Have we been baptized in water and the fire of the Holy Spirit?
I am not immune to competing for my spiritual faction (aka denomination). I think it is best. I think Jesus cares. I am wrong.
John the Baptizer is still baptizing. Jesus, as a part of His ministry, is starting to baptize as well.
John’s disciples got into an argument with the establishment Jews over the nature of baptism. They came to John and said, “Rabbi, you know the one who was with you on the other side of the Jordan? The one you authorized with your witness? Well, he’s now competing with us. He’s baptizing, too, and everyone’s going to him instead of us.”
I came to Jesus and decided to follow Him at the age of 12. I was immediately baptized in water. Being a part of the Baptist denomination at the time, I was immersed. I consider this good news. I am a new creation in Jesus. I have been born again to newness of life. w00t!
We rehearsed how it would all come down with the minister before hand. They gave me a folded handkerchief that I was to give to the minister right before it happened.
Stapled to the cloth was my name, so he wouldn’t forget who I was or say the wrong name. It was quite the ritual but it meant something to me.
It still does!
Here is a well thought out article by Jeremiah Johnson at Grace to You.
Faith and repentance are not easy. Submission contradicts the natural disposition of the human heart. And the transforming and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit is often uncomfortable and difficult.
Salvation would be so much more inviting and enticing to our human understanding if it didn’t require humility, repentance, and the transformation of your entire being. Why can’t it simply be the product of a one-time activity?
For those looking to bypass the difficulty and discomfort of salvation, 1 Peter 3:21 seemingly provides a shortcut in the form of this simple declaration: “Baptism now saves you.” This and a select few other verses are often used to promote “baptismal regeneration”–the view that teaches that one is saved (regenerated) though water baptism.
However, not all proponents of baptismal regeneration see baptism as a shortcut to salvation or a quick fix to the problem of sin. Many view it as a necessary element—in addition to repentance and faith—that completes the work of salvation. And as a proof text, they point to Peter’s words in Acts 2:38, “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (emphasis added).
Read the article here: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B160815
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