Summary: Be justified and cleaned by the Holy Spirit and Fire.
Sermon Title: Take a bath.
Scripture Text: Matthew 3: 10-12
10 The axe lies ready at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I baptize you with water for repentance, but after me will come One more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in His hand to clear His threshing floor and to gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
-People are many people seeking peace for their souls. Once we reach that place it's just a short journey to realize the one true way is through Jesus the Christ. It’s us, that know this already to help them to see the peace that only comes through knowing Jesus.
A Hindoo fakir, with matted hair and ash-besmeared body, was sitting under a tree in deep meditation. His eyes fell on the leaves of a torn book which someone had tossed away. It was part of the New Testament. He smoothed out the crumpled pages, and read words which brought strange comfort to his hungry soul.
He set out to seek for someone who obeyed the Book. He found an Englishman who confessed he obeyed it. The fakir, delighted, noticed that the Englishman wore a black band on his arm, and concluded that this was the distinctive sign of a Christian. So he put a black band on his own arm, and when people asked him who he was, he pointed to the band, and told them.
Sometime later the fakir wandered for the first time into a church building, and listened to a Christian preacher. At the close he announced that he too, was a follower of this way, and pointed to the band as a proof.
They explained that it was an English sign of the death of some loved friend. The fakir mused for a moment; then he answered: “But I read in the Book that my loved One has died, and I shall wear it in memory of Him.”
Before long, however, he grasped the truth of the resurrection, and when he realized that his loved One was alive for evermore, a great joy filled his heart. He took off the band from his arm, and the light of the resurrection shone in his face as he witnessed of the resurrected Lord.
Abraham is listed in the hero listings in Hebrews 11 but it wasn’t what he or any of them did that God offered salvation. If we could get to Heaven with good works then Jesus died on the cross for nothing. If we could get to heaven by good works many would get to heaven but not because God invited them.
Salvation is through Faith. Faith in God that what he said and says he will do. Walking by Faith with God at our side until we leave this place and go to be with Him forever.
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath [whereof] to glory; but not before God.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
The word “Justified” is such an important word for us to know. It means: Just as if I had died on the Cross. Because Jesus died a horrible death on the cross so He could take our sins upon himself that rightfully belongs to us. Because he did that and our Faith that God declared us Just. Justified means we are right with God because of our faith in what Jesus did.
Remember the Scripture I read to you at the beginning?
Matthew 3:11 (John the Baptist said)
11 I baptize you with water for repentance, but after me will come One more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Have you been Baptized or bathed in the Holy Spirit and with fire.
-Did you? Will you?
-How about pointing the way for others that haven't been Baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Take a bath in the Holy Spirit and His fire today!