The Refining Fire of the Holy Spirit – Is never destructive

Well GCT here is some amazing news on this rainy day and for every day.  Are you ready… Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit and Fire.  As John the Baptist’s popularity grew people thought that he could be the long promised Christ.  How did the humble Spirit-filled John the Baptist respond?  He responded with a description of the differences in baptism between Jesus and himself.  Is that what you would expect?  John explains why he is not the Christ by explaining how his baptism is different that Christ’s baptism.  I was not expecting that.

John tells us that when Christ comes He baptizes with the Holy Spirit and fire.  This is of course infinitely greater than John’s baptism because when Jesus baptizes us He does so by immersing us with His Holy Spirit.  John calls everybody to repentance and then he would put those repentant people in the water as an outward sign of their inner cleansing.  But Christ would put the Holy Spirit in people and people in the Holy Spirit.  When Jesus baptizes He does the inward work that leads to eternal life by immersing you in the Holy Spirit.  Great news for us as we struggle to live lives of righteousness.  Christ says I am your guarantee to make you Holy, let me do the work.
Also, when we are immersed with the Holy Spirit, He brings a great refining fire that we are also immersed into.  When the very Spirit of God immerses us there will be a merciful refining fire that purifies us from our sinful desires, tendencies and habits.  The Lord reminds us throughout Scripture that there will be no dross in heaven, no impurities will be allowed in the presence of His holiness.  Our merciful God has a plan for us to get rid of the impurities.  This is such great news!  This is such a great act of mercy towards us from Jesus our Savior!  Jesus will baptize us with fire.  This is a promise of amazing hope not destruction.  Our daily walk in this Christian life is a life immersed with the promises of the Holy Spirit.  Along with this promise comes the work of the Holy Spirit continuously refining us by His refining fire convicting us of sin, righteousness and judgement making us more and more like our Savior Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit’s refining fire of affliction is always for refinement and never for destruction.  I have to say that again, the Holy Spirit’s refining fire of affliction is always for refinement and never for destruction.  Rejoice in your sufferings for they are bringing about refinement and sanctification as Jesus Christ intended.
Where is The Holy Spirit refining you today?  Are you going through affliction? Sufferings?  Weaknesses? Hardships? Calamities?  What dross is the Holy Spirit trying to remove from your life to make you more like Jesus Christ?  This is the perfect mercy of God.
Luke 3:15-17 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 
I look forward to worshipping with you Sunday,  Steve

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