John answered, saying to them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes…
For us to be baptized with the Holy Ghost is to be baptized with fire. The existence within us of false tendency and proclivity makes it a flame. Once let it fall on us, and straightway there is turmoil; straightway some hot work begins. Here is a man wholly at ease and quiet in a pleasant paradise — though it be a fool's paradise of self-content and free self-gratification; but a breath from on high stirs in him at last, a breath of higher impulse and inspiration; and now a struggle sets in, in which the soul sways to and fro, and burnings of remorse and repentance are suffered, with daily self-reprovings and self-crucifixions. The man is no longer at peace with himself, but in a great heat of controversy; no longer a tranquil universe, but a troubled conjunction of antagonisms. His life becomes, as the Scripture represents it, "a battle," "a warfare." A fire of discontent is kindled within him; there rages in him the flame of a conflict between the Spirit and the flesh. When Christ began of old to baptize with the Holy Ghost, it was a baptism of fire. And even so is it still. The stirring within man of the better self, of the Spirit from above, is invariably more or less with "confused noise and garments rolled in blood." Our God, when He touches us, is a "consuming fire." Not out of Christ, as we have it explained sometimes, but in Christ; for from the God in Christ proceeds the Spirit; and where the Spirit breathes in human breasts there is burning.
(S. A. Tipple.)
Parallel VersesKJV: John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
WEB: John answered them all, "I indeed baptize you with water, but he comes who is mightier than I, the latchet of whose sandals I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire,