Matthew 3:11, NASB
As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
The continual crowds had gathered outside of the city to hear John the Baptist preach his message of repentance, and they were baptized by him. Even the religious vipers had gathered to hear this message with unrepentant hearts. This was new. It was a similar, yet different message. It was a sermon preached in a different location. Instead of finely dressed religious leaders pontificating, a man dressed in camel’s hair clothes was declaring the message of the Kingdom. It was a similar, but very different season. Something was happening, and to those who were spiritually aware—they received!
John was baptizing to repentance, but there was coming one who would immerse people into the very presence of God. This baptism of repentance was followed by a baptism of His presence, His power, and His purity.
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
This baptism of fire that John spoke of was cleansing, fortifying, and intensifying. It would bring to the surface the impurities that lay within the repentant heart. It would melt away the hardness of spiritual apathy. The fire of God would set ablaze the altar of one’s life to burn for Christ. This Holy Spirit fire would set the mouth of its recipient on fire with worship, prayer and the bold message of the Word.
We are to be continually immersed into God and His cleansing fire. At no time do we find ourselves fully purged, and at no time is the flame of our passion as great as that of God’s passion for His own glory. We continually lack with regards to Christ, and thus we must be continually filled. Continually, we must be immersed for cleansing. Continually, we must be immersed for passion. Continually, we must be immersed for power. Continually, we must be immersed for righteousness. Continually, we must be immersed for peace. Continually, we must be immersed for joy. This is what Paul declared in Ephesians 5:18, we must be continually filled!
Today is a great day to be immersed into God. Be baptized into His Spirit. Drink deeply of His love. Just as John the Baptist laid his hands on them and placed them under the water of the Jordan, let Christ place His hands upon you and place you under the flow of His Spirit.