A Baptism of Fire and of the Holy Spirit, Part 4
June 27, 2012
We finally get to talking about being baptised in the Holy Spirit. The main point of this post is that being immersed in the Holy Spirit helps us to decrease so Jesus can increase. This baptism helps us to express Jesus in this world; not just through our actions but through our being spiritually conformed to his image.
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
The word for "witnesses" above (martus) can be translated as a legal witness, as a historic witness, and as a martyr, a witness by being willing to die for the one you believe in. In the context of the scripture above we become a witness as we experience a death to self. We are witnesses because our lives start to express Jesus more and ourselves less. This is the power we receive, and it is an incredible power.
God has expressed himself and given witness to himself in many ways prior to Jesus being born. He showed incredible grace and responded to men's faith as evidenced in Enoch, Abraham, and many of the prophets. He forgave sins, expressed himself as a shepherd, a healer, a father, a provider. Men were made clean and holy by God's fire. He performed many miracles by his own word, his own hand, and by his servants. People were raised from the dead. Promises and covenants were made and honored. People went to heaven. All of this happened before Jesus was born.
With Jesus' work and the establishment of Christianity there were three institutions that God expressed that are unique, that were not seen before.
- A blood better than bulls or goats. The blood that Jesus shed goes far beyond any other sacrifice. Hebrews 10 states that it is impossible for the blood of bulls or goats to take away sins. Yet Jesus has taken away the sins of the world. His blood has taken away our sins.
- A death and resurrection we can partake in. Romans 6 teaches us that we who have been baptised into Jesus Christ have been baptised into his death so that we can partake in his resurrection. This is new. Our relationship with Jesus isn't just that we can talk to him but that we can lose ourselves in him, so that we live, yet not us but Christ lives in us. And the life that we live we live by faith in the one who loves us and died for us.
- The promise of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2 teaches us that the coming of the Holy Spirit was the fulfillment of a prophecy from Joel. "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy."
These are the foundational institutions of Christianity. They are what makes the new covenant different from the old covenant. It is important to accept the forgiveness that was purchased by Jesus' blood, to be buried with him in death and share in his resurrection, and to receive the promised Holy Spirit. These are not just a way to provision or healing or deliverance. We have that in the Father already. It is his good pleasure to give us the Kingdom. These institutions are a part of that, but they take us somewhere else.
In my first post in this blog I talked about who Jesus is; about the logos. The word logos means:
- a word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a conception or idea
- the act of speaking, a continuous speaking discourse - instruction
- reason, the mental faculty of thinking, meditating, reasoning
- answer or explanation in reference to judgment
- with whom as judge we stand in relation
Now it gets interesting. Logos was first used by a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus around 600 B.C. to "designate the divine reason or plan which coordinates a changing universe." (Strong's Concordance from Logos Software)
In the beginning was the Word (logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Jesus is the logos. He is the divine reason or plan which coordinates a changing universe. He is, in a sense, God's logic around all creation.
In the book of Acts, 8th chapter, there is an account of Peter and John ministering in Samaria. They are laying hands on believers and the believers are receiving the Holy Spirit. A man named Simon who had practiced sorcery was amazed and wanted to pay for the ability to do what Peter and John were doing.
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.
The word in verse 21 that is translated "ministry" is logos. Peter told Simon that he had no part or share in this logos, this expression of God. I don't ever want to hear that said to me. I want to have a part and share in this expression, in this logos. And in this context his was talking about the promise of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
22 They made the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth—the work of a weaver— 23 with an opening in the center of the robe like the opening of a collar, and a band around this opening, so that it would not tear. 24 They made pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen around the hem of the robe. 25 And they made bells of pure gold and attached them around the hem between the pomegranates. 26 The bells and pomegranates alternated around the hem of the robe to be worn for ministering, as the Lord commanded Moses.
The robe of the priests had pomegranates and bells alternating around the hem. To me this represents the promise, or baptism, of the Holy Spirit. The expression of the logos of God is made manifest in our lives through the fruit of the Spirit (pomegranates, full of seed) and the gifts of the Spirit (bells, sounding forth). As we yield to the Holy Spirit in our lives his fruit starts to come forth; full of seed to go deep into the lives of ourselves and others. At the same time the gifts of the Spirit (knowledge, wisdom, discernment, healing, prophecy, tongues, etc.) come forth and speak to ourselves and to others. All of this working in us brings about a manifestation of the logos of God. And the power we receive in the Holy Spirit enables us to get out of the way, to die to self, so the fruit and gifts can come forth.
I encourage you to desire that the fullness of the logos of God work in you. Believe God to fill you with all the fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Don't limit him in any way. Let this witness of Jesus grow in you each day. All you have to do is trust him. He will do the rest.
Thanks for the comment and question. I have enjoyed thinking about it for a while. Here are some thoughts, and these are just my thoughts, not doctrines and such.
I have never given a lot of thought to the differences in translation of Gal 2:20 regarding "in Christ" and "of Christ." And at this point in time my mind doesn't really go there. If I were to redo the phrase in the post that seems to mirror Gal 2:20 I would probably just use different words entirely just because I don't seem to have anything concrete in my head regarding this issue and that phrase. But I really appreciate what you have said because now there is something new to chew on for a while and see what happens. I like it when people say things that put me on a new road of thinking.
And you have sparked some thoughts on a new post that, I think, references the core of your comment. Basically, that God has faith. Not as in "faith in himself," but that faith, like love and hope, are core attributes of God's nature. So the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all have faith, hope, and love. And peace, patience, joy, etc. These are core attributes of the Godhead. In this context (and I am extremely contextual in my thinking, just the way I am) it is completely natural to talk about living by the faith of the Son of God. The wellspring of our salvation will always go back to the faith of Jesus, and of the Father, and of the Holy Spirit. It is in him we live and move and have our being.
Our faith in that understanding can be living. If it is living then we our behaviors will reflect that and we will be servants and build up the church as Paul did. Or our faith in that understanding can be dead and our behaviors won't build up the church. So I don't know how much we can separate, in this work of redemption, the importance of our faith and Christ's faith regarding the life that we live and our behaviors. To me, what we end up saying about faith will depend on the context of the discussion. At least it usually will for me.
Thank you again for your thoughts. Feel free to comment at any time.
Posted by: David Davis | March 18, 2017 at 03:51 PM
I feel it is a little misleading to say that we live by faith in the one who loved us and died for us as it puts the emphasis on our faith in Christ. Certainly we should have faith in Christ but it is the faith of Christ that should give us the life tht we live by as Paul says in Gals2:20 and the same thing is said in your framable Ephs 2:8, would you not agree?
Servant of the Logos
Posted by: D | March 01, 2017 at 01:47 PM