Baptism of the Spirit
What Is Baptism?
It has several meanings. First, it means being immersed in water for the purpose of getting clean or refreshed and renewed. Further, it has the sense of being buried, not in the ground, of course, but under the water. When a person arises out of the water, the act is comparable to being raised from the dead, like Jesus.
The first baptism occurred some years ago during the time of Noah. The Earth had become so evil that God decided to rid the planet of human life, except for Noah and his family. The great flood cleansed the Earth of evil. The next baptism occurred when Moses led the children of Israel through the recently cleared Red Sea. While the Israelites did not actually get wet, the Bible says that their transit through the dried out Red Sea was akin to a baptism. Here, the baptism was partly a cleansing; it was also a renewal of their faith in Yahweh.
Baptism by Fire
When a person is baptized into the Spirit, it is called baptism by fire. Unlike water baptism, fire purifies more harshly and more effectively. It burns up the residual impurities, such as, evil habits that infect a Christian. The Spirit does its purification by various adversities and trials expressly tailored to suit Gods People, not too hard nor too easy.
Water baptism and baptism by fire seem to be contradictory terms. When the Spirit gets hot, it is like boiling water, which cleans much better than cold water. When the Spirit gets really hot, the boiling water steams, which as we all know who have been scalded, it purges quite nicely. So while we cannot really resolve the seemingly contradictory terms, sometimes the Spirit is similar to the action of water and at other times like the onslaught of fire. Whatever way the Spirit from Our Father in Heaven chooses to promote righteousness, it is for our benefit.
Receiving the Spirit
While the Holy Spirit came over people from the earliest times, it wasnt until almost two thousand years ago on that fateful Pentecost that it was poured out on all people, on all people. For most people the Holy Spirit is something they are ignorant or disdainful of. They have been deceived into choosing a way of life apart from the one Our Father in Heaven wants them to travel. They prefer the ways of the world, the world controlled by Satan and its evil, although deceptively appealing, philosophies. A few are bad, not deceived. These murder, rape, maim, and engage in every manner of evil. They have no hope; they want no hope.
For the few, the Holy Spirit is a precious gift and blessing, which they eagerly choose and use. They earnestly seek life, the Kingdom of God, and the fruit of the Spirit. Like physical fruit, which needs to be watered and cultivated to mature, believers work to produce the fruit of the Spirit in full measure. They know that Our Father in Heaven, by the power of the Spirit, has written his laws on their hearts.
Knowing that the Holy Spirit has been poured out, they receive it with joy. They use all the power of the Spirit and do not let it disintergrate with neglect.
Let us examine this Spirit Our Father in Heaven has baptized believers into.
The prophets of old inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote that Our Father in Heaven will give people a new Spirit, which came on Pentecost. This new Spirit will give believers an undivided heart, not vacillating between mammon and God. That Spirit will foster humility in believers and focus their energies on God alone. This new Spirit will bring steadfast endurance into the hearts of believers because they choose life. The new Spirit of life sets believers free from the law of sin and death.
Up until the new Spirit of life, all people entered a cycle of disobedience, punishment and death. Through Jesus, this cycle was broken because the Spirit cleansed them from the taint of evil.
The Spirit Cleanses
The Spirit acting through the Word of God opens believers minds to His will and way. The Spirit shows believers the error in their ways by comparing them to the criteria of the Word.
When believers fully understand that Jesus relieved sinners of their sin and removed diseases from the sick, they are saved from evil acts leading to death. Like a hero Jesus jumps in front of the speeding car and throws us out of the way and dies in our place. Like a hero Jesus jumps in the way of the bullet meant for us. Like a hero Jesus went to prison in our place and died in the electric chair for us. Like a hero, Jesus assimilated all our pains and illness. Like a hero, Jesus took all our guilt, all our mental scars of past wrongs, all the filth of sins and gave us his pure and sinless mind.
When the Spirit convinces us of the ultimate deed of Jesus, it cleanses our consciences of all blood guilt. Yes, adversity can be the fire of the Spirit. But, the fire of shame and guilt can be just as powerful a caustic cleanser.
God Puts His Spirit into Believers
After having been cleansed by Jesuss sacrifice, God places His Spirit, into the minds of believers to galvanize them to follow His Laws. These people realize that they were bought with a price, the blood and life of Jesus, and know they must honor Our Father in Heaven with their bodies. They know that their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and, therefore, they are not their own they belong to God.
This Spirit frees believers from the slavery of sin, and they become sons of God. Praying in the Spirit, they cry out, Abba, Daddy. Praying in the Spirit, they express spiritual truths in spiritual words, not English words. Praying in the Spirit, they understand and accept the things of God and relegate the things of the world to the dark, distant past.
They walk by faith, not by sight.
Manifestation of the Spirit
Our access to Our Father in Heaven is by the Spirit, not through the ways of the world. The Spirit is the power and conduit to do the work of Our Father in Heaven. The Spirit is not a gift to be buried in the ground because a person is afraid to use it for whatever reason. Remember, the same Spirit that gave Jesus the power to work miracles was poured out on all flesh on all, not some. If a person believes the Word of God, he will walk by faith and use the gift.
Our Father in Heaven expects His People to use the power given to them. He gave this power to His people to use for the good of His People and all people. The Spirit contains all power, and can be used according to the will and faith of the believer. Paul, for example, used the complete range of power. Others exhibit only those gifts they wished to use or felt they were capable of using. All the power of the Spirit can be divided into various manifestations.
The Spirit gives believers the ability to express the knowledge that comes from God, not man or the world. The Spirit gives believers the ability to proclaim the wisdom that comes from God, not man or the world.
The Spirit gives faith, gifts of healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues. All come from the one Spirit from the one God and Father of Our Lord Jesus, the Christ.
Power from on High
Our Father in Heavens plan for getting Himself a family includes changing the nature of human beings. In forming people from the clay of the earth, He breathed into them the breath of life, a touch of the divine. This made humans above animals who are of the earth but without the human spirit from God. But, Our Father in Heaven was not finished. He planned from the very beginning to infuse certain loyal believers in Himself and His Son with power from on high, the Holy Spirit.
Our Father in Heaven did not give His Spirit stintingly; rather, He poured this power on all people. Even in ancient times, God gave certain people access to His Spirit. With this power, some tore lions apart with their bare hands. Others rejoiced and prophesied as the Spirit gave them inspiration.
When Jesus received power from on high, he went about doing good, healing, working miracles, raising the dead, and multiplying food. Most importantly, he taught about His Father in Heaven and how to better keep the Ten Commandments by the Spirit, not the letter.
After Jesuss death and resurrection, he told his apostles to wait for this power to overwhelm them, which occurred on Pentecost. Paul prayed that believers would be strengthened with his power in the inner person. He prayed that Jesus would dwell in believers hearts with power through faith. He prayed that believers would have the foundation of love and the power to understand how great is Jesuss love for them. He prayed that believers be filled to the measure of the fullness of God.
Finally, we can pray, Now to him by the power at work within is able to do far more abundantly than all we could ask or think. (Eph 3:20)
Yes, Our Father in heaven gave believers, not a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline.
Changed by the Spirit
Human beings are incomplete without the power of the Spirit. They cannot do all the powerful things that Our Father in Heaven created them to do without the power at work within. The Spirit within changes a person from within. They become a new creation made in the image of God.
Being recreated in the image of God, enables a person to walk in the way Our Father in Heaven laid out for them. For that is the first step, keeping the Law of God and being law-abiding citizen of the Kingdom of God. The power of the Spirit changes believers into people who love instead of people who criticize, hate, steal, murder and rape. Without the power of the Spirit within, people cannot stop doing evil, one way or another, some more than others.
The Spirit so motivates a person that he shouts for joy and praises Our Father in Heaven. He confesses that Jesus is lord and turns to him for guidance in doing right, being righteous. They are changed from being children of the alien demon, to being children of Our Father in Heaven.
The change in some is dramatic and for others painfully slow, but the power of the Spirits love cannot be withstood.
Taught by the Spirit
The power of the Spirit is released first by knowing what the power is and how to use it. The power of the Spirit first instructs believers in the way and the Truth, which is found in the pages of the Bible.
In the Bible, people gain faith, learn of Gods love, find out about His plan of getting a family, hear about the reward of the Kingdom of God, and discover the resurrection to life forever. Without the power of the Spirit inspiring believers, the words of the Bible are so much history and legalisms. With the power of the Spirit, the Bible becomes alive with Truth and love. Like Jesus, believers who are filled with the Spirit become living Bibles and show all Gods love and power.
The Bible explains what the powers of the Spirit are that God so lovingly gives to His People. The power God gives should be used, not hidden in a chest or closet.
Then the Spirit explains, through the pages of Gods Word, how its power is released. It is very simple for people who walk by faith, not sight. Believe the Word and do what the Word says you can do.
Blessed by the Lord
Using the power of the Spirit brings blessings to the user and to those around them even in adverse circumstances.
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