11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
John the Baptist was powerful preacher. He proclaimed the need for repentance from sin and the judgment of God upon those who refused to repent. But by John’s own words, the One coming after him was so much greater that John wasn’t worthy to unbuckle His sandals and when He preached the results would be much more powerful. When Jesus came, the crowds were amazed at His doctrine and authority. Jesus did bring the Holy Spirit who when He came people’s lives truly changed.
There are two sides to our salvation. There is the biblical side, that is, the side that tells us what happens when we are saved, and there is the experiential side, that is, the actions that take place within us when we are saved. John predicted this baptism of the Holy Spirit upon all who came to Christ. In the church today I have witnessed many people who both knew Christ according to the Scriptures and knew Christ according to their own experience. After trusting the Savior to remove their sins and to give them His righteousness, their lives changed for good because the Holy Spirit entered into them. I have also known people who claimed Christ but did not have any evidence of the Holy Spirit within.
Do you see the problem here? When Jesus came He brought the Holy Spirit. All who claimed Him were baptized with the Holy Spirit, according to John’s teaching. If someone claims Christ but does not possess the Holy Spirit, has Christ truly saved them? According to the Scriptures, all who have the Holy Spirit have received Christ and all who do not possess the Holy Spirit do not have Christ. The second part of John’s prophecy concerning Christ is that He will eternally, with fire, judge all who face Him as their judge.
As you look at your own life and at the lives of others, do you see evidence of the Holy Spirit within? If you do then you identify with them as brothers and sisters in Christ living possessed of the Holy Spirit of God. As you look at yourself and others and see those who are unable to live for Christ It may be that they have never been baptized with the Holy Spirit, they then are not saved. All people of all ages need the saving grace of God found in the work and the person of Jesus Christ. When the grace of God is received the Holy Spirit takes up residence. I am so glad that I know this both from the Bible and from my own experience of coming to Christ 44 years ago.
Men, we will have our Saturday morning prayer breakfast at Denny’s this Saturday. We meet at 7:30. I hope you can join us.
After the service Sunday morning we are having a brief church family meeting. We will be ending the service a little early to accommodate this meeting. If you are a member or a regular attender please plan to stay for this family meeting.
Have a great day in the Lord,