“I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” (Luke 3:16-17 ESV)
“I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” (Luke 12:49-51 ESV)
If Luke 12:49-51 sounds a little strange, it is only because we so often loose sight of the seriousness of the fallen condition that we all exist within. You see, each and every one of us is born into a rebellious state of being that is absolutely abhorrent to God. It is a state of being so detestable, that we cannot possibly draw near to Him as we are. Yet, by grace He calls us out of that life and into a new one, a life that is diametrically opposed to the former. He calls us to a life of holiness, a life that is set apart from that which society promotes. He calls us to begin a journey, if you will, in a new direction. It is a path that leads to life, as opposed to death. It is a path that leads us back into the presence of our Heavenly Father.
However, entrance into this new life is only found through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is only found by becoming His disciple. It is found when we make Him our treasure, trading all of the wants of this world for the ultimate joy that is found in Him. And it is when we trade those pleasures of the world for Him that we receive that baptism of Spirit and fire that burns away the desires of the flesh that pull us away from God. Yes, through Jesus we are called to a life of division.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2 ESV)