Footnotes

*3:3: Isaiah 40:3

3:11: TR and NU add “and with fire”

3:13: i.e., the Jordan River

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Matthew

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When you have the Holy Spirit, you have power from heaven.

In the scripture reading on the wise men visiting Jesus, we learned that when we have the Spirit of God, we have wisdom. Actually, we have more than wisdom. We have every spiritual blessings in heaven (Ephesians 1:3).

When we have the Holy Spirit, we have power from heaven (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8). Jesus said that anyone who believes in Him will do the same works He had done, and even greater works, through the Holy Spirit (John 16:13-15). Above all, by the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to live a life free from sin (Romans 8:13).

 

So, my child, harness the power that is already in you. Do not live fearful, worried, anxious, discouraged, hopeless, feeling rejected or depressed, like the unsaved people in the world who do not have the Spirit. Know the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:19-21).

A believer of Jesus (Christian) is sealed by the Holy Spirit

In today’s reading, we read that John the Baptist said in Matthew 3:12 that Christ will gather His wheat and burn the chaff.  Jesus has told us in the parable of the wheat and weeds that the wheat refers to the children of God and the weeds refer to the children of the devil. In Matthew 3:11, John said that Jesus will baptist believers with the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit searches our heart. When we have a repentant heart, when we believe that Jesus is the Son of God who came to die in our place and when we receive Jesus as our LORD and Saviour, we receive the Holy Spirit. We are called Christians.

This is how Jesus filter out and gather His believers (Christians) to Him : a Christian is marked by God and sealed by the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). Believers are identified by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9).

QUESTIONS RELATED TO THIS CHAPTER

1. Did Jesus promise the Holy Spirit to everyone who believes in Him?

Yes, Jesus did. In John 7:38-39, Jesus told the people that anyone who believes in Him will receive the living water which is the Holy Spirit. On the night of the last supper, Jesus told the disciples that He will ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will live in them forever (John 14:16-17).

After Jesus was resurrected and when He met with the disciples, He breathe on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22).  In Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8, He told the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit. Then on the day of Pentacost, the Spirit came upon every believer who were gathered there (Acts 2:4).

2. Why we do not feel any power even though we have the Holy Spirit?

Numbers 11:17, Acts 6:5, 11:24 give us a little insight into the mystery of the Spirit of God.

Numbers 11:7 stated that the LORD said He will take “some of the Spirit” that was on Moses and put the Spirit on the elders. This tells us that when we have the Spirit, it is not like either we have or we do not have. That is why our LORD Jesus parallel the Holy Spirit to be living water. Just like more water can be added to a vessel, more Spirit can be added to us! But how do we add more Spirit?

In Acts 6:5, Stephen was described as a man full of faith  and full of the Spirit. In Acts 11:24, Barnabas was described as a man full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. This tells us that as our faith in God grows, so are we being filled with more of the Spirit of God!

Or, to put it in more practical way, as we pray to the LORD and as we see how He answers our prayers, we will grow to trust in His unconditional and unfailing love for us, more and more each day. As we grow in knowledge of His perfect love, our faith increases and that faith gives us the ability to unlock the power that was already made available to us through the Holy Spirit when we first believe.

3. Is it true that the Holy Spirit will be in us forever?

In the Old Testament Bible, it is possible that the Spirit of God will leave a person, like in the case when the Spirit of God left King Saul (1 Samuel 16:14) because of his disobedience (1 Samuel 15:23).

The New Testament Bible is all about the good news that Jesus Christ brought to us. Anyone who believes and receives Jesus into their life is under a new covenant with God where God promised that His Spirit will never leave us ( Isaiah 59:21, John 14:16-17).

The reason why the Holy Spirit can never leave us (even when we sin) is because when we receive Jesus, the blood of Jesus has cleansed us of every sin (past, present, future sins) and we become blameless, without a single fault because we are in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:22). God looks at us base on the obedience of Jesus Christ. For this reason, the Holy Spirit can be in us forever.

 

4. How do we receive the Holy Spirit

When we believe that Jesus is the Son of God sent to save us and when we receive Him as our LORD and Saviour, His blood cleanses us from every sin. The Holy Spirit of God will come and live in us because this is the promise that Jesus gave (John 7:38-39, 14:16-18, 23, 16:13-15).

Jesus said the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit because the world is not looking for Him. But you, my child, you believe in Jesus, you love Jesus (John 14:23) , you have the Holy Spirit in you.

5. How do I know I have the Holy Spirit?

If you have believed and received Jesus into your life as LORD and Saviour, you have the Holy Spirit. Do not doubt, simply believe because it is God’s desire to give you the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:3) and for that reason, Jesus came (Matthew 3:11).

Live a life seeking Jesus — tell Him your problems (pray), read His words (Bible), believe that He loves you. If you do that, you will discover how real the Holy Spirit is in you. You will find yourself receiving answers in your mind and heart, from the Holy Spirit. You will discover that you gain wisdom and you do not know how that happened. You will know when the Holy Spirit reveals secrets from God to you because you belong to Jesus (John 10:27-28).

God gives us the Holy Spirit so that we can by the power of the Holy Spirit live a life free from sin (Romans 8:13). As we grow in faith knowing that God loves us, we are filled more and more with the Holy Spirit that helps us lose interest in doing things that are wrong. The Holy Spirit in us helps us want to do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life (Romans 6:22). When you seek and walk with Jesus, the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11) will manifest in your life.

 

Know this, my child, you do not need to work hard to exude the fruits of the Spirit. If you do that, you will face challenges and become discouraged because the devil will be all out to attack you, to make you feel you are a failure, to accuse you that you are not fit to be a Christian and to test if you will be angry with God.  Instead, you just need to live a life trusting that God loves you with an unfailing love, even when you make mistakes.  Remember, you are forever forgiven, forever the child of God because Jesus has paid it all for you, even when you do wrong. Always, always believe that God loves you and is for you. If you make mistakes, confess your sins and have a repentant heart. Give thanks to God for what Jesus did for you. As you enjoy the love of God, you will grow in faith and be full of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help you want to do what is good. The fruits of the Spirit will naturally manifest. If you lack any gifts, you can ask God and He will give to you liberally (James 1:5).

 

Do you want to receive Jesus into your life?

If you are not yet a believer but would like to believe and receive Jesus into your life, all it takes is to say a simple prayer like this:

“Dear LORD Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God and that Your love for me has driven You to leave Your throne in heaven to come to this world to die in my place so that I can be forgiven. I thank you that your blood has cleansed me from all my sins, I am forgiven as I say this prayer. From this moment onwards, I am a new creation, I am a child of God, I am forgiven, forever in You, forever righteous. Thank you for all that You suffer and did for me. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I can lead the victorious life that You came to give me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

If you have said the above prayer, you are saved. You have eternal life. You are a Christian, a new creation. Old things have passed away. God is do a new thing in your life. Start walking with Jesus. Look for a church that is based on the Word of God (the Bible) and that teaches the love and grace of God.

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There is also a companion devotional to this Bible. Like a map that leads to great treasure, the NIV Adventure Bible Book of Devotion 365 Days of Adventure takes kids on a thrilling, enriching quest. Filled with exciting fictional stories about kids finding adventure in the real world, this yearlong devotional inspires boys and girls daily to live a life of faith, the greatest adventure of all. The Devotional is available here.

FEATURED

Get a bible for your child

Why we really like this bible


Swipe the images to get a peep into this bible.

Why we really like this bible


Here's a quick summary of the features in this bible. Set to a jungle safari theme, this Adventure Bible takes you on a fun, exciting journey through God's Word. It makes bible reading fun and easy and will strengthen your walk with God.

The Adventure Bible also feaures book introduction with useful facts about each book of the Bible, a dictionary concordance for looking up tricky words, and color maps to help you locate places in the Bible.

Why we really like this bible


Throughout the Adventure Bible, you will see a section on "Did You Know" which gives you insight into God's Word and turns you into a Bible trivia master. 

"Words to Treasure" highlights valuable verses to memorize.  It is important to memorise God's words because throughout your life journey, as you walk with God, you will find the Holy Spirit bringing into your memory some of these words to guide you in your decisions in life.

Why we really like this bible


 

The "LIve It!" section uses fun activities to help you remember the truths of the Bible and apply them.

Why we really like this bible



The "Life in the Bible" whisks you off to the ancient world to discover what was life like back then, with illustrations showing you what people ate, where they slept, what kinds of work they did and more. 

Why we really like this bible



Another example of "Live it".

Why we really like this bible



From Jehu to Jesus, "People in Bible Times" reveals who's who in the Scriptures.

Why we really like this bible



Fully colored special pages like this gives you quick access to important facts in the Bible.

Why we really like this bible



Another example of fully colored pages on important facts in the Bible.

Also available...


There is also a companion devotional to this Bible. Like a map that leads to great treasure, the NIV Adventure Bible Book of Devotion 365 Days of Adventure takes kids on a thrilling, enriching quest. Filled with exciting fictional stories about kids finding adventure in the real world, this yearlong devotional inspires boys and girls daily to live a life of faith, the greatest adventure of all. The Devotional is available here.

Matthew

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