Baptism into the body:“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:13 NKJVThe Holy Spirit that the Father gave to the Son to be poured out upon everyone who believes unifies us into one body. Ephesians chapter one explains the coming of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians chapter two brings great clarity to this subject as we consider the work of the Holy Spirit in applying what Christ made possible which was to take from many and make one new man, one body and one holy people. Please understand that this is part of the warfare for which we have been called.Baptism of suffering: But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! Luke 12:50 KJVThey said unto him, “Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and one on thy left hand, in thy glory.” But Jesus said unto them, “Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” And they said unto him, “We can.” And Jesus said unto them, “Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it is for them for whom it is prepared.” Mark 10:37–40 KJVThe writer of Hebrews wrote that in order to bring many sons to glory, “It was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering.” (Hebrews 2:10 NKJV).Paul wrote, “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church.” (Colossians 1:24 NKJV).The warfare that I am addressing in this book brought upon the apostle Paul a tremendous amount of suffering as he took the Gospel to the Gentiles, as he represented Christ through preaching, and as he suffered for the sake of the church. That is why Paul could say that he counted everything lost for Christ. Christ became Paul’s all-in-all. Paul identified his suffering as afflictions beyond the cross so that Christ’s body might be matured and be able to fulfill her mandate in dealing with evil and establishing Christ’s reign in the earth. There are many other Bible verses addressing this issue of suffering.To summarize, we learned that the subject of baptism is plural and not singular. We saw that by the Spirit of God we are baptized into Christ as we receive His sacrifice for our sin condition and identify with His death on our behalf. That identity is pictured in a watery grave. In water baptism there is a clear picture of our death with Christ, being buried with Him, and rising to new life by the power of the Holy Spirit.We learned that Jesus baptizes us with His Holy Spirit as promised by His Father. We saw that the Father gave the Spirit to the Son Who in turn gave the Spirit to those who believed on the Son.We saw that the Bible also reveals that we have been baptized into Christ’s Body. We have become members one of another in Him.Finally, we learned that there is a baptism of suffering as we join Christ in His sufferings. Paul, Christ’s apostle to the gentiles, rejoiced in both his identity in Christ’s death and in Christ’s sufferings.Baptism is not just an event. It is a life immersed in Christ and lived by the power of His resurrection life.
Baptism with the Holy Spirit:John the Baptist gave us the phrase: “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11b NASB). Only John used this terminology regarding the Spirit. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is the comprehensive work of the Spirit. In the book of Acts, there are many in-fillings and refreshing’s of the Spirit mentioned, but five specific comings of the Spirit:Acts 2: The Day of PentecostActs 8: The SamaritansActs 9: The experience of PaulActs 10: The Gentiles receive the same that the Jews had receivedActs 19: The disciples of John the Baptist receive the Spirit.Look up each of these chapters in Acts, read and study the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The lessons of these chapters become very important to understanding the apostle’s writings throughout the New Testament. The Spirit’s coming is the essence of the New Testament. He is essential to the birth and ministry of Jesus. He is essential to the resurrection and regeneration. He is essential to the new birth of every believer. He is the promise of the Father. He is the down payment of the believers inheritance. He gives the gifts and He produces the fruit and He reveals the mind of God.
Faith and Works What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?James 2:14 NASBSome people believe that James preached a different Gospel than Paul did. Paul laid the foundation of believing faith throughout his letters. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8–9 NASB). How do we reconcile what James said about faith and works with what Paul taught?There is a difference between saying that you have faith and actually demonstrating that faith. I knew a man some years ago who evidenced knowledge of the Bible. He told me he believed the Bible, but his life did not demonstrate a believing faith. Saying, “I have faith”, is one thing, but living that faith is something totally different. We expect to see evidence of faith in the person who says, “I have faith.” As we grow in our faith, a greater demonstration of our faith will be seen.Paul taught: “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy.” (Titus 3:5a NASB). Redemption comes through Jesus Christ and His sacrificial work. We had nothing whatsoever to do with that work. Jesus went to the cross for you and me while we were still dead in our trespasses and sins. All that is required of us is to receive what Christ has accomplished. What James addressed in his letter is the wrong attitude that all I need to do is to say, “I have faith.” Saying it and believing it are two totally different things. Sincerely believing what Christ has done for you will produce a demonstration of faith in you. Do others know your faith by what you say or by what you do? Repentance, as mentioned above, is the beginning evidence of believing faith toward God.It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the ability to believe. He grants to us the gift of repentance. He reveals to us the need for the work of Christ to be applied to our lives. He regenerates us, causing the life of Christ to be lived out through us. Through believing faith, we can be filled with the Holy Spirit daily and live out Christ’s life. We then demonstrate our faith by our works.Trust Christ completely for your salvation through the work He did on the cross. Don’t just talk about your faith; demonstrate your faith by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in and through you in serving others.