I am still pondering from the Ponderosa. I realize that we live in a culture of soundbites, but here comes more strong meat from God’s Word. There are 774, 646 words in the Bible and every word matters. God’s Word contains wisdom that human eyes have never seen, nor ears heard, nor wisdom that has never entered human minds before (1 Corinthians 2:9-14). It is wisdom that is taught to us from God’s Word by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us eyes to see and ears to hear. I pondered yesterday the Spirit’s ministry of the new birth and how He births us into God’s Kingdom, which forever changes our destiny. Today I want to ponder the Spirit’s baptizing work which forever changes our identity.
The moment we hear the gospel and trust Jesus Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit does many invisible works in our lives that change us forever. He immediately immerses us into the King (no water involved) (1 Corinthians 12:13). This is the real baptism for which water is just a symbol. Paul wrote that there is one faith, one Lord, and one baptism (Ephesians 4:5). Water baptism is important, but it is just a symbol of this amazing work. What an incredible thought! At the moment of our faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit not only births us into God’s Kingdom, He baptizes us into God’s King. This is what is referred to as “Spirit baptism.”
Every believer instantly becomes a new creation; old things pass away and new things come (2 Corinthians 5:17). We receive a new life, His life, eternal life (1 John 5:11-13). We receive Christ’s relationship to His father, meaning that we become sons of the living God (Galatians 3:26-28). His righteousness is placed on our account (2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9). We need a righteousness equal to God’s in order to live with Him forever. Someone has written that God’s righteousness is the righteousness that His righteousness requires Him to require. Whew!
And finally, we receive a new unity with the Body of Christ (Galatians 3:27-28). Every wall that potentially divides us as human beings is removed. We become one body in Christ. And, oh by the way, this is how we get into our Ark, who will one day jettison us to a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1; 22:1-5). And as in Noah’s day, the Holy Spirit seals the door shut, and we cannot be lost (Ephesians 1:13-14). That is a good point to end on. Stay safe and stay tuned.