In the previous article of Sharing the Word, the first use in Scripture of the word “voice” was examined. It was the voice of the pre-incarnate Christ … “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (Gen. 3:8 KJV).
Two opposing actions are note worthy. First, the man in unbelief does not seek God, Scripture affirms that … “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God” (Rom. 3:10-11 NIV). Secondly, it is God who pursues sinful man and who provides the means to effect a relationship which is compatible with His righteousness by means of faith in Christ. It is entirely the work of Christ apart from man’s noblest efforts. Thus the Apostle Paul says … “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8 NIV).
For those living prior to the Cross, the substitutionary death of an animal pictured that which is innocent dying for the one who is guilty. Centuries would transpire as Jews and Gentiles placed their faith in the promised sacrificial Lamb of God who would come as the substitute offering for sin. No doubt that each generation contemplated whether Messiah, the Savior would come in their lifetime. Then some seven hundred years before the incarnation Isaiah announced … “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” (Is. 7:14 NASB).
Thus, at the right time in history, another voice was heard. It was the voice of John the Baptizer. His was a voice of power and persuasion, of uncompromising authority but demonstrating great humility. John the Apostle wrote in his gospel … “There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world” (John 1:6-9 NIV). The apostle also recorded the answer of John the Baptizer when being questioned by the Jews and Levites … “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, 'Make straight the way for the Lord'" (John 1:23 NIV). “It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose" (John 1:27 NKJV).
The humility that he demonstrated would only be surpassed by Christ Jesus … “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:6-8 NIV)! With salvation accomplished, all those who believed in Him would have the responsibility and mandate to be His representative on earth -- to be a voice, a witness. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8 NIV).
That commission includes every Christian. We are not to make an issue of self, but merely be “a voice,” that of an ambassador of the Savior bearing the good news that man’s debt of sin to a righteous God has been paid in full by the Work of Christ on the Cross. Through Him there is the forgiveness of sins and life eternal. Jesus said … “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6-7 NIV).