TEXT: Matthew 3:7-12
In our last message, we talked about the baptism of "water unto repentance" that John administered. Now, he speaks of two other baptisms that the Messiah will administer when He comes -- the baptism of the Holy Ghost and the baptism of fire.
The baptism of the Holy Ghost is something that only Christ can give. Whereas John's baptism signified something changing on the outside of man -- that is, his behavior, the baptism of the Holy Spirit signifies something changing on the inside of man -- the condition of his soul. Society places much value on reform, rehab, and helping people to change for the better, and that is something that is good. But, the only thing that can save a person from Hell is a change on the inside. And that change can only be brought about by salvation through Jesus Christ which is followed by the baptism of the Holy Ghost. (The ritual of baptism, of course, continues in churches today. But that is symbolic of our death, burial, and resurrection in Christ. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not symbolic; it is a reality for every believer.)