The Preaching of Repentance Prepares Us for the Coming of the Lord
The preaching and Baptism “of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 3:3) prepare us for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The historic work of John the Baptist was completed with the first advent of our Lord Jesus in the flesh, but the ministry of the forerunner continues in the preaching of Law and Gospel and in Holy Baptism. Through His messengers, the Lord calls people of all nations to “see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:6). Our haughtiness is removed and our mountains of pride are brought low, but the Lord humbles us in order to exalt us in His mercy. As the Lord has begun this good work of repentance in us, so also does He perfect it by His Word and Holy Spirit, and He “will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). He purifies us to be His priestly people, precious in His sight and abounding in faith and love, so that we offer our very lives in righteousness to the Lord (Mal. 3:3–4).