In the Christian life, the Lord promises to baptize every believer by water, and by fire. The baptism of water has to do with the public announcement of our renewed faith, and life in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. Like taking a shower every day, this public symbolism reveals how God’s truth (Word) continually washes us of our moral errors as we repent.
The baptism of fire, in the other hand, has to do with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This baptism promises that God himself will take residence in a person’s life, and transform the old sinful nature to one which reflects His image and likeness. This inner washing or working can not be performed with water, but rather with fire.
In Gods eyes, being filled with the Holy Spirit is more than an endowment of power, but an inner working of His consuming fire which burns away any moral impurities still found in our character. During this time, you and I may feel that we are in the furnace.
But, hold on - you and I will come out of this pure, spotless, and shining like Gold.
11“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 c the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”