Sunday, December 14, 2008

Baptism with the spirit and fire

I have often wondered how we should express the proper Christian view on Baptism. I found today's reading from John insightful, and remembered that Matthew was more elaborate in describing Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist. Here it is, Matthew 3:11

‘I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.'

I think clearly there is a disconnect between Baptism and the reception of the Holy Spirit. Clearly John is suggesting that Baptism with water is key in order to, as Jesus says a couple of verses later, 'fulfill all righteousness', but it is actually the reception of the Holy Spirit in blazing passion that is the gift of Christ. How to express this in the life of the Church?


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