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Baptized with water, baptized with fire!

Rev Enoch Thompson | JANUARY 10, 2023 | MATTHEW 3:11-12

KEY VERSE: Matt 3:11 (NIV)

"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.


Baptism is an initiatory ceremony that is required of new believers in Jesus Christ into the new people of God. Of course, the antecedent practice in Judaism where non-Jews who sought to worship the God of Israel were baptized in water, or the baptism of Jewish people who responded to the preaching of John the Baptist announcing the approach and inauguration of the long-awaited Kingdom of God, as we see in our text.

The danger of ceremonial participation in a religious requirement like baptism, without the required spiritual effects, has always been with all religious activity, particularly baptism in the context of the ministry of John through that of Christ and His immediate followers, into the present-day Church.

However, Christian baptism is expected by God to go beyond a mere external washing of the body to an internal cleansing with eternal implications. Water baptism for the true Jesus-follower must first be a spiritual baptism that takes place in the inner-man:

Titus 3:5-6 (NIV)

He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour,

1 Cor 12:13 (NIV)

For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

The spiritual dimension of the baptism we receive is the fiery dimension, often overlooked, maybe because we are not made to understand and appreciate the dynamics of Christian baptism.

The baptism with fire puts within the Christ-follower the consciousness of divine judgment; fire is always a symbol of judgement, and no true believer in Christ would live without that consciousness. That consciousness burns the chaff of sin and sinful living, and propels the believers to the pursuit of the separated life, separated from sin and all the contaminating influences of the world around and the self within.


Have you received baptism with water? If not seek out the next opportunity quickly. Do you have evidence in your soul of the baptism with fire? Do you hate sin and have a repulsion to the tantalizing temptations that face every human soul? Baptized with water, yes, but can we see evidence of the baptism with fire?


Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I desire to experience the baptism of fire. Please let the holy fire rush over my human soul. That transformed within by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, my water baptism will testify only of an inner truth. Thank you for the baptism of water, but more so, of the fire of the Spirit. Amen!!!


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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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