John not only announces judgment to come upon all who refuse to repent and believe the Gospel. He also proclaims the good news of Christ. The Coming One will baptize repentant believers with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13). John, though he was the greatest of the prophets under the Old Covenant, could only point to Christ. Like the entire Old Testament, he brought people to the threshold of new life, but not into that life itself. His baptism was with water only, signifying a hunger for freedom and forgiveness of sins. Like the regulations given through Moses, John’s ministry dealt with the outer man only; it could not bring inner cleansing and release. Jesus, on the other hand, was mightier than John; He was holier than this holy man; and He could effect inner transformation by giving His followers the Spirit of God. From other passages of the Bible, we find that the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is another facet of that complex reality which we call “salvation.” Some of the other terms used for this-life changing event include: - Being born again (John 3:3,5; Titus 3:5-6. - Receiving the (gift of) Holy Spirit (John 7:39; Acts 1:8; 2:38; 8:15, 17: 10:47; Romans 8:15; Galatians 3:2. - Having the Holy Spirit poured out upon one (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17, 18, 33: 10:45; Romans 5:5; Titus 3:16). - Receiving repentance unto life (Acts 11:18) - Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 11:17). - Being saved (Acts 11:14; 1 Corinthians 1:18; Ephesians 2:8-9). - Receiving new life (John 3:16; 5:24; Ephesians 2:5; etc.) - Becoming children of God (John 1:12-13; 1 John 3:1). If you have received this greatest of all blessings from God, praise Him daily with a grateful heart. If you have not, come to Him in humble prayer until you do receive the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus Christ.