Read: Matthew 3: 1 - 11
During his ministry, John the Baptist made this prophecy concerning Jesus: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:” Matt 3:11. This prophecy was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. Pentecost was actually the work of the exalted Lord Jesus Christ. He poured out His Spirit on His church. Jesus received the Spirit from the Father, and then Jesus from His throne in the heavens “shed forth” His Spirit on His church. This was a once and for all, never to be repeated event. This is how Peter in Acts 2 explains the wonder of Pentecost to the multitudes gathered in Jerusalem. See Acts 2: 33.
Pentecost was the baptism of the church by the Spirit of Jesus Christ. This was the beginning of the New Testament Age. It was a very dramatic and wonderful event! It happened not only according to the prophecy of John the Baptist, but also according to the promise of Jesus.
Jesus gave His disciples the power to preach by sending them His Spirit. By the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the disciples could understand the wonderful works of God and the mysteries of salvation in Jesus Christ. They could then understand as never before, what it meant that Jesus is the Son of God, why He had to die on the cross and why He also arose again after His crucifixion. They could understand the prophecies of scripture about the exaltation of Christ and His glorious return at the end of the ages. With understanding of these things, they could then preach with boldness and power.
The Spirit of Jesus Christ was also poured out on those who believed at the preaching of the apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost. When they were deeply moved by the truth of Christ and brought to repentance, they asked Peter what they must do. And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” On the days of Pentecost, when the Spirit was given, 3000 were added to the church.
From this history in the book of Acts, we can conclude that water baptism is a sign of being baptized with the Spirit. This is further explained by several passages later in the letters of the apostles. Every believer receives the baptism of the Spirit when he or she is born again of the Spirit of God. Water baptism and Spirit baptism are not to be wrongly separated. The right understanding of the relationship of these two is that water baptism is the outward sign of having received the Spirit of Jesus Christ. This is one of the beautiful meanings of baptism. It is a sign of having received the Spirit of Christ.
Every believer receives the fullness of the Spirit when he or she is regenerated. They need not tarry for a so-called second baptism. All the blessings of salvation in Jesus Christ are given by the Spirit of Christ to believers. Our water baptism is a wonderful outward sign and seal of this.
Rev. Arie denHartog (Wife: Sherry)
Ordained: October 1974
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1974; Foreign Missionary, Singapore - 1979; Randolph, WI - 1987; Redlands, CA - 1990; Minister-on-Loan, Singapore - 2001; Southwest, Grandville, MI - 2005Website: www.southwestprc.org/
Address4895 Ivanrest Ave. SW
State or ProvinceMichigan
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