How many ?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by mima, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. mima

    mima
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    After reading Matthew 3:11, where John says," I indeed the baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." Some believe there is only one baptism. But does this verse speak about two distinctly different baptisms? What do you think?
     
  2. PamelaK

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    My view on this and its parallel passage in Luke has been that the baptism of fire is the judgment of the unsaved. There are various views on this and I don't think mine is a majority one, but I could be wrong.
     
  3. Calvibaptist

    Calvibaptist
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    I tend to agree with PamelaK, but I would have to go back and study the passage to see exactly what I believe. I'll get back to you!
     
  4. npetreley

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    I see it as a revealing fire that burns away (cleanses away) all our useless works, leaving only those things we did that were according to God's will. There are verses that support this possibility, but I'm too sleepy to go look them up. ;)
     
  5. bapmom

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    I would guess it has to do with John's baptism being one that looked forward to Christ's crucifixion.

    Jesus' baptism I should think would be referring to His sending of the Holy Spirit after He had ascended. Up until then, there was no permanent indwelling of the Spirit if a person was saved. But now, upon salvation, each person is "baptized" or indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
     
  6. genesis12

    genesis12
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    I'm amazed to see words like "my view" and "I would guess."

    Don't overlook the fact that the you in "He will baptize you.....with fire" should be read collectively. John was speaking to a group of detractors. His water baptism, of course, was for individual Jews, not followers of Christ.

    God, on the other hand, immerses each of us in the Holy Spirit (one baptism). He (the Holy Spirit) is now ours, within and without. He not only indwells, he comes alongside. We are instantly sanctified, yet sanctification is a process, as well. Therefore:

    The fire in verse 11, identified in verse 12, is the fire of judgment of remaining sin, the fire that consumes all evil, rather than another specific baptism.
     
  7. Brother Bob

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    I believe that Scripture is talking about the soul or spirit of man being baptized by the Holy Spirit.
    There is a baptism for the body and that is what John was doing with water.

    There is a baptism for the soul which is by the Holy Ghost.

    So there is one baptism to the outward man and one baptism to the inner man.


    Ephesians, chapter 4

    4": There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

    "5": One Lord, one faith, one baptism,


    1 Corinthians, chapter 12
    "13": For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit


    Acts, chapter 10

    "46": For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

    "47": Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

    "48": And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
     
  8. Matrix

    Matrix
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    I wonder if John's declaration that Jesus would baptise with the Holy Spirit and with fire isn't a reference to the day of Pentecost? Acts records that when the Spirit was poured out ont he assembled group it appeared as though tongues of fire were on thier heads.

    I heard Rev Dr Billy Kim, the former president of the Baptist World Alliance in 2004 make a comment about the emphasis we baptists place on the water, and the way we downplay the fire.

    The action of the Spirit is like a fire, spreading wildly, touching all around it, yes being a cleansing, but also consuming the offering?

    Regards
    Matrix
     
  9. Calvibaptist

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    It is interesting looking at some commentaries on this section. There are a wide variety of views. John Gill relates the baptism with fire to God's judgment on those who refused to repent. Matthew Henry relates the baptism with fire to the purifying and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit on believers. John Wesley relates it to the idea that "the Holy Spirit will inflame your hearts with the fire of love, which many waters cannot quench." Adam Clarke says that the baptism by fire means that the Holy Spirit "was to illuminate and invigorate the soul, penetrate every part, and assimilate the whole to the image of the God of glory."

    These are just a few of the various views espoused by great men of God throughout church history. Do you see the problem? They are all different.

    Here is my take, looking at the context of the passage:

    Vs 7-10 involves John the Baptist condemning the Pharisees for showing up but not being truly repentant. They relied on thier physical relation to Abraham for their right standing with God. John tells them that they are like trees which did not bear fruit, will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

    Then comes verse 11 - Jesus is coming to baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. It seems, based on context, that the most natural way to take the "fire" of verse 11 is the same way it is used in verse 10 - that of judgment of unrepentant sinners.
     

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