Scriptures: Luke 24:49 Acts 1:1-8 Acts 2:16 1 Corinthians 12:13
The word “baptism” means immersion, total soaking, getting wet through and through. Just as with many old words, the impact and true meaning has been lost over time. So, what did Jesus mean when He told us that we must be baptised?
Scripture makes it clear that water baptism is a once and for all event, we die with Christ and are raised with Him. But, being immersed in Holy Spirit is an ongoing process. On the Day of Pentecost, Holy Spirit’s presence was so powerful that He is described as Tongues of Fire. The disciples had obediently waited, as Jesus had instructed, to receive this power before they began witnessing and carrying the good news of Christ to the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Peter spoke with power, authority and an anointing that bears little resemblance to the man he was on the night of Christ’s arrest. It’s clear that we need this power and anointing to truly be able to deliver the gospel with the authority that Christ desires.
The wording in our Bible is very specific, it is baptism with, in or by Holy Spirit which completely parallels water baptism. We are baptised by being completely immersed in and with water; being submerged in water, enfolded and cradled in water, clothed by water. So it follows that baptism with Holy Spirit is an experience where we are totally immersed in and with Holy Spirit, by His Power alone.
In 1 Corinthians 12:13 Paul states that we have all been baptised in Holy Spirit, as unbelievers, He is the One who convicts us so that we are spurred on to surrender to Christ and become alive in Him. However, what happened to the disciples on the Day of Pentecost was an experience that was the first of many to happen to those who were already believers.
When the crowd saw these disciples, they saw people who were physically different, so different that they said they were drunk with wine. The presence of Holy Spirit in the lives of those men and women was so powerful that it was obvious to all. What they were experiencing was real and visible, and something not seen before. They had become empowered with Holy Spirit just as Jesus had promised. This infilling and empowerment gave them the courage, the vigour and the assurance to carry out the work that Jesus had set before them. And so it is with us.
To obey Christ, to lay down our lives and follow Him requires both the initial convicting baptism by Holy Spirit and water baptism, followed by the continuing. empowering infilling with His Life and His Power as we walk the path Christ lays before us. This continuing experience gives us the courage, the determination and the power to keep going.
Jesus in His wonderful prayer before being arrested, committed us into the Father’s Hands, promising us that we would never be alone, that He, the Comforter, would come. Holy Spirit is always with us, always ready to immerse us in Himself to equip us and assure us, whatever is happening.
Prayer: Father God, open our eyes to see and know Holy Spirit immersing and empowering us as we surrender more to You. Grant us true understanding of what being immersed in You is. In Jesus precious Name, Amen.