Summary: It is woven into the story of mankind. It is there from the beginning and it weaves all the way until the end. It is the thread that ties it all together.
Pt. 3 - The Third Time Is The Charm
It is small. It is usually unnoticed . . . until . . . the moment a thread is pulled you suddenly recognize its significance and how essential it is to the overall garment, tapestry or storyline. If the thread is removed the picture is incomplete. If the thread comes unraveled the whole is destroyed. Over the next few weeks we are going to examine the most important thread in history. It is a thread that not only runs through our entire story but also ties the story and us together.
Jesus’ final instruction was to wait. Wait for what? Last week, I read to you Jesus' last words.
"I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from high.
The writer of Acts repeats this instruction in Acts 1 with one small word change.
4On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
He said wait for power. He also told them to wait on the The promise. What promise? The baptism in the Holy Spirit.
He makes no doubt about that because in verse 5 He says, "For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus told His disciples to “wait” before they “go” change the world. He knew if they went without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, nothing would happen. He was telling them, “Don’t try to do anything I’ve instructed and called you to do until you’ve received this additional baptism. You’ll only be striving in your own natural ability, and nothing of lasting spiritual value will be accomplished. Wait! Wait for what I promised you—a Helper.”
Jesus commands them to wait on power and on a promise. He apparently knew that the third time was the charm. He knew that if they were going to be able to change the world in them and around them they would need a 3rd baptism.
III. Three Baptisms
a. Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The first baptism is of the invisible baptisms that produces an after affect. You probably already know about this baptism, but you might know it by a different name: salvation.
1 Corinthians 12:13 says, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free.
Who is doing the baptizing in this verse? The Holy Spirit.
When we experienced salvation, we were baptized into the same body—the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the agent who did the baptizing.
In fact, we are told concerning the work of the Holy Spirit in John 16:8-11, that “And when he comes, he will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment; of sin because they do not believe in me; of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
The Holy Spirit convinces us or our need for Jesus and the salvation the He has so graciously provided.
This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but it’s not baptism in the Holy Spirit.
b. Water baptism.
The second baptism I already mentioned. Many Christians are unfamiliar with the baptism in the Holy Spirit. In fact, most believers only know about water baptism. The disciples were probably familiar with this baptism as well. They most likely saw this with their own eyes via John the Baptist’s activity in the Jordan River.
Water Baptism is seen with physical eyes. It is a visible indicator of an inward change. This outward and visible baptism is to be sandwiched in between two baptisms you can’t see with your physical eyes; you can only see the after-effects of them in a person’s life.
This baptism falls directly between the 2 invisible baptisms.
If we are obedient to the commands of Scripture, we choose to experience a second baptism, this one in water. This type of baptism is what Jesus had in mind when He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). Jesus wanted His disciples to witness so that folks would be baptized of the Holy Spirit and then choose to be baptized in water symbolically showing their friends, family, and associates that they had entered a new life in Christ.
After you have experienced the first baptism of salvation most of understand that we also need to be baptized a second time as a visible statement of faith.