"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
Though in all things God's Word is the final authority, our Christian tradition, as inherited from centuries of careful reflection and endeavoring to be true to the teaching of Scripture, can greatly enlighten us. Nowhere is this blend of respectful listening to the wisdom of the past and faithfulness to the Bible more necessary than in our contemporary reformulations of the doctrine of God's person.
Bruce Ware believes that while tradition's emphasis on God's metaphysical perfection and His supremacy over the world is correct, we must refine our understanding of the way in which He relates to us. While retaining the deepest concerns of the historic tradition, Ware offers a more rational view of God's dealings with His children--a view that is reflected in Scripture's own testimony of Him. Ware then applies this concept of real divine exaltation and real divine-human relationship to the areas of our prayer life, confidence in God and His guidance of us.