Saint John the Baptist


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Saint John the Baptist (1st century BC – AD 30) (also referred to as John the Forerunner) was a Jewish Preacher and Prophet and key figure of the Bible, revered in Christianity for baptizing and preparing people for the coming of Jesus Christ.
The Gospels state that his birth and name were foretold by God through the Archangel Gabriel to his father Zachariah in the temple.
His conception was miraculous because his mother Elizabeth was beyond childbearing age when amazingly she conceived a son.
Six months later, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary, a relative of Elizabeth and told Her that she was to bear a Son who would be called Son of the Most High.
Thus, Elizabeth gave birth to John and Mary gave Birth six months later to Jesus - both rejoiced together in the “impossibility” of their reality.
Saint John the Baptist was the first person in Scriptural History to teach and to perform water baptisms crying "Prepare ye the way of the Lord."
He is called "the Baptist" because he was willing to baptize people if they repented to God for their sins.
His lifestyle was austere, living in the mountains of Judea between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, clothed in camel hair and leather girdle and subsisting on locusts and wild honey.
“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, the Word of God came to John in the wilderness.
John the Baptist began preaching a baptism of repentance of sins ("turning away" from sin) in the waters of the River Jordan to emerge with a changed heart and mind for forgiveness from God.


Baptism

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Saint John the Baptist
In the last centuries of the Old Testament era, baptism came from the Greek word "βάπτισμα" which means, “to immerse” under water.
Water is a symbol of sin being washed away.
Baptism became the Sacrament of regeneration and initiation into the Christian church that was started by Jesus, Who was Baptized by John the Baptist.
After His Resurrection Jesus told His Disciples that they should also be baptized for salvation and mandated in Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Baptism declares that you are a follower of Jesus Christ and symbolizes your faith and commitment to Him.
This is an important foundation for Christian life to live in God's Presence and for sins to be forgiven.
Within the Baptism ritual parents promise to support and nurture their child's Christian life.
Given once, baptism cannot be repeated.
John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”
Holy Communion
Holy Communion uses bread as a symbol for Jesus’ Body and wine as a symbol for His Blood.
It reminds us of our Lord and Savior's Death and Resurrection.
The Apostle Paul tells us that the Blood of Jesus Christ brings forgiveness of sins.
Christian Church
A church bell's toll carries God's Message:
*To summon, celebrate, remind or commemorate
*To worship
*To pray
*To bless those who gladly hear its chimes
Sunday, the Seventh Day, is given to humanity by God to devote time to their spiritual needs.
Jesus Christ came to offer people salvation through repentance, by putting their trust in Him, and to be baptized into His Church.
When the church bell tolls, the Christian faithful go to church to hear the Voice of God through Liturgy and the Sacraments and to find Jesus the Savior.
This service is seen as a re-enactment of the Birth, Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the means by which we achieve union with God and with each other.

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Baptism of Jesus

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Saint John the Baptist
The Baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist is a major event in Christian History described in the three Synoptic Gospels of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark and Luke).
Matthew describes John as critical of Pharisees and Sadducees and as preaching "the kingdom of heaven is at hand" and a "coming judgment".
Near the close of John's ministry, Jesus came to him to be baptized - the Gospel of Luke states that John and Jesus were cousins.
John immediately recognized Jesus and proclaimed Him to the people as The Messiah (Greek translation of Messiah is Khristós (Χριστός), anglicized as Christ which occurs 41 times in the Septuagint and 529 times in the New Testament.
Jesus Christ identifies John as Elijah, in the sense that he ministered “in the spirit and power of Elijah.”
In speaking to Jesus, John said, "I have Baptized You with water, but He will Baptize You with the Holy Spirit.
As He emerges from the water, Jesus sees the heavens open and the Holy Spirit descends on him "like a dove", and he hears a voice from heaven that says, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."
By Baptizing Jesus, John the Baptist declared to all, that Jesus was the Son of God, the One they had been waiting for.
Jesus' Baptism made people followers of Christ.
Saint John the Baptist famous saying: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” “He must increase, but I must decrease.” “I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark of belonging to Christ.


Saint John the Baptist - Martydom

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Saint John the Baptist suffered martydom for his holiness and obedience to the Will of God.
Soon after, John the Baptist was imprisoned by Herod Antipas (son of Herod the Great who was the ruler when Jesus was Born) (20 BC – c. 39 AD) and the 1st-century ruler of the province of Galilee and Perea for objecting and rebuking his illicit marriage to Herodias who was the wife of his brother.
He bore the title of tetrarch ("ruler of a quarter") and recognized as tetrarch by Caesar Augustus,
At the instigation of Herodias, her daugher Salome requested from Herod Antipas that John the Baptist be beheaded as reward for her dancing for the king's guests - she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist."
The unwilling Herod was forced to have John beheaded.
Salome took the platter with John's head and gave it to her mother.
When Jesus received the news that his cousin, John the Baptist, had been executed by Herod Antipas, He sought solitude and departed to the desert to be alone and grieve.


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