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A Better Baptism

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This particular message will communicate the active work of God, in baptizing men and women with the Holy Spirit and fire, which is part of the process God uses to sort the wheat from the chaff.

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A Better Baptism

Luke 3:1–22 ESV
1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, 6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ” 7 He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.” 15 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18 So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison. 21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Describe the scene- along the Jordan wilderness, John is preaching to prepare the way for the Lord- drawing their thoughts and attention to the need for repentance and holiness.
John accomplished his task, vs 15 says, the people were in expectation, looking for the Messiah, the chosen redeemer and Savior. John is baptizing them with water, a symbolic washing, a symbol of their desire for forgiveness & holiness.

Baptism-

Emersion, dipping, plunging, washing
Baptism is a requirement of obedience to Christ’s commands
both to be baptized and to baptize

The Baptism of water for repentance

Mark 1:4 ESV
4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Acts 19:4 ESV
4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”

A Better Baptism

Luke 3:16 ESV
16 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

The Baptism Performed by God

Baptized with the Holy Spirit

Spirit- Wind, breathe, blowing of that which is perfect, righteous, worthy, and devoted to the things of God.
This baptism of the Holy Spirit, takes place at the time of regeneration.
Regeneration is a secret act of God, in which He imparts new spiritual life to us. We become “born again”, as Jesus describes it in John 3, when speaking with Nicodemus.
There are several steps, or pieces of our salvation that take place, that are the work of God, or the result of the work and the will of God.
John 1:13 ESV
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
So we are regenerated, brought to a place of understanding our need for Christ our Savior, and we come to faith in Him, as we are being born again.
Sinclair Ferguson put it this way, “So there is not a gap that we would be able to detect between being born again and coming to believe. In fact, the way we would recognize that we had been born again was because that came to expression in our trust in Jesus Christ. So they are very intimately related.”
Once we have been born again, and have believed in Jesus Christ, as the One and the Only One, that could save us from spiritual death, the Holy Spirit is poured out into our lives, and we are baptized with the Holy Spirit.
In Luke’s 2nd letter to Theophilus we read of multiple accounts of this taking place.
Acts 2- On the Apostles in Jerusalem, Acts 4- other believers in Jerusalem, Acts 8- Believers in Samaria, Acts
In this account of John the Baptist, here in Luke 3, this pouring out of the Holy Spirit had yet to take place. Christ has yet to complete His mission, but John is prophesying what is to come.
Luke 3:16 ESV
16 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
In this verse, John says, there is one coming who will Baptize with the Holy Spirit, and this One will also baptize with Fire

Baptized with Fire

Fire- refinement/destruction is what fire represents in the Word Of God.
Luke 3:17 ESV
17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
So, the context reveals to us, the type of fire, this “One” whom John is prophesying about will baptize with.
Destruction/Punishment for the wicked, when described as an “unquenchable fire”.
Mark 9:43–45 ESV
43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell.

God’s Threshing Floor

The rock hard, floor, that the harvest is placed on to be flogged and crushed, to reveal that which is the wheat and that which is the chaff.
There is a process that takes place to remove the chaff from the wheat kernel or wheat berry. The good part of the plant that is used for its nutritional value, Or is used to produce more wheat. The chaff is not useful and therefore it is thrown away, burned up.
The crowd gathered around John the Baptist was a mix of the children of God and those who were not saved. The wheat and the chaff were hearing this message.

The Winnowing Fork

Throwing the harvest into the wind/air, to be divided

Separating the Wheat and the Chaff

The wheat goes into the Barn
The chaff, blows apart from the wheat, and is burned with unquenchable fire.
The Parable of the wheat and the tares, in Matthew 13, also illustrates this truth.
This is Baptism of Spirit and Fire, has begun, and is continuing to happen, and will continue to happen until the Day of the Lord.
This is an already and not yet, situation just as the Kingdom of God is already and not yet.
Hebrews 12:18–29 ESV
18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
GOOD NEWS!
Luke 3:18 ESV
18 So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.
Good new for some, a terrible warning for others.
Pleasing aroma of life or a horrible fragrance of death.
2 Corinthians 2:14–17 ESV
14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
Thankfully, it is not for us to decide. Those who will believe and are baptized or immersed in the Holy Spirit, versus those who will die in their sins, and will be baptized with unquenchable fire to an eternal death is determined by the All-knowing, All-powerful, Holy, Righteous, Gracious, and Merciful Father God.
We should thank and praise Him, as Paul suggests in Eph 1
Ephesians 1:3–6 ESV
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Let us also Live in the power of the Holy Spirt, in obedience, Loving God and Loving our neighbor as ourselves.
We don’t do this on our own, in our own strength! We do this in the Power of the Holy Spirit, the one whom we are baptized into, filled with and sealed by. We are not merely baptized or washed in the water, we are baptized by the Holy Spirit.
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