New International Version
15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with[a] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[b] the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Thursday - January 13
John’s baptism was still a very good baptism. The main problem was that Jesus had not yet died and risen again. That had to come first before baptism could become what it was ultimately meant to be. They had baptism, but not “in the name of Jesus.” In Acts 2, only weeks after the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the Apostle Peter preached a sermon to thousands of Jews gathered in Jerusalem. Luke, who also wrote the book of Acts, tells us that when the people heard the Word of God through Peter’s sermon they were “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37). Then they asked: “What shall we do?” Peter responded by saying, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Baptism in the name of the risen Lord Jesus forgives sins and gives the gift of the Holy Spirit! Baptism gives us God’s direct, merciful, forgiving, loving presence.