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Summary: Be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Beloved Let the Holy Spirit transform you conform you into the image of Christ. How will the world recognize that you have been changed? Young Cameron may have said it best By my new way of life,.

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Let us pray.....

O Heavenly Father, ..... we are yours ......through baptismal waters .... we are empowered by your Holy Spirit ....to continue your work in this world;.... Father help us employ the gifts you have given us..... for your use in, ....and for your glory ..... and we ask this through your son, ....Jesus the Christ,..... our Lord and Savior. Amen

Sarah Jo Sarchet was a Pastor in Chicago.

A 10 year-old boy in her congregation..... named Cameron, .....walked into her office and said he needed to talk to her.

Fresh from soccer practice, .....and wearing his Cincinnati Reds baseball cap,.... he had a request for her.

He said....... "I'd like to be baptized,". "We were learning about Jesus' baptism ....in Sunday School.

And.....The teacher asked the class.... who was baptized, ...... all the other kids raised their hands.

I want to be baptized too."

Using her best pastoral .....tone of voice, .....she said, ...."Cameron, do you really want to be baptized .....just because everyone else is?"

He looked up at her and replied, ...."No. I want to be baptized .....because it means I belong to God."

She was touched .....by his understanding.

"Well, then," she said, "How about next Sunday?"

His smile turned to concern and he asked,..... "Do I have to be baptized in front of all those people in the church?

Can't I just have a friend baptize me in the river?"

She asked where he came up with that idea.

"Well, ......Jesus was baptized by his cousin John .....in a river, wasn't he?"

Caught off guard, she conceded,.... "You have a point.

But, if a friend baptized you in the river, ....how would the church recognize it?"

Realizing this was a teachable moment, .....she climbed up on her foot stool ......to reach for her Book of Orders.... that was located on the highest shelf.

But before she placed her hand on the book, ....he responded. ..."By my new way of life,". (Pause)

She nearly fell off the foot stool ....and she left the Book of Orders .....on the shelf. (Pause)

Cameron's understanding was far from childish. ......(Slow) .......It was profound.

They will know me.....By my new way...of Life!

Beloved ...... Baptism calls us..... to a new way of life.

A new way of living.

In today's passage from Acts, ......Paul was on his third .....missionary journey.

He had promised the Ephesians..... that he would return ..... if it is God's will.

The Scriptures tell us: Reading #1 BIBLE "While Apollos was in Corinth, ....Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus. .....Where he found some disciples..." END

Ephesus was the fourth largest city .....in the Roman Empire.

The population was around 250,000.

It is no surprise then .....that they had not met Aquila, Priscilla or any members of the Church in Ephesus.

The fact that Paul calls them believers or disciples ......does not imply ...that they are .....redeemed believers.

The Greek word translated believer in this case Mathetes (math-ay-tes') .....simply means "learner" or "follower".

The New Testament mentions Mathetes (math-ay-tes') ........ when it describes disciples of Pharisees and disciples of John the Baptist.

The term does not necessarily imply.... these men were .....necessarily Christians.

Paul may have come across this group while they were gathered for worship.

And as is usually the case in the New Testament, ........as well as this passage .....only the men are counted.

This was probably a group of 12 families,.... 30 to 40 people altogether.

Our Text from Acts goes on to say: Reading #2 BIBLE He ....(Paul) said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?" They replied "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." END

Paul wanted to gauge .......where they were in their faith.

From the letters Paul wrote to the churches, ...... we know that the Apostle Paul recognized:

If you were a believer in Jesus the Christ ....... If you had passed from death to life,...... Then (Slow) the Holy Spirit..... resides in you.

A Christian's body ...... is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

And All Christians .....are baptized.... into one Spirit.

When we believed unto salvation,..... we were marked ....with the seal .....of the Holy Spirit.

Paul is clear .....all Redeemed Christians ......have the Holy Spirit living ... residing in them.

And we are called ......to not resist the works of the Holy Spirit.

Remember the words to the Christians in Ephesus Reading #3 BIBLE "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." END (Do not close the Bible) Ephesians 4:30

When the crowd at Pentecost .....asked the disciples ....what they should do to be saved, .....Peter proclaimed:

Reading #4 BIBLE "Repent and be baptized,.... every one of you, ....in the name of Jesus Christ... for the forgiveness of your sins. ....And you will receive ......the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 END (Close Bible) Acts 2:38-39

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