The Baptism of the Spirit

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but the One who is coming after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove His sandals. He Himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matthew 3:11

Praise God for HIS good works! Stand in awe that His good works never cease operating (Ecclesiastes 3:14)! Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire is a miraculous event that continues to this day and we are blessed that we can behold it!

Two baptisms are presented here in this Matthew verse. The water baptism for repentance is done when a person is old enough to repent of their sins and they are motivated to do this by their new heart and right spirit. Have you turned from your sins and now follow Christ and His ways? This requires a daily walk of faith. This robust faith makes your life holy and your speech devout.

John then baptized the repentant believer by immersing them in water. John did not add any efficacy to the baptism itself as it was the repentant believer’s character and intention that was the defining element of the baptism. The same is true today.

The baptism with fire is the more important of the two baptisms, for the servant is the one who baptizes with water, but the mighty Master performs the other and not only that but the Holy Spirit. This Spirit-fire baptism purifies and refines. We can view the Old Testament to see how fire often has a purifying connotation (Isaiah 1:25, Zechariah 13:9, Malachi 3:2-3).

I love the conversation between the disciples who were walking toward Emmaus and unknowingly met and spoke to Jesus along the way. As they realized they had been speaking to Jesus, the evidence they presented to each other was, “Weren’t our hearts ablaze within us while He was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:13-32)

Acts 1:5 and 11:16 uses the term “baptized in the Holy Spirit” and it implies an immersion in the life of the Spirit.  Acts 1:8 indicates that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a conscious experience of power, boldness, confidence, and victory over sin. Receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit is a real, life-changing experience. Christianity is not merely the performance of rituals and sacraments. It is the life-changing experience of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ.

Repent, trust Christ, open yourself to the power of his Spirit, be baptized in his name, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

May the Lord direct our heart to God’s love and Christ’s endurance,

Amanda

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