Faith of Jesus Daily Devotional - Day 6

nkjv@Revelation:14:12 @ Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.


nkjv@Matthew:3:1 @ In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,

nkjv@Matthew:3:2 @ and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"

nkjv@Matthew:3:3 @ For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight."'

nkjv@Matthew:3:4 @ Now John himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

nkjv@Matthew:3:5 @ Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him

nkjv@Matthew:3:6 @ and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

nkjv@Matthew:3:7 @ But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

nkjv@Matthew:3:8 @ Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,

nkjv@Matthew:3:9 @ and do not think to say to yourselves, "We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.

nkjv@Matthew:3:10 @ And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

nkjv@Matthew:3:11 @ I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

nkjv@Matthew:3:12 @ His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

Previous Context: devotion:Matthew:2:19-23

What is God doing?

dict:all Baptism
dict:all Repentance

What is man doing?

dict:all Pharisees
dict:all Sadducees

I imagine multitudes of people went out to do this, that is why the religious establishment (differing factions suddenly united in cause) not only were there to observe but to publicly challenge the authority of John to perform this. John is described by Jesus soon after John's death as the greatest prophet born of woman, which suggests John to be very well known and very effective in his time, not just long after. The question is however what did these multitudes of people go out to do and how much of their individual effort was to what extent corrupted?

That this many people were effected by John is itself the working of God. What was the draw? Either John has been establish beforehand as a prophet worthy of listening to or else the people's heart as a mass was pressed so suddenly towards this particular call. The curiosity I find of interest is that though God would move the people towards this, HE left their own will intact enough that they still found ample ability to corrupt the movement just the same.

It is said that John was greatly loved of the people, such wide respect got in the way of the Pharisees doing to Jesus as they really wished frequently. Yet no one stood for John when he was arrested, no one called the Pharisees out for not supporting his judgments against the kings adulterous marriage to the kings brother's wife, no one cried for the kings head when the king beheaded him. Such is the way of the people towards God's prophets, they will gladly memorialize them after the fact, but flee from them at the presence of any foreseeable trouble.

The need for repentance and baptism are made abundantly clear. The baptism to come though is a baptism of the Holy Ghost not a baptism like any of the rest of the world has seen. This new baptism can only be made available in the completed death/resurrection/ascension of the Promised One.

What does this passage tell us about the about the commands and faith of Jesus that saints are to keep/guard?

There are the things that we do knowing that they are things that God is pressing us to do. We can obediently follow them out to where ever HIS good intention lead us and we can obey to do them. That still does not mean that these things we have done in obedience we have done without corruption. There is the half heart. There is the ulterior motive. There is the still doing the thing by our own power and resource. There is the pride having done so that swells us up and makes us to fall soon after. Keeping and guarding and faithfulness are a matter of the heart; and the heart is deceptive above all else. To keep the commandments and faith of Jesus is to keep hold on the heart, to keep it focused on the truest of matters and the most excellent of all persons; that being the true person of Jesus. For that it must be washed everyday afresh by the Spirit and sealed in a baptism similar to the baptism undergone by our precious savior Himself.

Next: devotion:Matthew:3:13-16 The Baptism of Jesus

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