Regeneration comes through the True Messiah. v.15-18
And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; (16) John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: (17) Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. (18) And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.Luke 3:15-18
With such strong preaching and with so many coming to see John preach, there were many who began to wonder what his identity truly was. The Jewish people were looking for a Messiah after years of God’s silence and a current state of oppression by the Romans. Verse 15 makes it clear that those who were familiar with John’s ministry “mused in their hearts of John”. John had come to prepare the way of the Lord, and this was primarily a heart preparation. God was using him to do exactly what he was brought to do. How did John know what was going on in their hearts? We’re not exactly sure, but he seemed to know that an answer needed to be given. People were starting to wonder if he was the Messiah. Look at his answer:
(16) John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose:Luke 3:16
John states clearly that he is not the Messiah. He also states clearly that the Messiah is coming. He says that in comparison with this coming Messiah, he is not even worthy to do the most menial service. The slave that unlatched the sandle often washed the feet. This was a dirty and lowly task, and by saying he was unworthy he was elevating the position of Messiah. The Gospel of John records this attitude that John had about Jesus when he said:
He must increase, but I must decrease.John 3:30
He went on to compare their ministries:
“he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:”Luke 3:16b
Some have interpreted “fire” here to mean a spiritual intensity or power. But I do not believe the context bears this out. When it comes to a response to Jesus, the saved will be baptized in the Holy Ghost. This is a one time act of the Holy Spirit that happens at salvation.
But what does it mean that the Messiah will baptize with fire? He is referring to the fire of judgment.
(17) Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.Luke 3:17
The truth of the matter is that everyone will either be transformed by the Holy Ghost or will be judged because they are still unrepentant and in their sin.
Saved or lost.
Eternal life or eternal death.
Faith in Christ alone for salvation is God’s plan.
In John 14:6 Jesus said,
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.John 14:6
The world is really separated spiriutally by Jesus Christ. There are those who have repented of their sin and turned to Christ by faith as the only way of salvation. There are those who have not repented of their sins and face condemnation and judgement. This is the point Jesus made to Nicodemus in John 3:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.John 3:16-18
Which group are you in? Have you repented of your sin and turn to Christ by faith?