Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Baptism of John vs The Baptism of Jesus

HCSB Mark 1:4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
 Notice that John's baptism (Biblical Greek = "immersion") is for:

1. Repentance
2. Forgiveness of sins

How does John contrast his baptism with that of Jesus?
HCSB Mark 1:7 He was preaching: “Someone more powerful than I will come after me. I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of His sandals. I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
John makes the distinction that the baptism of Jesus involves the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus was baptized of John:
HCSB MArk 1:10 As soon as He came up out of the water, He saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending to Him like a dove.
When Peter tells the first listeners to be baptized, he said:
HCSB Acts 2:38 “Repent,” Peter said to them, “and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Years later, Paul comes across a dozen men, whom Luke (the writer of this record in Acts 19:1-7) calls "disciples", and whom Paul says have "believed". He doesn't see obvious manifestations of them having received the Holy Spirit when they were baptized, and seems to have expected to do so. So he asks them about it, and they answer that they didn't even know a Holy Spirit existed. Being further tutored by Paul, they then were baptized in the name of Jesus. Paul laid his hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit, which manifested in their speaking in tongues and in prophesying.

Also concerning the Holy Spirit when we heard/believed:
HCSB 2 Cor 1:22 He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts.
HCSB Eph 1:13 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. 14 He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.
It has been thought by some that the difference between the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus is that the first was a "baptism of repentance" and that the second was a baptism of "forgiveness of sins".  But we see from Mark 1:4 that John's baptism was also one of forgiveness. Rather, it seems to me that the significant contrast between the baptism of John and that of Jesus is that the baptism of Jesus baptized us with and put into us the Spirit of God.
HCSB 1 Cor 3:16 Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s sanctuary and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
HCSB 1 Cor 6:19 Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?
Paul finishes that last verse with an admonition to "Live like it!":
HCSB 1 Cor 6:19b You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.
I believe those who claim that the Spirit of God dwells in us only via the "indwelling of God's Word" have misunderstood the Scriptures. Few of us would doubt that Satan knows the word of God very well; it dwells in him; yet I think we'd all be agreed that Satan does not have God's Spirit. And the word of God dwelt in those twelve disciples whom Paul found in Acts 19, yet they didn't have the Spirit of God.

The Spirit of God is Alive, and dwells within us. And that's the result of being immersed in the name of the Lord Jesus.

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1 comment:

Sheri said...