May 16th – Firing on all cylinders



Many Christians believe that once you are surrendered to Christ you are led not only to be immersed or baptised in water, but also to be immersed or baptised in the Holy Spirit. We are told there is only one baptism in water. We are told that there is only one baptism in the Spirit, but there are many re-fillings, or re-immersions: or, as Jesus taught in that wondrous acted parable at the Last Supper, when he washed his followers’ feet and Peter protested, …’When you have taken a bath, you are clean all over, but even then a few steps outside and your feet get travel-stained’. In the world of open sandals or bare feet, and sandy pathways, feet need to be washed constantly.

Christian conversion, according to the scriptures, is not intended to be divided into our man-made stages or phases, which later generations of church traditions have made it.
Some teach, for example, Stage 1: you respond to the gospel, repent and believe in Christ.
Then, when you’re ready, Stage 2: you are baptised in water as a sign that you’ve been converted.
This baptises you into the church, the body of Christ, which often becomes Stage 3.
Then later on you reach Stage 4, and receive a further, or second blessing – Baptism in the Holy Spirit – which equips you and floods you with joy.
Many teach that Stage 5, the sign of this having happened, is that you automatically ’speak in tongues’, i.e. a language you have not learned.

For now, let’s look at the biblical teaching, that conversion to Christ is a personal miracle which consists of certain basic elements. All the issues we debate are involved in the one miracle of conversion. Like an engine firing on all four cylinders:
We repent of our sin – U-Turn – we turn to God.
We put our trust in Christ – Faith – we trust our lives to Him.
We declare it publicly in baptism in water into the church – we tell the world whom we serve.
We receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit as the church lays hands on us and prays.
We take the gifts God has for us.
We can follow Paul’s cylinder checklist. It is at the start of Acts Chapter 19:
“At Ephesus, he found some disciples and asked them “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”.They answered “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit”. So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”. “John’s baptism”, they replied. Paul said “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus”.On hearing this they were baptised into the name of the Lord Jesus.When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” Acts 19: 1-6
Now, they were firing on all cylinders. How about you?

A Prayer:
I am ready Lord, both to give myself and receive yourself in the mystery of commitment.

Now read again Acts 2: 36-47.

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Thought 4 The Day

A Warning from Queen Victoria (1819-1901 ): “He speaks to me as if I were a Public meeting.” (For Gladstone and everyone else.)

Through the year calendar

May 2016
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Click on any previous date in the above calendar to read the relevant Through The Year post
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