Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Behold, the power of...

FIRE!

Before I get started, check out a
great post with some "rules" for holy living from Adoniram Judson - the missionary to Burma.

Fire is mentioned (437 times in the NIV), along with water (620) and wind (179), quite frequently in Scripture. In talking about the re-birth, Jesus brings up water and the Spirit. He also likens the Spirit's regnerating to the wind. And elsewhere we see that it's baptism with fire and the Spirit (Luke 3:16). Jesus says, in Luke 12:49, "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!" What was he saying?

I heard Allistair Begg discuss that on his radio program this morning, and it was, as usual from Allistair, good stuff.

He said that Jesus, referring to "fire on the earth" and "wishing it were already kindled," meant that He wanted the fire of judgment, the fire of purification, and the fire of the Holy Spirit's power to already be in motion. And Luke 12:50 shows us that Jesus knew that He first had to undergo a "baptism." The baptism that had to come first was the crucifixion. John 3:17-18 alludes to that. Jesus did not come to bring condemnation - yet. The Incarnation was for salvation, not judgment. So He had to be crucified first - and then the judgment could come. Jesus wanted the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon His disciples. That's the prayer of John 17. But again, He first had to depart by way of the cross before the Spirit could proceed from Him and from the Father. Jesus was ready to do the will of the Father. AndHe distressed in His humanity until it was completed. Can you imagine the joy that struck through the agony when He cried out, "It is finished"? "For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame." Praise Him! Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

1 comment:

Brian and Heather Daniel said...

It's better when you hear it with Allistair Begg's Scottish accent, much like Derek Thomas, minister and former Kansas City Chief.