Summary: What does John mean when he says Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit "and with fire."
Oct 11, 2009
Scripture: Luke 24:13-34 - Emmaeus Rd
1 Cor. 3:10-14; Rev 3:14-22
Exodus 19:16-19; 24:15-18
Read: Rev 3:14-22
Read Text: Matthew 3:11
John was a great preacher. Maybe the greatest preacher of his day and yet he said, “There is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.” He said there is one coming who has power. Now the message that John, and the one whom John said was coming, is not different. John preached the message of repentance, and people believed his message of the necessity of forgiveness of sins and were baptized. But John said there was one coming after him, one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Look at that text again with me please. Matthew 3:11. (Read again.) It’s in the Bible. This message this morning is not denominational theology - it’s biblical theology - God’s Word. When Jesus comes - in other words when you believe and accept him as Savior - when he comes into your life, he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
How many of you played with fire when you were younger? (Go on - you can admit it...).
We’re not talking about playing with fire here. We’re talking about the very nature of God. This is the nature of God that is expressed in the ministry of his son and is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Remember Moses and the burning bush? When God wanted to get Moses’ attention he spoke to him out of the fire. The fire was in the bush. But it didn’t consume the bush. The bush burned from within, - it was not consumed.
And when God gave the ten commandments, Mount Sinai was covered with smoke and the smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace and the voice of God spoke to Moses. In Chapter 24 of Exodus it says that to “the Israelites the glory of God appeared as a fire.” These are revelations about the nature of God. The God who is fire.
When the disciples were walking with Jesus along the Emmaeus road, after they realized who he was, they said, “Were not our hearts burning within us.
When we are walking with Jesus, the very nature of God is within us - like the burning bush, like the hearts of the disciples.
So when we are walking with Jesus - when we are in communion with him, God’s FIRE should be evident.
May I be so bold this morning as to suggest that in the church - in the body of Christ - like we’ve been talking about for the past several weeks - in the church - it’s been a long time since the world has seen Fire. That’s not meant to be a critical statement or some kind of harsh judgement. It just seems to me like it is a fact - we really haven’t seen a whole lot of fire.
I remember an illustration I heard once about a little old country church just outside of a town in Indiana. And one night the old wooden church building caught on fire and the church people came running from all around to help get the fire out and hopefully save the church. And from just down the road a ways an old man came running to see if he could also give some help. Well, one of the church people noticed him helping the very best he could - putting all his effort into it, with all the others - and she said to him, “I’ve never seen you at this church before.” And the old man said, “This church has never been ON FIRE before!!”