When you look at what we call the Christian calendar, there are several key dates. Christmas, Passover, Resurrection, and there is one coming up next Sunday called Pentecost Sunday.
Everyone here is pretty aware of what Christmas celebration is. That is the celebration of God becoming man and coming to the Earth to participate in His creation on our level.
Passover- has been celebrated for over 3000 years. It began when the Jews were delivered from Egypt and the death angel passed over their community without killing them. When they put the blood of a lamb on their door post, the death angel passed by. They were saved from death the blood of a lamb.
Fifty days after Passover, Moses went up on Mt Sinai and God gave Him the law. So for thousands of years, the Jews have celebrated the Passover AND the feast of Weeks or it was also called Pentecost to celebrate the law being given.
Fast forward to Jesus’ day. Jesus’ Jewish community continued to celebrate the Passover and Pentecost. LOOK WHAT HAPPENS. When Jesus goes to his death, it just so happens that he is taken into custody during Passover and goes to his death at the same time of the year that the original lambs went to their death. Jesus was the ultimate Passover lamb. Because of his death burial and resurrection, we have been passed over by the death angel. Death has been defeated.
LOOK AT THIS! Remember, what happens 50 days after Passover? Pentecost. 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus was Pentecost (feast of weeks). Jesus told his disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for something new given by God. Something new sent from heaven. The original day of Pentecost saw the law come from God/heaven to earth. NOW, the disciples of Jesus would be waiting in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost for the Holy Spirit of God. AND IT HAPPENED!
Acts 2:1 On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
We continue to celebrate the day of Pentecost as the day that the Holy Ghost descended to us.
More over, we celebrate and recognize that this Spirit is alive and available to everyone in the room today!
To BE BAPTIZED BY GOD.
The word baptism comes from the Bible’s original word: Baptidzo- to immerse, submerge, or overwhelm.
There are thee baptisms a believer can experience. It is necessary to experience these baptisms in order to know the whole counsel of God.
1. BAPTISM OF SALVATION
Maybe you haven’t considered salvation as a baptism, but think about it for a minute.
We are immersed in the Father’s love.
You are overwhelmed by the grace of God.
You are HUMBLED, brought to your knees in repentance.
Your response to God’s love and grace is emotional, psychological, spiritual.
You know the feeling when you are talking to someone that you don’t want to talk to?
Let’s be honest. It’s church. Sometimes you are talking to someone that is driving you crazy. And then a friend near you realizes the state that you are in and comes up to the conversation and grabs your arm and says, “Hey, we need to go so and so is waiting for us and we are late.” SHEW! You tell them, “Thanks…you just saved me from that.”
While you are living your life and it is really messing you up one side and down the other, Jesus comes and takes you by the arm and saves you from depression. Jesus comes up to you grabs your arm, whisks you away and saves you from fear. Jesus is eager to be the friend that steps in and saves you from a lifetime of wandering and Jesus is ready to set you up in the kingdom forever. To spend an eternity with him in the new heavens and new earth. Ruling and reigning with the King of Kings.
We are talking about the Baptism of Salvation.
When you knew nothing of God or his deep love for you and were living a life that often dishonored him, HE CAME FOR YOU.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 it is not from works, so that no one can boast.
Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
We call Abraham the father of our faith.
Ephesians 3:5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
Abraham was considered right with God because of his Faith. And so it is with us.
Faith translates to right standing.
When you are married there are many elements to the wedding: vows, rings, songs, license, cake, dancing, sex, living together, kids.
Early on in my pastoring life, I had a bride call me on Sunday evening and say that she want to cancel the marriage and not have me send in the marriage license. I call the county and they told me that if I heard them say their vows to each other then they were legally married. I had to turn in the certificate.
Being saved by God is similar. If you are looking what makes you his, then you don’t have to start completing a list of things that would look appealing to him. Then one day he will consider you married to him. The potent element of your marriage is what Jesus has already done. When you put your faith in his work for you, then you are married to him.
The essence of marriage is a covenant. The essence of salvation is Jesus. He is the covenant.
After we are baptized into the Father’s love and we are His, he shows us another baptism.
2. BAPTISM IN WATER
Matthew 28:18 Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Contains the portion of the Great Commission that instructs Christians to go into all the world and baptize with water.
Romans 6:3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
In our water baptism into Christ, we identify with his death, burial and resurrection.
This is our first public display of affection towards Christ. We are going public, but it is more than that.
There is spiritual transformation when your faith moves to obedience.
Water baptism doesn’t save you, yet baptism belongs with salvation in its very nature.
It is intrinsically connected to salvation.
We believe in what is called Believer’s Baptism. That means that you first believe in the power of God unto salvation.
Water Baptism doesn’t “work” when it happens because you are following religious rules or because your spouse or parent wants you to do it. OR if all of your friends are doing it.
The water is just water. You can go down a wet sinner and come back up a wet sinner, if your faith hasn’t saved you.
You are dipped in water, because you have faith and believed in Jesus for your salvation and now want to identify with his death, burial, and resurrection.
Old Testament baptism was every time you came to temple to worship to cleanse. We only have one baptism when we publically identity with his death, burial, and resurrection. This happens once in your faith journey (at the beginning) to symbolize that Jesus’ work was once and for all sufficient.
If you haven’t been water baptized as a believer, then I urge you to enter into Water Baptism! Today, Next Sunday, don’t put it off. Those who have been water baptized, give me a good amen!
There is a 3rd Baptism. That Day of Pentecost, Holy Ghost Baptism.
3. BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit was present in the Old Testament, but only for short periods of time and for specific purposes.
When Jesus baptizes one with the Holy Spirit, that Spirit takes up permanent residence in the person.
John 1: 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
The Holy Spirit was upon Samson, David, and Elijah. They Holy Spirit was accessible to the High Priests once a year when they would enter into the sacred room of the Temple called the Holy of Holies.
God’s Holy Spirit had never descended and remained until Jesus died on the cross.
Acts 1:4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
He will be with you when you know it and when you don’t. He will be with you always. He is not a relic that you connect with at the altar of PSM, he goes home with you. He meets you wherever you go.
Let’s be baptized with all three dimensions. Accept God into your heart, repent, baptized into Jesus Christ, and be filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
PUSH you want everything that Jesus died for you to have. Don’t settle for less than what God has promised for you.
Don’t put it off another day.
John and Mary went to Ephesus. It was a strong church.
Acts 19:1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions until he reached Ephesus, on the coast, where he found several believers. 2“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them. “No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 “Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked. And they replied, “The baptism of John.” 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.” 5 As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied.
They were true seekers. Never stuck in their ways. Baptised by John but left the holy land to do missionary. They were spreading the message of repentence of John and Paul pushes them to the next level of holy Spirit. They weren’t religious. They didn’t try to prove themselves. They said, “tell us all about it.” Paul, “After you left…Jesus….”
Don’t stop short of all three baptisms. Yes! You received forgiveness from God. Don’t stop. Be bap