Therefore go and make disciples of all nations

Partnering with the Holy Spirit – Spirit of Fire

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Work with the Holy Spirit

Baptism, Holy Spirit, work with the Holy Spirit

Jesus became the first Partnership with the Holy Spirit He was baptised. When Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, the picture of a dove was used to symbolise the Spirit of God coming down upon our Lord (Matthew 3:16 “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him”. As we know, a dove is commonly used to symbolize peace. Appropriately, the Holy Spirit is the one who floods our hearts with the peace of God, comforting, loving and teaching us, ever-present and always trustworthy. Jesus spoke about Him being the One who would guide believers into all truth (John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come”

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Speaking about Christ

When we speak to someone about Christ, the Holy Spirit is right there with us, molding our words into fiery arrows of deliverance. When we pray for the sick and downtrodden, the Holy Spirit is right by our side, flooding our hands with healing power. Our mouths and hands become the vessels of His witness. 

Indeed, we bear witness together with Him, man and God working hand in hand and setting the captives free! He is our partner in the miraculous. The Holy Spirit is indeed the Chief Witness from Heaven, always eager to proclaim Jesus through His co-witness, the believer.

Holy Spirit Power

Being baptised with the Spirit endues us with power (see Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” and 1 Corinthians 2:10–12 – “these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.”

We become partners with the Power-Carrier of all power-carriers: the Spirit of the Most High God! We become His teammate, His co-laborer. And, our heavenly associate does not merely hold our hand. Rather, He permeates us, making us utterly one with Him. This is an all-pervading, infiltrating, saturating infusion. God seeps and man absorbs. How spectacular!

Holy Spirit Partnership

Thereafter, where man moves, God moves; and where God moves, He bids man to move.

Man and God move together, carrying out the Great Commission plan.

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20

It is our duty as believers to follow the commands of the all mighty Father without question, hesitation or fear!

Be Still my restless heart

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Laziness Ruins Happiness

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Devotional, 1 comment

The Bridge

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In essence, the believer is the bridge between the unbeliever and Jesus

John the Baptist was described as a witness, a bridge, born to proclaim all the wonders of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who was to take away the sins of the world. John’s primary purpose was to connect people with the Savior of their souls. 

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Be a Witness, Be a Light

If we do not proclaim the Gospel, our Lord bled and died for nothing. How desperately He needs us, and how much He must trust us to allocate this duty into our keeping!

Now, just as John was called to be a witness, so is every believer. Our words and actions form the link between the lost and Christ. If we choose not to shine for Him, the unbeliever is left with no hope of redemption – see Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Be a “John the Baptist”

Let your light shine

This is an extraordinary concept. Although Jesus died and rose again, His death and His resurrection can have no impact on anyone should this knowledge not be communicated.

We are all John the Baptists, so to speak, being commanded to go forth and be the bridge between this world and our awe-inspiring Savior

Matthew 28:19–20 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This is both a tremendous responsibility and a wonderful privilege. The Great Commission is a call to action. It is a call to do something, not to sit passively by while multitudes live and die without Christ.

The Great Commission

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 16-20

As it was John’s responsibility to prepare for the first coming of Christ, so it is our responsibility to prepare for the second.

How are we proclaim Jesus second coming? By proclaiming the glorious good news of redemption!

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Devotional, 0 comments

The Gospel of John – Make Way

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Last posts in this series 

Welcome back to the series on the The Gospel of John. Sharing the Gospel with others is a direct commandment from Jesus. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19. What does it mean to make disciples of all men? We will get into that later in this series. I have been sharing the Gospel on my YouTube channel for a while now, and also sharing with people directly.

There is just something that I find really special about sharing the Gospel one small part at a time. Not only does it make it easier for you, the reader, to follow and understand, but it gives me such a sense of enjoyment and peace being able to do this.

In peace I will lie down and sleep,

for you alone, Lord,

make me dwell in safety

Psalm 4:8

John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah

19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”

24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Conversation

Here we have a conversation between John the Baptist and the local religious leaders. Specifically, these in verse 19 are the legalistic Pharisees (John 1:24). Some Pharisees were extremely devout, but had a tendency to be cold and arrogant. It was completely fair for the Pharisees to question the Baptist. John’s ministry must have been quite popular or challenging to attract official investigation. Investigating a strange message was a good step, but their search doesn’t seem to be very sincere. Baptising converts to Judaism was common, but the Baptist was calling on Jews to repent and be baptised. The Baptist makes it clear that he is not the “Promised One,” but equally clear that his mission is to prepare the way for that One.

John Testifies About Jesus

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

Lamb of God

John immediately describes Jesus as “The Lamb of God.” when He sees Him coming. Lambs were required as a yearly sacrifice for all Jewish families for their sins, this was the Passover celebration. The connection to the Passover is the primary reason Jesus is referred to as “The Lamb of God” and Jesus’ crucifixion would save us from our sins permanently.

John’s mission was to make the path clear for Jesus. Because the Baptist was not the Messiah, he pointed all attention and honour towards Jesus, rather than himself. He had gone so far as to say he wasn’t worthy to untie the Promised One’s sandals (John 1:27). John also repeats that Jesus “was before me,” a reference to Jesus’ divinity. Remember, John was born several months before Jesus, and yet, he knows that Christ existed before he did, as God (John 1:1). John can now finally say “He’s here!”

Baptism

John’s purpose in calling people to repentance, demonstrated by baptism, was to open the path of understanding for Jesus. Once Christ appeared, it was time for John to step aside.

John saw a vision of a dove, representative of the Holy Spirit, descend and remain on Jesus. In other Gospel accounts, it is recorded that John baptised Jesus and a dove descended on Him. This confirmed for John that Jesus was the Messiah.

Jesus has come

John makes the point of mentioning that Jesus has come to baptise with the Holy Spirit, in contrast to his own ministry of water baptism. This spiritual baptism would not be complete until the day of Pentecost, after Jesus’ resurrection.

John has already told the people what he saw. Finally, he testifies to something he has seen with his own eyes. This personal testimony is important as Jesus refers to it later, when explaining why people ought to believe Him, one piece of evidence Jesus mentions is the testimony John the Baptist (John 5:32–33).

Make way for King Jesus
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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Gospel of John, 1 comment