"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. ”
Infusion Bible eStudies are downloadable small group studies that can be read online, printed, or emailed. Each study includes a leader guide and a study guide and is suitable for a one-hour group Bible study. Listen...to the words of the Scripture, and in them discover God's message for you today.Look...at a brief verbal snapshot from the scrapbook of contemporary life and discover its connection both to you and to the Scripture passage.Live...inside the Scripture to discover its context and message; then allow the Scripture to come alive in you and cause you to live out your faith in new and more-effective ways.Read an excerpt from this study below.--------------------------Religion is not always a good thing. Because of their beliefs, religious persons can sometimes become moralistic, close-minded, and afraid of life and laughter. Under the influence of religious conviction, one can become hostile to persons who are not of like mind and allegiance. Religious differences can fuel family feuds and international conflict. No wonder people are reluctant to discuss either religion or politics! We all have probably known people who got a serious dose of religion, and afterwards we realized that we liked them a whole lot better before they did.When the hallmark of religious practice is disapproval rather than love, and when the typical facial expression we associate with the adherent is a frown rather thana smile, the religious practice is in serious danger of being an ungodly and dangerous thing. Out of a concern for religious purity, with anger in their hearts, “the scribes of the Pharisees” showed their disapproval of Jesus by asking his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Mark 2:16).