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Monday, January 23, 2017

Christ the greater…gatherer

Matthew 3:11-12 / Mark 1:7-8 / Luke 3:15-18…

John the Baptist raised expectations about the coming Christ. In fact, he did it so well that people started to wonder if he was the Christ. Like John, we have to be careful to keep the focus on Jesus, and not what He is doing through us.

John said that if they thought he was making clear distinctions between believers, non-believers, and make-believers, they hadn’t seen anything yet. From the context we see that the Christ will truly separate the wheat from the chaff. He will deliver some to glory and some to doom.

You will see the wrath of man any time you even speak of the wrath of God, let alone making it an object of worship and adoration. However, John said this made the Christ a greater one than himself. John could speak of it; Jesus will do it.

John said Christ will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. The power of the Holy Spirit is what unites all believers (John 3:5-8 / 1 Corinthians 12:13). But what is a baptism of fire?

Perhaps John is referring to one and the same event, with the fire representing the Messiah bringing the purifying fire of God to His people (Malachi 3:2). It may include the persecution that disciples go through (Mark 10:35-40 / 2 Timothy 3:12 / 1 Peter 4:12). If it is some separate event, it would refer to the fact that Jesus was going to baptize some into judgment; they would receive the unquenchable fire of hell. In any event, this isn’t something to achieve, it is something to be recognized. These events will happen.

The point is this: Jesus the Christ is going to make ultimate distinctions. Jesus will gather you one way or another, into the kingdom of light or into the kingdom of darkness. This is actually good news for those who will hear it.

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4 Comments:

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Even So... said...

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At 1:19 PM, Blogger MrsEvenSo... said...

this isn’t something to achieve, it is something to be recognized

As I pondered this a song came to mind.... Refiner's Fire.....

my heart's one desire is to be holy, set apart for you Lord, I choose to be holy, ready to do your will....

Thinking about these lyrics in the context of this post I don't think I could sing this song the same way I once did. Feeling all emotional about my love for God and His love for me (all warm fuzzies thinking all is well and my physical life will always be peachy) because my perspective has changed. Not that I don't love Him (He's caused me to love Him) but because in reality I can only choose to do the things I know to do and hope He gives me the strength and ability to persevere when the fiery trials come.
If I were like Stephen for instance. Being stoned to death.

I'm not sure my thoughts are coming across clearly. But anyway, just thought I'd share. :D

 
At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Chris M. said...

So if I understand you correctly, we are not completely sure what the baptizing with fire means?

 
At 2:36 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

I believe that while these may be true

Perhaps John is referring to one and the same event, with the fire representing the Messiah bringing the purifying fire of God to His people (Malachi 3:2). It may include the persecution that disciples go through (Mark 10:35-40 / 2 Timothy 3:12 / 1 Peter 4:12).

that THIS is what is certainly true

it would refer to the fact that Jesus was going to baptize some into judgment; they would receive the unquenchable fire of hell.

and as I said at the end

In any event, this isn’t something to achieve, it is something to be recognized. These events will happen. The point is this: Jesus the Christ is going to make ultimate distinctions. Jesus will gather you one way or another, into the kingdom of light or into the kingdom of darkness. This is actually good news for those who will hear it.

I believe the context makes it clear that what John was referring to was

John said that if they thought he was making clear distinctions between believers, non-believers, and make-believers, they hadn’t seen anything yet. From the context we see that the Christ will truly separate the wheat from the chaff. He will deliver some to glory and some to doom.

 

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