by James Merritt

Come on Baby, Light My Fire
James Merritt
Matthew 3:11-12


1. I am beginning a series of messages on the Holy Spirit that I have titled ''Earth, Wind and Fire.'' There are many metaphors that are used in the Bible to describe the Holy Spirit. In Matt. 3:16 He is compared to a dove that flies. In John 7:38 He is compared to water that flows. In John 3:8 He is compared to wind that blows. But here in Matt. 3:11 He is compared to a fire that burns.

2. That is why I have entitled this message, ''Come On Baby, Light My Fire'' because we all need to be set on fire by the Holy Spirit of God. Unfortunately, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit may be the most neglected doctrine in the church today. Bill Bright has said that in the course of his ministry he has surveyed thousands of Christians in churches around the world, and determined that nearly 95% of the respondents have indicated that they have little knowledge of who the Holy Spirit is, or why He exists.(1)

3. One of the first things we are taught as children is the danger of heat and fire. Though we may know much about physical fire, we know very little about the fire of the Holy Spirit. J. I. Packer has said, ''The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is the Cinderella of Christian doctrines.''

4. Even the verse that we are going to study is a mystery to many of us. Here in v.11 we find the two types of baptism that are found in the Bible. There is a baptism of water, but there is also a baptism of fire. John baptized with water, Jesus baptized with fire; water baptism is visible, fire baptism is invisible; one baptism is wet, one baptism is dry.

5. One may have no effect on the person being baptized, for you can go down wet and come up dry. But the other baptism always has the effect of a changed life on fire for God. Practically every Christian knows something about baptism with water, but the vast majority of Christians know nothing about the baptism with fire.

6. It is interesting that i ...

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