The Holy Spirit in John the Baptist

The first mention of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament is in connection with John the Baptist – Luke 1: 5-6:-

In the days of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.

And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.

And in Luke 1:15 an angel appeared to Zechariah:

For he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.

John the Baptist in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins and great multitudes flocked to hear him preaching and to receive his baptism.

Matthew 3:10-12:-

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.

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.

Mark 1:7-8:-

And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.

I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

 

Luke 3: 9, 16, 17

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.

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. 

As John was baptising people with water, he openly confessed that there was someone who would come after him who was far more powerful than he was and who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

When John saw Jesus coming towards him, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” and he testified that Jesus was the one who would baptise with the Holy Spirit.

When we become Christians, it’s the Holy Spirit working within us that changes us and helps us to become holy people.

He will give us the strength and power to overcome the things in our lives that need to be changed and to break down any barriers, to enable us to become more like the person God wants us to be.

John 1:33

I myself did not know him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.

John is preaching to a mixed multitude composed of those who would accept his teaching and baptism, and of those who would accept neither.

Many of the former would become disciples of Jesus and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit to qualify them to take up the work of Jesus and carry it on until the church would be established and the gospel fully revealed to men.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit, which was purely supernatural, was necessary to qualify them for this work.

With many peaceful and loving blessings

Geoffrey

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Thought For The Day

As a parent you soon learn that pleasant though silence is, where a toddler is involved it usually means trouble! One afternoon when looking after my daughter, and having left her contentedly playing in her room, I realised that my last hour had not been disturbed once by the normal intrusion of an inquisitive youngster.

Time to investigate…A good job, as I was greeted by a face decorated with Mum’s make-up and an endearingly cheeky smile. This, of course, the make-up in which her previous repeated interest had been forbidden with strict instructions that it was off-limits.

The Israelites, rather like my daughter, had been left to their own devices rather too long. Moses was away up Mount Sinai conversing with God while they remained below, pumped up about serving a God who was about to covenant with them. In their enthusiasm, they implored Aaron to create something for them to worship, such was their hunger for God.

There is nothing to say that they rejected God, only that they wanted to create some form to which they might direct their worship; an early form of a ‘designer religion’.

It may well be that you want to honour your saviour, yet it may also be that you want to do so in a way that best serves your needs. The whole purpose of gathering to worship is to demonstrate that God is worthy of our veneration, declare the simple truth of our faith as captured in the Apostles’ Creed, draw encouragement and strength from God in the Eucharist, and recommit to live by God’s Rule in a lawless society to which we return.

(Dr Micha Jazz)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Do You Know How The Apostles Died?

Bartholomew –

also known as Nathaniel was a missionary to Asia, He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

Andrew –

he was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led towards the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words “I have long desired and expected this happy hour, The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it”. He continued to preach to his tormentors for two day’s until he expired.

Thomas –

was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent.

Jude –

was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.

Matthias –

the apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in AD57.

 Paul –

endured a lengthy imprisonment which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

 James the Just –

Leader of the church in Jerusalem was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall his enemies beat James to death with a fuller’s club.

(This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the temptation)

James the Great –

son of Zebedee. He was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was      ultimately  beheaded  at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial.

 

Perhaps this is a reminder to us that our sufferings here in the 21st Century are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the Apostles during their times for the sake of their Faith.

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey