I really appreciated this clip from Mark Driscoll’s sermon, The Birth of John the Baptizer, and felt it would be valuable to share today:
What could tend to happen when we do character studies of the Bible is we pick someone in the Bible and we look at their life and we say, “Okay, what are the good things they did? What are the bad things they did? Okay, I don’t want to do the bad things, I want to do the good things,” and the result is something called moralizing.
Moralizing absolutely destroys Scripture. You don’t even need to be a Christian to moralize Scripture. You can have any religion, ideology, philosophy or theology, and moralize Scripture.
It’s one of the great errors of Bible teachers and that is, “Don’t do the bad things, do the good things, now go.” The way that John was able to become the greatest man who ever lived was not by moralizing, but by the Holy Spirit. You see that? As we study John from here and you look at this man’s amazing life, and the legacy that he has, and the fruit of his ministry, it’s not, “Well, I need to do what John did.” No, you need to be filled by the Holy Spirit like John was.
You need to be empowered and transformed by the Holy Spirit like John was.
Through faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in you so that you can live a life under the control and power of the Holy Spirit like John did. Otherwise, it’s just nothing but a list of dos and don’ts. If you think you did well, you’re proud, and if not, you’re despairing. On neither account does moralizing lead to humble joy.
John was filled with the Holy Spirit, that’s how he did it.
There is no secret.
God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.
God’s power enables us to be who we cannot be and do what we cannot do because it’s God power.