, that he had been appointed for such a time as this and nothing could separate him from the love of God. And so, even when things got rough, he kept pointing people to the Messiah, because he knew that the Messiah,
“Is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy” (Colossians 1:15-18).
My prayer this morning is that the Word of God would stir you, that the presence of the Messiah would fill you, and that the anointing of God would empower you with boldness. You see, it’s the anointing of the Holy Spirit that empowers us to be all that God calls us to be. When we live in the anointing, we’re emboldened so that who God says we are becomes our identity; and what God says neutralizes what others say, and so like John the Baptist, we don’t have to fear because God said,
“Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the holy one of Israel, your Savior…” (Isaiah 43:1-3).
And so, even though John the Baptist was questioned, ridiculed, and imprisoned he stood firm to the end not letting his circumstances define who he was. Not only was he appointed by God to prepare the way for the Messiah, but he was anointed to defeat the religious spirit of that day as well as the spiritual forces behind Herod’s throne. And in the same way, number two, we need the anointing to stand firm as we profess Jesus the Messiah.
You see, God never called us to a Sunday, when it’s convenient, “God bless America” kind of faith, but he called us to a full blown, holding nothing back, my life belongs to Jesus kind of commitment. That’s the kind of commitment that John the Baptist had and not only was he able to deal with the questioning, but he was able to deal with the spiritual forces behind those who were interrogating him, mocking him, and persecuting him.
In the same way, you and I need a full-blown commitment to Christ, walking in the anointing of the Holy Spirit, because we are in a spiritual battle. As the church, we’re the called-out ones, that’s what church means, and so we’ve been called out of this world, and we’ve been appointed by the Messiah. Jesus said it this way,
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you..." (Matthew 28:18-20).
Now, earlier Jesus had taught his disciples, giving them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. He told them, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy…” (Luke 10:19). And so, the Bible tells us that,
“They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them" (Mark 6:12-13).
Because of their boldness calling people to repentance, driving out demons, and healing the sick, many including King Herod thought that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead (Mark 6:16). And so, the early church was powerful and effective because it went out professing boldly in the authority of Jesus name.
The Bible tells us in Matthew chapter 16, that on one occasion Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ (in other words, you’re the Messiah), the Son of the living God." Jesus replied that “On this rock,” on Peter’s profession of faith, that declaration that Jesus is the Messiah, he said, “I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:15-18). And so, as we profess the name of Jesus here in Emmitsburg, he is building his church, every gate that stands in our way, whether it’s a gate of religious resistance, the gate of addiction, the gate of immorality, the gate of false religion, or whatever it is, Jesus empowers us to push through it in the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
You see, Jesus has appointed and anointed his Church so that wherever we go, wherever we walk, wherever we place our feet in his name, it becomes part of his kingdom. And so, we don’t need to wait on the Holy Spirit, because we have the Holy Spirit; we just need to take the initiative, take that step, open our mouths and speak in Jesus name. Jesus told Peter in verse 19,
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19).
And so, wherever we go, we’re literally disrupting the work of Satan, because we’re going to see people saved, delivered, healed, and baptized in the Holy Spirit. No matter where we go, we bring the fire of the Holy Spirit, we bring the anointing, speaking in Jesus name and releasing people to do the impossible. This is the way the Church is supposed to be, because we don’t conquer with the sword, but we conquer with our mouths in Jesus name. The Bible tells us,
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
And so, just like God spoke and created the world, we declare the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we profess it with our mouths. The Bible tells us to preach the good news, to pray for healing, to speak to the mountain, to speak to the dry bones, and to use our mouths because the Messiah has given us all authority and we belong to him. That’s the third point, we belong to him.
John’s Gospel tells us that one day, as the priests were symbolically drawing water and pouring it out around the altar, remembering the miracle of the water coming from the rock, Jesus stood in the temple and said in a loud voice,
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:37-38).
Jesus was announcing that those who believe would not only drink of that water, but that water would become in them a spring of water satisfying a thirsty world. And so, he connected the experience of Israel in the wilderness with the prophecy of Isaiah who said,
“I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams. One will say, 'I belong to the Lord'; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, 'The Lord's,' and will take the name Israel” (Isaiah 44:3-5).
And we are seeing this happening right now, over the past 100 years, God has been pouring out his Spirit and the anointing is coming back. The Spirit of truth brought back the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the priesthood of believers, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the need for discipleship, and all this stuff is coming back. We’re standing here as the Church in these last days, the Messiah is pouring out streams of living water, he is raising up young men and women, teenagers, and he’s releasing them into ministry. The Bible tells us in Acts chapter 2,
"'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18).
In these last days, together with the younger generation, we’re seeing the beginning of the end, it’s the consummation of God’s kingdom. Jesus is building his Church, he is pouring out his Spirit on his called-out ones, and that anointing is shaking things. The Bible tells us that he has promised,
"Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens” (Hebrews 12:26).
And so, God is shaking things, not just to bring people to the Messiah, but to cripple and paralyze the kingdom of darkness in the world. Jesus is pouring out the anointing on the Church and the powers of religiosity, addiction, abortion, human trafficking, and pornography, all those spiritual forces are now coming under a new rule. The prophet Isaiah said,
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
The Messiah is shaking the foundation of generational curses of unbelief, sickness, divorce, abuse, and poverty. Jesus has sent us to release the anointing in our families, our communities, and our church. He has come, he’s with us, and he’s anointed us to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, the recovery of sight for the blind, and to release the oppressed. And yet, there may be some of you today who feel crippled emotionally, you may be discouraged, you may be tired, you may not be where you’re supposed to be spiritually, but let me encourage you; if there’s still a flickering flame, just a glimmer of hope, you need to release it. If there is a word in your mouth and a little seed of faith in your heart, in the name of Jesus send it out.
You belong to the Messiah and of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. The Messiah, Jesus, is Lord, he’s the supreme authority, and all things were created by him and for him. The disciples understood this, and I love the perspective of the apostle Paul, he said,
“None of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:7-8).
And so, we belong to Christ, the Messiah, and our life is no longer our own. We choose to surrender to his leadership, because he is the King of kings and Lord of lords who shed his blood and died for us. When we say yes to his offer of salvation, yes to his forgiveness, we are accepting his authority over our lives and submitting ourselves to him as Lord. In Revelation chapter 5, we’re given a glimpse of angels and saints singing around the throne of God. They worshiped saying,
“You were slain and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God.”
And this is what the Bible tells us in first Corinthians,
“You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
As we close, we’re going to joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. We’re going to worship our Messiah Jesus Christ, professing that he is Lord over heaven and earth. We’re going to honor him with our bodies, because we belong to him, we’ve been redeemed, we’ve been purchased by our crucified, resurrected, soon returning, conquering, ruling, reigning, supreme King of kings and Lord of lords. And so, if you’re a Christian you surrender to him and you belong to him, because he is the ruling reigning King of the universe. To know the Messiah is to love him and live for him. Let’s pray!
Graphics, notes, and commentary from LifeChurch, Ministry Pass, PC Study Bible, Preaching Library, and Sermon Central. Scripture from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.