John answered, saying to them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes…
I. NATURE OF THE BAPTISM PROMISED. John's baptism was introductory and transitional; Christ's was to be spiritual, quickening, and searching. Apparent mixture of metaphors. "Baptism means cleansing, and fire means warmth. How can warmth cleanse? No heart is pure that is not passionate, no virtue safe that is not enthusiastic. And such an enthusiastic virtue (and much more) Christ came to introduce." The baptism of the Holy Ghost and of fire comes upon all — either for sanctification or destruction, according to the way in which it is received.
II. THE NEED OF SUCH A BAPTISM.
1. It was needed in the time of John. What was wanted was a moral power that should at once
(4) Inspire with well-founded hope.
2. Such a baptism is needed now.
(1) In the Church;
(2) In the world.
III. THE ONLY SOURCE WHENCE SUCH A BAPTISM COULD COME.
1. From heaven.
2. Through Christ.
IV. THE BAPTISM BESTOWED. On the day of Pentecost there was the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The world received a new life. There was also the baptism of fire in the destruction of Jerusalem, and the overthrow of Rome. Every genuine revival a baptism of the Holy Ghost. Every time of sore national distress or humiliation a baptism of fire.
V. A PERSONAL QUESTION. Have we been baptized by the Spirit? Such a baptism is —
2. Possible. Test: Are we bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit? (Galatians 5:22-23.)
VI. A PRESSING DUTY. To pray for the baptism of the Spirit, on ourselves, on the whole Church of God, and on the world.
VII. A WORD OF WARNING. There will be a baptism of fire for individuals and nations that despise the warnings of the Spirit.
(E. W. Wilson.)
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,