Matthew 3

Matthew 3:1-17 (NKJV)

1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,

2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS: ‘PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD; MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.’ “

4 Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him

6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,

9 and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.

10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

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.”

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.

14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”

15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.

17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

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4 months ago

There is a preparation for the plans and purposes of God that requires cleansing works that cannot remain where the glory is. This work of John must have been greatly significant for the coming ministry of Jesus as hearts repenting from works, both worldly and religious, were being cultivated for the reception of the Anointed One. These works, again, were central to the way being made for the Lord and His purposes. And, according to John, Jesus’ work wouldn’t deviate from this cleansing process but rather more adequately affect it by consuming all chaff and unacceptable residue with the fire of the Holy Spirit. His grace was not eradicating the need for righteousness and holiness but incredibly enabled by it for all who would fully immerse in the waters of His Spirit. A great declaration of spiritual fullness will then be the bearing of fruits worthy of repentance.
How precious it is to follow Jesus in humbly submitting to a total cleansing by His Spirit to walk in a continual statement that it is He that is now living – the old works have died.

Last edited 4 months ago by ps
4 months ago

I always love the Amplified’s notes on repentance: “Repent (change your inner self- your old way of thinking, regret pass sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life) for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. I was once part of a tradition where the understanding around repent was to basically grovel, to wallow in this level of unworthiness and condemnation or shame. But that’s not our incredibly merciful Lord. True, in humility we know that we cannot in and of our own strength be righteous , all our foibles, our mess ups and sin -OUR OLD WAYS are no more when we are born again in Christ. When we come to Christ, in his presence we exchange our strength for His, we put on His nature, His identity and He equips us to walk out our new life. We keep pressing, and there will be evidence of a changed heart by changed life of His Peace.

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