Now John was clothed with camel's hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose.
I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
[Mark 1:6-8 NKJV]
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
[Ephesians 4:4-6 NKJV]
When I finally accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour, I knew nothing of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit until a Minister and friend introduced the idea to me and prayed for the awaking of The Holy Spirit through ‘the laying on of hands’.
What has remained a mystery to me are the messages on baptism which are found in the verses above. John (the Baptist) baptises with water; Jesus baptises with The Holy Spirit, but Paul says there is ‘one baptism’, not two. No wonder there is much confusion among Christians as to what is meant by this baptism in (or with) the Holy Spirit.
I am hoping to find an answer to this and other questions I have about the ‘one baptism’ over the next meditation or two (or more). Where will I find the answer? Only from the source, the Holy Spirit.
One thing that I saw immediately in Paul’s words from his Letter to the Ephesians is that ‘one’ is mentioned seven times, suggesting completion, wholeness, perfection. Indeed the arrangement of numbers in Ephesians 4:4-6 is a powerful affirmation of Paul’s words.
This is going off-subject a little, but leads me to believe that all baptism is one baptism. I am going to mull on this as I listen to one of my favourite choral works; Thomas Tallis’s ‘Spem In Allium’.
Latin: ‘spem in alium nunquam habui’,
English: literally “Hope in Any Other Have I None” or “In No Other Is My Hope”; ‘I have never put my hope in any other but in Thee, God of Israel’
Lord, unto You do I come. Give me a gracious incoming of my life till my reasoning, my imagination and my speaking are all of You. How grandly You have renewed my spirit and restored to me the joy of Your salvation.
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GEORGE and GILL STEWART