E100 Devotion – Day 54June 28, 2012
Reading: Luke 3:1- 20
John the Baptist came in the anointing of Elijah the Prophet. Elijah was a reformer who was calling Israel back to worship the real and living God and repent from worshipping false idols and living compromising lifestyles.
God has a priority of restoring and reforming the people of faith first before He reaches those outside of His House.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
John came to bring reformation to the religiously corrupted who had become self-righteous, and self-deceived, proclaiming what was right but not living right. He came preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. He wasn’t preaching a mere forgiveness of sin but a removal of it through Jesus Christ.
There’s a big difference between just being forgiven of sins and having sins omitted. He was preaching purity of religion, not elimination of religion.
If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their trouble, and keep oneself unspotted from the world.
James doesn’t speak against religion, he speaks against impure religion. Reformers are not religion destroyers, they’re religion purifiers. The Elijah anointing comes to purify God’s people. Malachi said that this anointing would precede the coming of the Lord and it would purify the Levites or priests.
The priests of Malachi’s and Elijah’s days were offering polluted, diseased and compromised offerings while defiling and corrupting God’s people. We have seen the same thing in Church history prior to great Awakenings. Many of the Church properties had become dilapidated and rundown and excellence had been completely abandoned.
Judgment begins in the house of the Lord. There’s no greater hindrance to Gospel appeal than hypocrisy and corruption among the faithful.
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