The ministry of John the Baptist was that of repentance and baptism with water in preparation for Christ, who was coming to give the Spirit. The Old Testament foretells of coming days when God's people will be cleansed with water and will receive the Spirit of God for sanctification (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:24-28). John, the voice of one crying, explicitly identifies the giver of those prophecies—Christ, who alone baptizes with the Holy Spirit.John preached that his baptism was for repentance and that it does not change the heart. It examines and identifies the disease but does not treat it. He was eagerly looking forward to the coming of Christ, the anointed One, who alone is able to heal the disease and remove destruction from the world. He baptizes all the repentant and broken-hearted with his Holy Spirit, regenerating their spirit with his divine Spirit, changing them into people of love and making them worthy of the kingdom of heaven. Yet Christ will deliver the hypocrites who have the form of godliness, along with those who neglect the grace of God, into the everlasting fire of God’s wrath.John, the greatest prophet of all, was standing at the threshold of the Old Testament, leaning into the New Testament. He preached God’s wrath according to the Law of Moses, but saw the Lord of grace coming upon them to save the repentant, giving life from God to an evil world.The Holy Spirit, promised to those who repent and confess their sins, is God himself. Whoever declares his faults before God and turns from them, shall obtain and experience Christ’s forgiveness and heavenly power. God himself shall dwell in this sinner and make him his child by the Holy Spirit.Therefore do not be afraid of the baptism with the Holy Spirit because this Spirit is God’s love, kindness and everlasting life, and this Spirit glorifies Christ.John knew, in advance, the nobility of Christ. He thought himself unworthy of serving him—even considering himself unworthy of being a slave to carry his Master’s sandals. The Baptist was a humble bearer of the fruits of true repentance. He hoped with all his heart that Christ would come, giving the Holy Spirit to all that turned from sin and turned to God.It is a great comfort to faithful ministers, knowing that Jesus Christ is mightier than they are—doing that which they cannot do and giving that which they cannot give. His strength is perfected in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).It is those who allow Christ to be all in all that God puts honor upon. He opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).