Baptism of Fire
Topic: Baptism of Fire
“Baptism of Fire”
-> Pastor Damian Mericka / 16 FEB 2020
Series: KINGDOM VISION 20/20
Conversation Starter: Have you ever gotten an answer to a question
left you feeling like that can’t be right? Or, that can’t be all there is to it, right? For many readers of the Bible today the church is giving answers that are leaving people feeling like that. One such question is about Jesus baptizing us with fire. The Bible has much more to say than most answers today’s church provides.
Let’s Dig In! “That one-time Jesus was baptized”
Turn to Matthew 3:13-15. John the Baptizer (he got that nickname because he baptized people in the Jordan River, get it?) was doing his dunking thing when Jesus came on the scene. John is taken back a bit, confused, because Jesus wants to be baptized.
Notice how John attempts to prevent Jesus, as if Jesus is mistaken (v.14). Remember when Peter did this to Jesus too (Check out Matthew 16:21-23). How is it that we feel like we need to “protect, prevent, defend or make apologies” for Jesus?
In Jesus’ own way He gently deflects John’s intention and encourages him to trust and obey. John does and baptizes the Son of God. Now remember, up to this point Jesus has not done anything in display of His identity- so understand John’s confusion.
God had told John that Jesus would come; John was to prepare the way for Him. That is why John in baptizing those who are desiring to answer God’s call and repent. Let’s dig in a little deeper into this!
Context Time! “Pointing toward a new Kingdom”
Matthew 3 opens with John preaching in the wilderness (outside of Jerusalem / the Temple) a message of repentance. Remember, repentance means turning away from something or making a complete change. In this case, John is inviting people to turn from this world (bondage to sin and death) toward God’s Kingdom (deliverance and empowerment).
God wants all eyes on Jesus who will bring this Kingdom! Confession of sins aligns our hearts toward God’s forgiveness (See Mark 1:3)
John soon catches the attention of the Religious system as their leaders come from Jerusalem and the Temple to spy things out. What John was doing existed outside of their authority.
Getting back to Jesus now -> John said that Jesus would come and baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire. <- You caught that, right? So now we can begin to see John’s confusion.
How God’s Kingdom is Coming. “Jesus receives from the Father in order to give to us”
Matthew 3:16-17. Jesus chose to be baptized in order to fulfill all righteousness. God is not only offering salvation; God is also providing it through Jesus. Remember, Jesus did not come to do away with the Law, but to fulfill it! (Note Matthew 5:17)
But still, why to fulfill all righteousness?
We need to take a quick detour to answer this in Matthew 4:1-11. The devil attempted to shackle Jesus with the Law through sin (taking His hand out of the Father’s to take the devil’s in an authority he did not have). In the end Jesus did not sin; Jesus did what we could not do. Jesus obeyed and fulfilled the ENTIRE LAW. (Hold that thought)
The Law shackles us to this world due to sin. We can desire to rise but will never on our own. When Jesus said He would baptize us with fire, He meant things were going to change.
Because fire, after all, rises. (Note: it also burns away sin…Matthew 3:12)
Rises where exactly <- GREAT Question. Where did Jesus rise to? Before He rose, He went where we could not follow (the cross- outside the City / Temple) in order that we could follow Him after (resurrection)-John 13:36.
Turn to Acts 2:22-36 to find out where Jesus went and what Jesus did!
Application Time (You knew this was coming)
Repentance is turning from our sin through confession, calling on the Name of Jesus to receive His Spirit and ascend to the Heavenly realm participating in His Kingdom’s RISE!
We participate in the work of the Kingdom!
2 Corinthians 5:17-6:1
We are presently seated in the Heavenly Kingdom!
We have been given authority to bind and loosen in Jesus!
Matthew 16:17-20 / Matthew 12:22-32
The same Spirit Jesus received from the Father which guided Him in His earthly ministry and raised Him from the dead resides in ALL who call upon the Name of Jesus for salvation! Seated with Him before the Throne of God let our lives be led by His Spirit- empowered with the authority of our King to Bind and Loosen in Jesus’ Name as His Kingdom rises from the shackles of this world and it’s defeated kingdom!