Matthew 3:11 baptism by spirit and fire

"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire
What is the meaning of being baptized by fire?


@Sgpage A good place to check with specific language usage questions is the NET Bible. In this particular case, their note on this passage (below) was super helpful. Hope that helps :slight_smile:

With the Holy Spirit and fire . There are differing interpretations for this phrase regarding the number of baptisms and their nature. (1) Some see one baptism here, and this can be divided further into two options. (a) The baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire could refer to the cleansing, purifying work of the Spirit in the individual believer through salvation and sanctification, or (b) it could refer to two different results of Christ’s ministry: Some accept Christ and are baptized with the Holy Spirit, but some reject him and receive judgment. (2) Other interpreters see two baptisms here: The baptism of the Holy Spirit refers to the salvation Jesus brings at his first advent, in which believers receive the Holy Spirit, and the baptism of fire refers to the judgment Jesus will bring upon the world at his second coming. One must take into account both the image of fire and whether individual or corporate baptism is in view. A decision is not easy on either issue. The image of fire is used to refer to both eternal judgment (e.g., [Matt 25:41](javascript:{})) and the power of the Lord’s presence to purge and cleanse his people (e.g., [Isa 4:4-5](javascript:{})). The pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost, a fulfillment of this prophecy no matter which interpretation is taken, had both individual and corporate dimensions. It is possible that since Holy Spirit and fire are governed by a single preposition in Greek, the one-baptism view may be more likely, but this is not certain. Simply put, there is no consensus view in scholarship at this time on the best interpretation of this passage.

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@Sgpage in Pentecostal circles it is believed that this refers to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. A good place to go to look at this in Acts 11:14-18. Here Peter describes the baptism of the Spirit coming on a group of gentiles and refers back to the scripture you mention above in verse 16.

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