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“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Mathew 3:11).

Just see how beautifully John introduces Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is one to baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire, while John is one to baptise with water (John 1:33).

Here, two characteristics of the Gospel get revealed. Firstly, the separation which prevails between God and man should be made good by His crucifixion.  It is for this, Jesus Christ became a sin offering. Secondly, the children of God who have received the remission of sins should not stop with that but should get filled with the Holy Spirit and get united with God. They should become more and more holy and thereby get transfigured as God. The anointment of the Holy Spirit and fire is needed for that.

When one comes up to the Cross, indeed, he gets remission of sins by the blood of Jesus Christ, but his sinful nature continues to follow him. Burning fire is essential for one to prevail over such sinful nature. That is why Jesus said that He had come to send fire on the earth (Luke 12:49).

A brother found a terrible cobra near his garden, and immediately he hit it on the head and threw away the dead snake. Having smelt the blood of the dead snake, another cobra came to that man’s home to take revenge and kept on scraping the door at the entrance. Only then that man realised that apart from killing the snake, he should also have burnt it.

Immediately, he took his gun, shot the snake at the entrance and burnt both the snakes together. After hitting a snake on its head, it should also be burnt. Jesus Christ crushed the head of the serpent which was satan, on the Cross. Further, when the day of Pentecost arrived, He descended the fire of the Holy Spirit and burnt the powers of the darkness.

Dear children of God, you need the holiness derived from the blood of Jesus and at the same time, you also need the cleansing made by the fire of the Holy Spirit. Sins should be forgiven, and the sinful nature should be burnt. Plead to God, “Holy Spirit, descend on me powerfully. Turn me into a flame of fire and make me shine for you”.

To meditate: “Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them” (Acts 2:3).

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