by Christina Farris
7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Jesus was a perfect man, water baptism was unnecessary but Jesus did so as example of faith for humanity and something we need to follow. It recorded that John baptism could not do what Christ baptism could. John only could do a statement of faith baptism of desire to be cleansed by the word of God. He can only teach about baptism in the need of being cleanse from sin. He could only do a token of demonstrating the need to believe what God could do in one's life. We must remember God is spirit. God had to do the baptism, man could not. Jesus was more then man and he came to baptize with the Holy Spirit. What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, is the baptism of God's approval in one's life. When Jesus sent the seventy out to preach and heal, they were excited, but Jesus told them it better to realize that your name is written down in the book of life. In otherwords had God's approval on the work you were doing for him, that you were consider a child of God/King. God outwardly physically showed Jesus baptism by the Holy Spirit. John saw heaven open and a dove descending down. A voice from heaven said, "this is my beloved Son whom I am well pleased". Confirmation outwardly of Jesus baptism.
The outward sign of baptism is not necessarily seeing tongues of fire like in Acts 2, or seeing dove descend, this is demonstration for the believer, to point to those he is baptizing. I am not saying it can not happen this way again, I am saying this does not occur everytime someone receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit. However there is evidence of the baptism by the work of the believer, the recognition by the Spirit in another believer as John recognized the baptism Jesus would do, God demonstrated his own anointing by the Spirit descending like a dove on Jesus shoulders. Jesus was already anointed because he is the word of God, but this was so others would know that Jesus was chosen by God. Imagine standing on the Jordan bank and witness the event of Jesus' baptism. It was God's commision of it time to start preparing and baptizing the people in the word and the Spirit. Who gave the power of healing but it must come by God's Spirit. Why was the baptism necessary in Acts and end of John perhaps because of Peter own denial of Christ, perhaps the running away of the disciples before the cross, and maybe a purging or cleansing that said you are still my children despite what happened to my Son. You are still chosen to spread the Gospel and I sending you forth.
Jesus was baptised by John with water but God baptized Jesus with His Spirit. Any minister can baptize you with water, but only God can baptize you with His Spirit. Ministers can lay hands for baptism but it is still a work of God's Spirit. It is the work of God's Spirit for both ministry and cleansing of the soul for ministry. It a cleansing done to make one cleansed from sin. Remember Cain heard the voice of God only to refuse what the Spirit warned him about and so he killed his brother Abel. It is the best example of God's Spirit speaking to early man, and it is that same Spirit that still talks to the believer that one is baptized with. It is the baptism that allows one to learn to obey God's Spirit, to move and to obey God. It does not mean we can not sin, it means we are cleansed from sin, cleansed by first repentance and asking God to forgive us, then God baptizes the believer of faith into his communication with them.
What is this baptism about it being purified first by conviction of the soul and then by the Holy Spirit leadership in one's life. Stephen full of faith and power of the Holy Ghost, for purpose of sharing the word of God, so the believers could be multiplied. In Acts 2 we see the baptism but we also see the increase of the believers that day in that chapter. Everyone has dry periods of ministry where it appears God is not doing a thing throught he work of someone. When this happens we do not know what God maybe doing. Example the man borned blind Jesus healed, who was age fifty or the omnipotent man that was waiting to be let down into the water for healing. Jesus healing them did not cause their faith, but it did effect the faith of others around them. Sometimes faith is already there, but God's people are in need of miracle. Yet the blind man was fixing to get punished by God if he did not turn from sin. (John 9).
The power of God dormant in someone life is not a sign of no faith, it maybe a sin issue, or a waiting on God's power to deliver from some illness and sometimes it both. Some people went away sharing Jesus others seem not to share about Jesus and there healing after that. Baptism can come in a form of deliverance, it can come through power of sign that visible, it can come through salvation, as someone begins to share what God has done for them by saving their soul. Someone going to testify of God's grace and work in their life. Word of God is going to be proclaimed and shared by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Devil wanted to test Jesus before his ministry started and we see that story tomorrow. Point is to see a move of God, people are going to know the change in a person's life. They going to see the witness of God in their life, in action, words, and power as they pray for others as well as speak God's word to someone.
Dear Heavenly Father, bring us first to our knees in repentance and then fill us with your Spirit Lord so we can share the great things you done by forgiving us and saving us from sin so others can see your work us, as your Spirit teaches and leads us in our life's journey. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study:Acts 6:4-8 KJV
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.