Mindanao Times

John points to the coming of Christ and his kingdom

- source: www. dailyscrip­ture.net, author Don Schwager

ISAIAH prophesied that the Messiah would be equipped with the gifts of the Spirit - with wisdom, understand­ing, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear of the Lord (for an explanatio­n of the gifts see this helpful article). This king would establish the kingdom of God, not by force of human will and military power, but by offering his life as the atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world. Through his death on the cross, Jesus, the true Messiah King, would defeat Satan, overcome death, and win pardon and reconcilia­tion for sinners. God’s plan of redemption included not only the Jewish people but all the nations of the earth as well. Through his death and resurrecti­on Jesus makes us citizens of heaven and friends of God. The Lord Jesus wants us to live in joyful hope and confident expectatio­n that he will come again to fully establish his kingdom of righteousn­ess and peace. John the Baptist’s prophecy of the Messiah Why did John the Baptist prophesy that the Messiah would come and “baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire”? Fire in biblical times was often associated with God’s presence and with his action in the lives of his people. God sometimes manifested his presence by use of fire, such as the burning bush which was not consumed when God spoke to Moses. The image of fire was also used to symbolize God’s glory, his protective presence, his holiness, righteous judgment, and his wrath against sin. Fire was also used as a sign of the Holy Spirit’s power and presence. When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost, tongues of fire appeared over the heads of the apostles and disciples of Jesus. The fire of the Holy Spirit purifies and cleanses us of sin, and it inspires a reverent fear of God and of his word in us. Do you want to be on fire for God and for the return of the Lord Jesus when he comes again in his glory? John pointed others to the coming of Christ and his kingdom John the Baptist’s life was fueled by one burning passion - to point others to Jesus Christ and to the coming of his kingdom. Who is John the Baptist and what is the significan­ce of his message for our lives? Scripture tells us that John was filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb by Christ himself, whom Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth John lept in her womb as they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Like the prophets of the Old Testament, John devoted his entire life to prayer and the word of God. He was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness where he was tested and grew in the word of God. John’s clothing was reminiscen­t of the prophet Elijah. The Holy Spirit prepared John for the mission entrusted to him as forerunner of the Messiah, Jesus Christ - the Word of God who became man for our salvation. John pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world by offering his life on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sins and the sin of the world.

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