"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.--------------------------An eighth-and-ninth-grade confirmation class recently went on a retreat to prepare for full membership in the church. Among the topics they explored was church government. Almost immediately, one of the youth complained, “I’d like to know how it was decided that we should move the Passing of the Peace from the beginning of the service to the end. Now we can’t participate. We have to leave to go to Sunday school halfway through worship.” Another youth said, “I think greeting strangers before worship gives us a chance to make them feel a part of us.” Another said, “I don’t think it really matters when we do it. We should feel the peace of God with us at the beginning, at the end, and seven days a week.”The discussion provided an excellent case study about how decisions are made in the church. It also gave the class the opportunity to engage in the kind of holy conversation that can lead to consensus, based on Scripture, reason, experience, and tradition.After an hour of study, they decided to send representatives to the next meeting of the Worship Ministry Team. When their discussion became public, others saw the validity of their point of view. Several adults showed them respect and welcomed them into the life of the church in a new way. Together, they sought to create an atmosphere of worship in which everyone could “with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:6).