Summary: The Third in the series on Baptism. Here we look at the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Believer.
There was a teacher who told her class that tomorrow for Show and Tell I want you to bring something that shows your religious beliefs. The next day the children were all there and the first little boy came up with a Star of David and he explained that he was Jewish and what the star meant to his family.
The next little girl was catholic and she brought up a rosary and explained about the rosary and the prayers that went along with the beads.
Then there was a little boy who brought up a statue of Buddha and explained that he was Buddhist and what the statue of Buddha meant for his family.
The last child to come up was a little Girl who had a casserole. She explained that she was a member of the Church of Christ and since she could not bring a Baptistery in she thought this was the next best thing.
Today we continue our series on Baptism. We talked the first month on Baptism where we have been right. Then last month we looked at Baptism where we have been wrong. And today we are going to look at Baptism, Where we have been silent.
I believe that it has been good for us to talk about Baptism. I know that it has been good for me to look at my beliefs on the subject and reconfirm and add to my faith through this study. But I believe that to often we leave out a whole part. Or at least I am guilty of doing that.
Often we turn to scriptures to prove without a doubt the essentiality of Baptism, and in the very same scriptures we see words about the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and just glaze over them. In fact when you think about God’s promises that we encounter at Baptism it seems that there are two primary works going on: cleansing and empowerment.
We understand because of the tie to the cross and the resurrection that we can be buried and resurrected with Him. Then we start a brand new life, and we are cleansed and our sins are washed away. But we also need to grasp the idea that at Baptism I am empowered by the Holy Spirit to live a life that I could not live on my own.
You see after we leave the waters of baptism, we turn that babe in Christ to face a world that is full of evil and say go ahead, good luck. And it’s like leaving a baby alone amongst the wolves. We talk about the water and we are silent about the spirit.
But in Scripture they are the double cure. You can’t have one with out the other. The Cleansing and the Empowerment.
Unfortunately for many of us we have heard a lot about the cleansing and nothing about the empowerment. In fact many of us have been taught just the opposite of what the Bible teaches: “You don’t have the Holy Spirit.” and what a dangerous doctrine.
Like we talked about last month, most false doctrine is a knee jerk reaction to other false doctrine. It seems to me that we were reacting to the excesses we saw in Pentecostalism that we swung all the way in the other direction to our own odd doctrine. We say that Jesus came to this earth, lived a perfect life, died a cruel death, and ascended back into heaven. He leaves the Holy Spirit to inspire the disciples to write the Bible and then at the end of the first century just like Elvis, the Holy Spirit has left the building. And now God looks at His children and says good luck. I made sure you have got the manual, just follow the 5,000 easy step-by-step instructions and you will be OK.
But today as we look at Scriptures we are going to see that God has promised us much more than that. We have a church that says we want to be just like the church that we read about in the Bible. We want to live and worship like our brothers and sisters that we read about in Acts. We want to be as loving, and powerful, and dynamic as they were. But how can we be that church if we neglect the power that made that church what it was. What an awful position to put ourselves in. We can only be that church if we use the power of the Holy Spirit.
So what do we do? We try to build churches that are well organized, have great staffs, and have a lot of good programs, and great advertising, and all the right kind of things, thinking that will build the right kind of Church. If it works in the business world it must work in the church.