Today's Foundations Devotional: Acknowledging of our faith

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Memory verse:

I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

(Mark 1:8)

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Yesterday we read the first five of seven passages in the New Testament where the word "baptism" is used in relation to the Holy Spirit. Today we look at the last two.

In Acts 1:5, shortly before His ascension into heaven, Jesus says to His disciples:

For John truly baptised with water, but you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.

More literally, Jesus says, “You shall be baptised in the Holy Spirit.”

In Acts 11:16 Peter is describing the events which took place in the household of Cornelius. In this connection he quotes the actual words of Jesus as given in Acts 1:5, for he says:

Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, “John indeed baptised with water, but you shall be baptised with [in] the Holy Spirit.”

Finally, in 1 Corinthians 12:13 Paul says:

For by one Spirit we were all baptised into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

Here the New King James Version used the preposition by – “by one Spirit we were all baptised into one body.” However, the preposition used in the original Greek text is in – “in one Spirit we were all baptised into one body.” Thus, Paul’s wording in this passage is in perfect harmony with the wording of the Gospels and the book of Acts.

Unfortunately, the accident that the translators of the King James Versions – both Old and New – have used the phrase “by one Spirit” in this particular passage has given rise to some strange doctrines. It has been suggested that Paul is referring to some special experience, different from that referred to in the Gospels or the book of Acts, and that the Holy Spirit is Himself the agent who does the baptising. Had the authors of these doctrines paused long enough to consult the original Greek text, they would have found no basis there for any such doctrine. In fact, the whole teaching of the entire New Testament agrees on this fact, clearly and emphatically stated: Jesus Christ alone – and no other – is the One who baptises in the Holy Spirit.

We must also add that Paul’s usage here of the phrase “baptised into,” in connection with the baptism in the Holy Spirit, agrees with the usage of the same phrase in connection with John’s baptism and with Christian baptism in water. In both these cases we pointed out that the act of baptism was an outward seal and affirmation of an inward spiritual condition. The same applies to Paul’s statement here about the relationship between the baptism in the Holy Spirit and membership of the body of Christ. The baptism in the Holy Spirit does not make a person a member of the body of Christ. Rather it is a supernatural seal acknowledging that that person has already, by faith, become a member of Christ’s body.

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Prayer:

Thank You, Heavenly Father, that by faith I have become a member of the

Body of Christ, and that You, Lord Jesus, baptized me in Your Spirit as a seal

of the fact that I belong to Your Body, Your Church! Amen.

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