January 27, 2017: A Baptism of the Holy Spirit & Fire

Morning: Matthew 3:7-17; Noon: Romans 16:21-27, Exodus 1:1-5:21; Evening: Psalm 19

Jesus work and mission is two-fold. John himself said that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit. Baptism is an immersion (John 3:23). The Holy Spirit is the Helper whom Jesus would send and give to men to guide them in truth (John 14:26). In a figurative sense, Jesus’ ministry would immerse the world in truth, converting men into the light of God’s word and His Spirit. Through the Helper’s divinely revealed truth disciples would bear forth the fruit of the Spirit… Love, joy, peace, patience, etc. (Gal. 5:22). These are the fruits that are worthy of repentance. The kind of fruit that God can look at much like a gardener and say, “Yes, this tree was worth saving. It is bearing good fruit.” This is the first and primary purpose of the Christ’s coming.

However, Jesus’ work would also immerse the world in a second powerful element, fire. Fire is a testing agent that destroys and refines in a similar manner to purifying, but through a destructive filter (Compare 1 Cor. 3:13, 1 Pet. 1:7 to 2 Pet. 3:7, 12). In fact, John’s message follows with a warning of Christ’s winnowing fan in His hand. The winnowing fan is a farm tool used to divide the wheat and chaff in the barn. Once this tool has been utilized the wheat will be gathered, but the chaff will be burnt with “unquenchable fire.” The secondary purpose of the Christ’s coming to baptize the world was to purge evil men and hypocrites from the presence of God and give them over to the devil whom they chose from the beginning. In essence, this is what the Lord was saying in John 9:39, “For judgment I have come into this world… that those who see may be made blind.”

Jesus baptism is a symbol of his two-fold work and mission in the world. His teachings and work immersed the world with an Element that saves, the Holy Spirit, but also an element that destroys, fire. How is Christ’s work affecting you? Is His work immersing you in the salvation of Christ or in the eternal judgment of Christ? Jesus winnowing fan is still in His hand. He is coming once more to save and to destroy once and forever.

Be baptized into salvation!

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