|Spirit-filled Baptists that are sent by the Lord Jesus Christ|
|Written by arkwriter|
|Sunday, 14 June 2009 14:44|
BAPTISM INTO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
6. Spirit-filled Baptists that are sent
by the Lord Jesus Christ
The word “apostle” is derived from the Greek verb “apostello” which means “to send”, and in the New Testament it means “a person who is sent” or “a messenger” sent on a mission for a particular purpose. During His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ sent His twelve apostles to proclaim the Kingdom of God was at hand. (Mt. 10:1-8) The Lord also sent seventy of His disciples to proclaim the same message. (Lk. 10:1-9) After His death and resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke to His disciples: “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (Jn. 20:21-23) Receiving the Holy Spirit is the sign of being sent by the Lord Jesus Christ. On the evening after the Lord’s resurrection, the disciples had received only a measure of the Holy Spirit. The full measure was yet to come. It came on the Day of Pentecost when “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) Speaking with tongues is evidence of receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-46; 19:6).
The power and authority of remission and retention of sins are the keys to the Kingdom of God. Our Lord Jesus said, “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Mt. 16:19; 18:18) This tremendous power and authority is given only to Spirit-filled ministers who are sent by the Lord Jesus Christ (Jn. 20:21-23; Acts 1:8). In what way can this power and authority be exercised? There are two definite steps in which the authority of remission and retention of sins can be applied.
1 A. Through preaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ In His Great Commission our Lord Jesus Christ said that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Lk. 24:47) The Gospel of Jesus Christ “is the power of God to salvation for every one who believes” (Rom. 1:16). “For whoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Rom. 10:13-15) It is clearly stated that preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are sent by the Lord. The message that they bring must include repentance and remission of sins.
1 B. Through Baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ Also in His Great Commission our Lord gave this commandment: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mk. 16:15-16). The disciples of Jesus Christ obeyed His commandment. They preached the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and also repentance. They baptized those who believed in Him and repented of their sins. On the Day of Pentecost Peter preached, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” (Acts 2:41)
It must be clearly understood that God is the only Person in the whole universe who can remit and retain the sins of mankind (Isa. 43:25; Lk. 5:21). “Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Mt. 28:18). As God who manifested Himself in the flesh the Lord Jesus Christ has the power and authority to forgive sins (Lk. 5:20-24). This power and authority of remitting and retaining sins is vested in the three elements belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ. They are in His Name, His Blood and His atoning death.
2 A. The Name of the Lord Jesus Christ save people from their sins (Mt. 1:21). Through His Name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins (Acts. 10:43). Baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ remits sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
2 B. The Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ “is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Mt. 26:28). His Blood can purge our conscience from dead works (Heb. 9:14, 22). “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” (Rev. 1:5). “This is He who came by water and blood - Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood.” (1 Jn. 5:6)
2 C. The Atoning Death of the Lord Jesus Christ “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,” (1 Cor. 15:3) “. . . He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Heb. 9:26, 28; Isa. 53:10)
God has placed all these three elements for the remission of sins into water baptism so that any person who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and repent of his sins may be saved. When the Lord spoke to His disciples about remission and retention of sins He had implied water baptism in His Name, His Blood and His sacrificial death.
Let us remember that before the Lord gave the disciples power to forgive and retain sins He first “breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (Jn. 20:22-23) On that evening when our Lord said those words He had only given a small measure of the Holy Spirit. It was like a foretaste of an appetizer to a banqueting feast. The disciples were not ready to preach and baptize anyone from that point onwards. That is the reason why our Lord “commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the Promise of the Father, . . . but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5) “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Lk. 24:49) “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
The authority and power of remitting and retaining sins lies in the filling of the Holy Spirit. Only after the disciples had been “filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” that the apostle Peter was able to preach the gospel with such great force and power that the listeners “were cut to the heart.” The Holy Spirit inspired Peter to preach with conviction: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) This statement is the clear scriptural evidence that the authority and power of remission and retention of sins is placed on the sacrament of baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. After receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit the disciples exercised this power and authority and baptized about three thousand people on that day (Acts 2:41)In reading through the Acts of the Apostles we shall find that every one of the baptists have been filled with the Holy Spirit. Philip was a man who was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3-5). He went to the city of Samaria to preach the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, and there he baptized men and women (Acts 8:5, 12-13). He was also sent by the Holy Spirit to preach and baptize the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40). The Lord also sent Ananias , an obedient and Spirit-filled Christian to baptize Saul, who later became known as Paul (Acts 9:17-18). The importance of the Holy Spirit cannot be overemphasized in the sacrament of water baptism.
“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free - and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Cor. 12:13)
The Holy Spirit is mentioned twice. The first one is related to water baptism and the second is related to baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:5) Paul had also made a distinction between water baptism and baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:1-6). He connected the crossing of the Red Sea to water baptism, and drinking the spiritual drink to baptism of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 10:1-4; ref. Jn. 7:37-39). It is safe to interpret “for by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” to mean that it is the Holy Spirit Who baptizes all Christians into the Body of Christ - the Church of Jesus Christ. If the Holy Spirit is the true Baptizer, then we must accept the truth that the baptist who physically performs the water baptism is only acting as an agent for the Holy Spirit.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church: “. . . But you are washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:11) In the sacrament of water baptism the Name of the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit effect sins to be remitted. Without the Name of the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit the person receiving baptism could not be washed, sanctified or justified. The water baptism will just be another ceremony or ritual for the spectator, and it will have no saving effect because no sins are remitted.
The apostle John was an eye-witness to the miraculous phenomenon of the blood and water flowing from our Lord’s side (Jn. 19:34-35). He later wrote: “This is He who came by water and blood - Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.” (1 Jn. 5:6) The blood and water flowed out from the Lord’s side nearly two thousand years ago. When we administer water baptism in our present time the water is tangible and visible, but where is the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ? The answer lies in the presence of the Holy Spirit who is the witness. The Blood of Jesus Christ was offered through the eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14). Through the witness of the Holy Spirit the Blood of Jesus Christ is present in the water during the baptism because the Holy Spirit is truth and He is eternal. From this we can see that the baptist who does not have the Holy Spirit is not qualified to administer water baptism because he is not sent by the Lord Jesus Christ.
May God bless you
- to be continued -
|Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 04:13|