"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.--------------------------The church and the gospel it proclaims are all-too-often seen as things intended to enrich our lives and enhance our families. Young husbands and wives typically want to provide as beautiful and as comfortable a home for themselves and their children as they can afford. They want the home located in an attractive area within the bounds of an outstanding school district, so as to give the children every advantage. When the time comes to select a church, they may use the same criteria they have used for making all the other decisions they have made. Which church of all those surveyed will give more of what they want?We assume that the church and the gospel it proclaims are to give us happy, satisfying lives. The gospel is to add to our lives, not to take away. It is to encourage us when we are feeling down. It is to reassure us when we are in doubt. It is to enhance our lives in this world and then to give us hope for the continuation of a good life in the next. It is to comfort us when we need comforting, not to make us more uncomfortable than we already are.Churches and their pastors often want their customers (their members) to be happy, to believe that it is a positive thing to be a part of the church. We hardly expect to take seriously the words of the Lord Jesus who said to a group of listeners, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34).We know that the cross is a part of the gospel. Yet so much of the time we think that it was for Jesus alone; it was the price he paid to save us. We do not expect the cross to be part of our agenda, too.