"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
How do you picture the Holy Spirit?
Our imagination is likely to run to something like a vague fuzzy cloud. Or perhaps we think of an invisible, impersonal force. No wonder the Holy Spirit is often called "it." While Christians affirm that the Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, we struggle to think of him as a person at all.
The Bible is clear that the Holy Spirit is a person. But how can human beings understand who he is? Scripture helps us by giving us strong word pictures of the Spirit as wind, fire, a counselor, anointing oil and more. As you go through these eight Bible studies by Dale and Sandy Larsen, you will find that your mental picture of the Spirit comes into focus. And even better, you will find that you can have a real relationship with the third person of the Trinity as you experience the power, comfort and gifts that flow out from the Spirit.