Apr. 2, 2021

Baptism of fire

Baptism of fire
Luke 3:16
John the Baptist: I baptize you with water, but One is coming—One far more powerful than I, One whose sandals I am not worthy to untie—who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Acts 2:2-4
Then when the actual day of Pentecost came they were all assembled together. Suddenly there was a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were seated. Before their eyes appeared tongues like flames which separated off and settled above the head of each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages as the Spirit gave them power to proclaim his message.

The first verse above indicates that John the Baptist proclaims that Jesus will baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire. The verses in the book of acts illustrates that this did indeed happen.  The message version of Luke 3:16 But John intervened: “I’m baptizing you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out." The whole purpose of the baptism is to change us from the inside out. To transform us from what we used to be to the image of His Son. The Holy Spirit is also there to enable us to proclaim the gospel with power and efficiency.  The disciples in the Gospels fled and hid for their lives in fear of the Jewish and Roman authorities. However we see that in the book of acts they were baptized with the fire of the holy Spirit and since that experience they boldly proclaimed the gospel in a hostile world. The early church paved the way for Christianity to flourish in a hostile environment. The true church was watered by the blood of the martyrs.  In a way the church in this day is also trying to proclaim the truth in a hostile environment. We are living in a world which is hostile to the gospel of Christ. If the early church needed to wait for tongues of fire to empower them, how much more do we need the ongoing infilling of the Holy Spirit to function and be effective in this world which is hostile to Christianity.  People need to hear the good news of the gospel. We need the continual infilling of the Holy Spirit in order to be effective. In closing, this resurrection weekend let us continually seek the resurrection life and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Have a blessed resurrection weekend. Amen.