Luke 3:1-14

Talks for Growing Christians

The Ministry of John the Baptist; The Baptism of Repentance

Luke 3:1-14

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Lesson Number 7

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The preaching of John the Baptist included a baptism of repentance.
  2. The preaching of John the Baptist emphasized the fruits of repentance.

Practical Application

  1. Be a clear voice in the wilderness.


  1. Why were Anna and Caiaphas both listed as high priest in verse 2?
  2. Where was John the Baptist living before he began his public ministry?
  3. How were people to prepare spiritually and morally for the coming of the Messiah?
  4. Is John’s baptism the same as believer’s baptism?
  5. Did John’s baptism save the people? What about baptism today?


  1. The Romans had deposed Annas and eventually his son-in-law Caiaphas took over, but the Jews still recognized Annas as the high priest. Annas and Caiaphas were both corrupt as we know from the biblical record of our Lord’s trial.
  2. He lived in the Judean Wilderness (see Luke 1:80).
  3. The people needed to repent of their sins, get their hearts right, and set their lives in order before God, because the Messiah was about to arrive.
  4. No; believer’s baptism comes after our Lord’s ascension and the formation of the Church. John’s baptism called Jews to state publicly that they were repenting of their sins and were preparing for the coming of the Messiah.
  5. John’s baptism did not give forgiveness of sins, but the people’s repentance resulted in forgiveness of sins. Baptism today does not save you and is not necessary for salvation. It is a public statement that you have repented of your sins and turned by faith to Christ for salvation.


  1. Read Luke 3:4-6 which is a quote from Isaiah 40:3-5. John the Baptist applies this road-making process in a figurative way to the need to prepare spiritually and morally for the coming of the Messiah. For us, the Messiah has already come. But are there times when you have needed to prepare yourself spiritually, perhaps before confronting opposition? How did you prepare yourself?
  2. Discuss the fruits of repentance which John preached. Fruit does not lead to repentance, but is the natural result of repentance.


  1. Don’t let pride or self-promotion get in the way of your ministry to the Lord. Be a clear voice in the wilderness.

Key Verses

  • “And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” Luke 3:3
  • “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.” Luke 3:7-8

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