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MATTHEW - Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Matthew
PART 1 - The Preliminary Period in the Ministry of Christ (Matthew 1:1 - 4:25)
B - John the Baptist Prepares the Way of Christ (Matthew 3:1 - 4:11)

1. The Call to Repentance (Matthew 3:1-12)

12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire.”
(Matthew 13:30)

John the Baptist wakes us up with another metaphor of truth. He shows us a peasant with a fan (a winnowing fork) in his hand, threshing out his grain. The tares, grain coverings and dust are carried away with the wind; but the wheat falls before the feet of the Lord of the harvest and he gathers it into his barn.

What do you compare yourself with? Do you belong to the wheat or to the chaff? The Pharisees and Sadducees thought themselves wheat and all other men chaff and tares. In one of Jesus' parables, a tax collector in the temple (who was then considered as chaff) was ashamed to raise his face to God, but murmured, "God, have pity on me, a sinner!" This repentant man was justified and counted as wheat, whereas another man, a Pharisee, boasted in his godliness and fell into judgment in spite of his self-righteousness (Luke 18:9-14). So, what are you? A hypocrite having a form of godliness? Or are you a repentant sinner? Do you bear the plentiful fruits of repentance? Are you filled with the Holy Spirit?

The last word that Matthew mentioned from the sermons of the Baptist was "fire." He spoke three times about God’s wrath. All those who are against the Spirit of Christ shall fall into hell along with all those who do not change wholeheartedly. Christ’s salvation is complete, bringing the power of the Holy Spirit to sanctify the repentant. But he who pretends piety and continues in his sin indifferently under a veil of godliness shall become firewood to the everlasting fire, and shall have no hope.

PRAYER: O Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Savior and the Judge of the world. I ask your forgiveness to my negligence, and I ask you, by the power of your gentle Spirit, to change my mind that I may bear the fruits of your love, kindness and truth. I do not pray for my salvation only, but for all the lost. I pray for the brokenness of the hypocrites, since there is none righteous in front of you. Please bow down our heads before your glory and let us entirely deny ourselves. Fill us with your heavenly Spirit that we may love one another as you loved us, as there is no hope but in you. You are the aim of our praises. Amen.


  1. What is the difference between the baptism with the Holy Spirit and the baptism with fire?


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