Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God wants us to recieve his refining fire to grow within us until the carnal, frail and shakable things of humanity are burned away with only his will remaining

The Fire of this world!

While on the one hand fire calls to mind scenes of danger and death, pain and some associate it with eternal suffering.

On the other hand fire signifies the life, vitality, passion, even the tenderest of feelings are called forth by a burning love of God.

And so we speak symbolically of the fire of faith burning within us.

• The biblical image of the refiner’s fire reminds us how humanity can turn the lethal power of fire to a creative use.

• The refiner’s fire of man purges away the impurities of ore in the production of finer metals. Iron, bronze, steel, gold, silver, platinum ect……

• The refiner’s fire of Christ, is through the baptism of the Holy Spirit to produce the most beautiful and graceful children of God. US

And as we know, in nature, the fire of our sun, as well as the volcanic fires of earth is key factors in the creation of life itself. This planet was spoken into being by the word of God which resulted of a fiery explosion in the light and life of our plant, moon, sun and the great expansions of the universe.

Yet this fiery existence seems to have these contradictory qualities: on the one hand there’s the beauty, the fascination, the power, and on the other hand there’s the tremendously dangerous heat of the fire.

Our biblical forebears like Malachi and John the Baptist saw fire as two very different qualities in God.

They both saw a God of mercy and love, yes; but they also saw a God of judgment, even an angry God who leads us thru many trials by fire.

Malachi knew the scriptures

"Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it" (Isa. 13:9).

Malachi 3: 2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.

Jesus Christ is from the Tribe of Judah

John the Baptist in Luke 3

7John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ’We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

16John answered them all, "I baptize you withwater. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

And it’s the theme of judgment that we shy away from in the scriptures concerning fire.

In our day and age people want an upbeat God, a God who will forgive and forget our faults. We want to think of God as a great white cloud with a smile." And so we steer clear of any talk about refining judgment.

Of course, we prefer a God tailored to the thought patterns and preference of the modern world. It’s much easier to see God as the kind of warm, fuzzy presence like the warm fire in a luxuriously mansion. And we see ourselves relaxing in the easy chair warmed by the fire of the hearth.

But sooner or later, we must find the courage of our convictions. We must affirm that our God is a commensurate fire burning within?

God is not a warm glow somewhere off there in the corner of our lives.

• The realities of life actually are that our God is a consuming fire and that fire rages within us until the carnal, frail and shakable things of humanity are burned away.

In the fire of God’s passionate love and truths are the most beautiful & solid (unshakable) things that are brought forth in his desires for us.

• So from the fires of His desires, His plans, His glory is born this child of His with a stronger and deeper walk of faith in him that allows us to walk thru the fire of Satan’s kingdom.(this world)

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