“John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
There can be no doubt that a major purpose of Jesus was to bless His followers with the gift of the Holy Spirit. There can also be no doubt that this gift was essential to their new life, new purpose and their relationship with God.
Each of the four gospels records John the Baptist prophesying about the baptism in the Spirit that Jesus would bring about.
- “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” [Matthew 3:11]
- “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” [Mark 1:8]
- “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” [Luke 3:16]
- “He who will baptize with the Holy Spirit” [John 1:33]
Jesus taught that the Spirit was essential and that He would send the Spirit
- “Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” (John 3:5)
- “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
- “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
Paul and Peter took the teaching further,
- “And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” (Romans 8:9)
- “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
- “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15-16)
- “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
- “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
Christianity is not merely an intellectual acknowledgement, an occasional participation in a religious ceremony or a prayer when in need. It is so much more – a new life, a new way of life and a completely new and vital relationship with the Almighty Father. This cannot be achieved by our own efforts or actions but only by the grace, power and love of God Himself. It is such a significant and life-changing process that it took the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to make it possible and the gift of the Personal and Powerful Spirit of God to make it real in the life of a believer.
Pray that the Spirit may enter more fully and effectively into your life, and enable to you become and to be the person God sees you to be.
Come Holy Spirit, open me to the wonderful truth of the love and grace of God, and guide me, transform me and enable me to be more fully His son/daughter. Amen.