What Does the Bible Say About . . . .
BAPTISM BY WATER, FIRE & SPIRIT
"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. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (Matt. 3:11-13) These strong unmincing words of John the Baptist spoken at the river Jordan, stirred the hearts of his listeners. Many repented and were baptized, anticipating the soon arrival of the Messiah.
Many of us are familiar with baptism by water, but not so with the baptisms that Jesus Christ was to give, that of the Holy Spirit and of fire. We all look forward to the baptism or receipt of the Holy Spirit, but most of us know very little of the other baptism, that by fire. In order to understand what John the Baptist was referring to, a computer search of the Bible was done on baptism by water, fire and Spirit to aid in our understanding of Christ's mission.
Stepping back a few paces, what is the biblically correct form of baptism by water? Today there are churches that baptize by immersion. Other that believe the sprinkling of holy water is sufficient. Some baptize infants. Others say that only those who are capable of making a conscientious decision can or should be baptized. Is baptism a biblical requirement? Is a necessary ritual for Christ's followers to go through or for missionaries and evangelists to teach? What does the Bible say on this important topic?
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