In our Wed. night study we ended up talking about Spirit baptism. I was again encouraged by going through the Scriptures in the Book of Acts and seeing how important Jesus and the Apostle made Spirit Baptism. Jesus tells the Apostles to wait in Jerusalem until they hav been baptized into the Holy Spirit. In Acts ch. 8 we see a powerful revival: miracles, salvation’s and water baptisms. But that was not sufficient for the Early Church Leaders. Acts 8:15-16 says that even though these people were now saved (meaning the Spirit lives in them) and water baptized, the Holy Spirit had not yet COME UPON THEM.
A question: “how did they know these Christians did not have the Holy Spirit come upon them yet? Another question, “how did they know when the Holy Spirit DID come upon them?
In Acts 9 Saul is saved, and baptized in the Spirit and also baptized in water. We again see a distinction of these. Why? Peter tells us in his sermon in Acts 2:33-39. Specifically v 38-39 Repent and be baptized for forgiveness of sins, (this is salvation) then He goes on to say you will receive (greek future tense) the PROMISE (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4, 2:39) of the Father which is Baptism into the Holy Spirit or being clothed with power or having the Holy Spirit come upon you. This promise is for every believer Acts 2:39 says. Now Peter says this in the context of hearing people speaking in other languages or (tongues) and then he preaches to thousands of people and tells them in v.33 of what they are hearing and seeing. He then tells them how to receive the same thing they are hearing and seeing.
To summarize as I close the Bible shows us 3 distinct baptisms: 1. the Holy Spirit baptizes a believer into the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13. Here the Holy Spirit is doing the baptizing into the ELEMENT of the Body of Christ. This is what happens at salvation.
2. A believer baptizes a believer into the ELEMENT of water. This is sign of our surrender to Jesus as our Lord.
3. Jesus (Luke 3:16) baptizes a believer into the ELEMENT of the Holy Spirit. This is Spirit baptism and has to do with us being in the Holy Spirit not the Holy Spirit being in us. The Holy Spirit is in every believer, the important thing that the early church wanted to see happen was that every believer was baptized in the Holy Spirit. (See. Acts 1:4-5,8, Acts 2:33-39, Acts 8:15-17, Act 9:17-19, Acts 10:44-47, Acts 19:1-6.
Baptism into Christ, baptism into water and baptism into the Holy Spirit. Today’s church must reclaim this standard. This is what propelled the Church forward in a culture that was full of sin and all kinds of spirituality, just like ours today. We must return to the pattern the Lord has given us.
As we all follow the news story about the missing Malaysian airplane, I took note of my own hopes and wishes about the outcome and the destiny of those on board and their families. When this first came out in the news we all assumed the plane dashed into the ocean somehow and somewhere. Now this is still a possibility, but at that point in the beginning I was starting to grasp the hopelessness that the families must have been feeling. Answers were not available to deep questions that people had.
Following this assumption was the idea that the plane was hi-jacked and taken to someplace else. This I notice brought a hope in me. A hope that maybe everybody on board the plane was still alive and would eventually make it back home to their families. I imagined the hope that may have begun to shine in those people who had already conceded to the idea that their loved ones were lost forever.
So, from hopelessness to a possible hope or fragment of hope. Now a report comes in that off the Australian coast there is possible wreckage. The questions swirls in my head, “was the plane hi-jacked” and were they unable to make it to a safe landing spot, did the plane run out of fuel? And once again I find my mindset losing hope that there will be any survivors.
With the worldwide attention and effort we see that human life is full of dignity and value. We care about the ones who may be lost to us forever. We care about the families that may never see their loved ones again. Why do we value life so much?? Is life truly important and where does each person get their worth and value from? Why suffering and human tragedy? Why are we spending so much time and so many resources to find these people? The answer simply is because THEY ARE IMPORTANT.
This is vastly different than the animal world, to often humans are labeled as animals, but we never were and never will be. We are created in the image of God. Just as it is in the nature of our Creator to “save” those who are lost, to spend time and resources to save those who need help, so it is in us. For we are made in His image and likeness and bear His heart toward mankind and all creation. This is why we hope, hurt and find the determination to press forward in difficult circumstances. We know intrinsically the value of every human life.
Well here I am starting a blog. I guess I am a pretty good “starter” but sometimes not so good at following through. The reason for this blog is to share my thoughts on life and faith and to give access to those who may be interested in what I have to think. My goal is a post a week. I will be discussing passages from the Bible, theology, news events I deem interesting, and personal spots of my life. I hope that you find it relevant to your life and at least somewhat interesting. Hang in here with me as I learn the ropes in the blogging world.