Thursday Morning: 15 Aug 2019 – Matthew 3:1-17 ~ Baptism with Water, the Holy Spirit, and Fire.

Thursday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Guidance – Thursday)

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: Guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our lives we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Matthew 3:1-17 (NLT)

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said,

“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’”

John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.

But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducee coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.

“I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.”

The Baptism of Jesus

Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?”

But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.

After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
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Morning Reflection:

Baptism with Water, the Holy Spirit, and Fire.
“I baptize you with water for 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.”

– Matthew 3:11 –

In today’s Gospel account, Matthew introduces three baptisms – with water, the Holy Spirit, and fire – all in support of presenting Jesus as the Messiah and King of the Jews who will usher in the Kingdom of God. The high point is Jesus’ own baptism in which the Son receives the Father’s blessing (dearly loved, brings me great joy), and the Holy Spirit’s seal of approval (descending like a dove). The theophany displayed at Jesus’ baptism expressed the trinitarian presence and character of God.

But what of the three baptisms that John introduced?

+ Baptism of repentance with water – turn away from your sins and turn to God in preparation for the coming of God’s Kingdom. John’s baptism of repentance was a public sign that marked a a new direction, a new reason for living, in people’s lives

+ Baptism of power with the Holy Spirit – the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus was a display of God’s empowerment to accomplish the Messianic ministry he was about to begin. This empowerment was given to Jesus to speak and act with the authority of God. It is an authority that would be given later (after Pentecost) to all believers

+ Baptism of purification with fire – repentance and empowerment eventually lead every believe to confrontation with “the world, the flesh, and the devil” – the source of all temptation and the enemies of our souls. It’s in this baptism of fire that believers are purified and unbelievers are exposed.

Baptismal Questions for consideration:

  • Do you renounce the devil and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?
  • Do you renounce the empty promises and deadly deceits of this world that corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
  • Do you renounce the sinful desires of the flesh that draw you from the love of God?
  • Do you turn to Jesus Christ and confess him as your Lord and Savior?
  • Do you joyfully receive the Christian Faith, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments?
  • Will you obediently keep God’s holy will and commandments, and walk in them all the days of your life?

Answer: I will, the Lord being my helper.
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Morning Prayer – Baptismal Prayer

Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the forgiveness of sin, received them as your own children by adoption, made them members of your holy Church, and raised them to the new life of grace. Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit, that they may enjoy everlasting salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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“Holy Spirit Rain Down” – Hillsong Worship

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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