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Morning Reads: (1Cornithians 9:19-27) - (Luke 3:1-18) - "Complete or Incomplete With God" ...

Good morning … Great is His Faithfulness …

The Lord is my light and my savior. Verse: The Lord is the defender of my life.

PSALM 26:1, 2

The reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 9:19-27

BRETHREN, though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law - though not being myself under the law - that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law - not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ - that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

St. Paul here is using terms associated with running sports – (vv. 24, 25) and he uses boxing – (vv. 26, 27), St. Paul is showing proper use of ascetic practices in the life of faith … These practices aren’t valuable in themselves, but for the sake and goals of our salvation and reconciling ourselves back to God … “As training prepares an athlete for competition, and like a soldier is trained to go into battle, so it is the same for spiritual discipline that prepares a Christian to exercise their faith and enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” …

The Gospel According to Luke 3:1-18

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, in the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness; and he went into all the region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God." He said therefore to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits that befit repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father"; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." And the multitudes asked him, "What then shall we do?" And he answered them, "He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise." Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Collect no more than is appointed you." Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Rob no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your wages." As the people were in expectation, and all men questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ, John answered them all, "I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." So, with many other exhortations, he preached good news to the people.

- HIGH PRIESTS: Caiaphas was now the sole high priest, but some also still recognized the continuing power of his father – in -law Annas, a previous high priest deposed by the Romans …

- The Call of repentance was traditional for the prophets … John’s Baptism did not grant REMISSION OF SINS once and for all, but it prefigured and prepared people for the baptism of Christ which was to come – (Romans 6:3-11) … “COMPLETE OR INCOMPLETE WITH GOD” …

(Romans 6:3-11): 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be [a]done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been [b]freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, [c]reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

- THE VOICE: John ascribes himself this role – (John 1:23) …

(John 1:23): 23 He said: “I am

‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord,”’


- While parents and ancestors help impart piety and holiness, so ancestry itself will not make one worthy of God … Each of us and each generation must BEAR FRUITS WORTHY OF REPENTANCE … STONES: Symbolize the Gentile who would become CHILDREN TO ABRAHAM through faith in Christ – (Romans 4:16-19) … The Jews thought they had no spiritual debt, and that spiritual death did not apply to them because they were children of Abraham, but did have the faith of Abraham …


- (Romans 4:16-19): 16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be [a]sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

- FIRE – (vv. 16-18): In this context the primary meaning is speaking of the gift of the Holy Spirit … The gift of the Holy Spirit given at Pentecost – (Acts 2:1-4), it also declares judgement of Christ – and which the faithless will be burned – (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10; and 2 Thessalonians 2:8) …

In Christ - Love Jared W Campbell

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