Tuesday, August 7, 2007
How many baptisms? Just one.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit, fire and water are one in the same.
In the baptism of our Lord as recorded in Matthew 3 the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a Dove. Father also spoke and said He is His beloved Son in Whom He has pleasure. In baptism the Holy Spirit makes one a disciple, regenerates and he or she is adopted by being given the name of the Triune God. Thus becoming the son or daughter of God in Whom He is well pleased. Matthew 28:18-19 John 3:3-7 Romans 8:15 Titus 3:5. One is given the merits of Christ and His righteousness thereby God is well pleased with us and looks at our deeds as holy. This is by grace alone and is the act of God upon the person. The person administering the Sacrament acts as a conduit. Like as in preaching the Word brings faith God gives humans the privilege of taking part. 1 Corinthians 1:21, 1 Peter 1:23 One should never say a minister, a Christian living the gospel or evangelist saves anyone.
Baptism of fire refers to Christ suffering the penalty of our sin. When one is baptized one is baptized into His death. Romans 6. The fire is the indignation and wrath God has towards sin. Christ suffered this on behalf of the entire human race. One cannot understand the suffering of the sinless God the Son enduring not only the sin which was abhorrent but also the severe wrath sufficient enough to expiate the guilt and make payment in full for all sin of all people of all time. In teaching of His death He refers to it as a baptism and a cup. It could not be referring to the water baptism for that happened earlier. Mark 10 We, of course, do not participate in that baptism for it was Christ alone that experienced that. The disciples did receive persecution and many of them were martyred for the Gospel so in a sense they got a taste of it. To this day some of our brothers and sisters taste of persecution to their death.
God of course is not limited to baptism as a means to deliver His grace. As mentioned earlier one is born of the Word. Many have and will receive this gift by hearing and reading the Word and will not have the pleasure of being baptized. As I mentioned in another thread it is with great assurance one can reflect on this wonderful gift.
God’s peace be with you.