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SpiritFire: With Fire!
"I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am — so much greater that I'm not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
There are two sides to the baptism equation: (1) what happens on the outside based on the intention of the one being baptized, and (2) what Jesus does through the Holy Spirit. While our intentions in being baptized are important, the work of Jesus in pouring out the Spirit on us to cleanse us and to live inside us is transformational (Titus 3:3-7). John had great power as a preacher to convict people of sin, call them to repentance, and point them to Jesus. These are crucial acts and John the Baptizer had incredible gifts. But, only Jesus can baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. Only Jesus can cleanse us through the Spirit (1 Cor. 6:11) and then come make his home in us through the Spirit (John 14:19-23). The greatest of preachers is not worthy of carrying the sandals of the Messiah, Jesus Christ the Son of God, the one baptizing in the Holy Spirit and fire.
Righteous Father, your holiness is unattainable. Yet you have given it to us through the gracious gift of your Son on the cross and the cleansing, empowering, indwelling, and transforming gift of the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus, we praise you Almighty God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
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