Text: Mark 8:34-38
3 salvation testimonies by our 3 baptism candidates (Timothy Choi, Jeremiah Choi, and Elijah Choi).
Summary: Verses about baptism provide a blueprint for Christian living, teaching us how to pray in preparation to live for Jesus.
Text: Matt 3:11-17
Summary: The Helper helps us mainly in two ways. First, He helps us to repent. Second, He helps us to believe. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we are to become good repenters and good believers.
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Father, we ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit. All of us in this room who profess Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have the Spirit already. But there is a holy discontent in us because we want more. We want the Helper. The Helper helps us to repent. The Helper helps us to see the beauty of Jesus, the reality of Jesus, the truthfulness of Jesus so that all of us as believers would believe even more. We know Jesus. We want to know Him more. Help us, Lord. Send the Helper. Fill this room with the Helper. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to repent and to believe. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen.
The one point for today is — the Helper helps us in in many ways, but mainly, the Helper helps us 1) to repent and 2) to believe.
There are three baptism baptisms mentioned in Matthew 3. There is a water baptism. There is a Spirit baptism. And there’s a fire baptism. First, we as believers must go through the water baptism ourselves. Not only that, we must also help others and actually baptize others. Second, we eagerly wait for and ask for the Spirit baptism. Even though we have the Spirit, we ask for more of the Spirit. And lastly, we avoid at all costs the fire baptism.
7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
The Helper helps us to repent. You went through your whole life sinning. And you had no problem with it. You felt no guilt. There was no sense that I should not keep sinning. You just sinned and you were a slave to it. But at a certain point the Helper came and He convicted you of your sin. And that began your Christian life because you saw the Savior. And you recognized — I need to be saved from my sin.
In churches, there’s not enough preaching about repentance because if the Holy Spirit is there, one of the chief things He does is — He convicts us of our sin. And then He shows us our need for the Savior. And it is this — repentance and belief that began our Christian journey.
And it says, He convicts us of sin and sin is related to unbelief. And if you were to locate all of your sins, you can trace them all back to unbelief. Everything — you can actually trace them all back to unbelief. Because if you believed, you would not keep sinning. If we really believe, if we saw Jesus as He is, and we saw reality as it is, and we saw this world as it is, we would not keep sinning. The Holy Spirit helps us by convicting us of our unbelief. Because we need to repent, but not just repent and do better, but repent and believe. Because if you believe, you will not keep sinning.
It says, He convicts us of righteousness. And it says, because you see Him (Jesus) no longer, the Spirit was not needed for this purpose to reveal righteousness because Jesus, the Righteous One, was walking among the disciples. They look at Jesus and they see the beloved Son. They see the Son whom the Father is well pleased. They see how He lives dependent on the Father and healing and delivering and casting out demons. And everything that Jesus did is righteous. He is the Righteous One. But now that Jesus is no longer there, that’s why the Holy Spirit reminds us of the Righteous One.
Then judgment — the judgment is for the ruler of this world. And this is a fire baptism that I will speak about later. This judgment, this baptism, we are to avoid because it is not for you. It is for the ruler of this world.
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance…
The water baptism is a necessity. You must be baptized and this baptism, this water baptism symbolizes repentance. It is a baptism for repentance.
In John 3, I just want to make a case why this water baptism is essential.
4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
And as someone coming from Baptists roots, we talked about this baptism of water by immersion, this baptism for repentance. And you have other people in the body of Christ who have a very low view of baptism of water by immersion. So low a view in fact that they will sprinkle a little water on infants. And then me as a Baptist, I would say, no, you must get baptized in water as a person old enough to know what they are doing. And this was formally what I thought, that this baptism by water was just a symbol, a representation of what had happened in the Spirit, spiritually.
But that’s not how Jesus says it. Jesus raises the bar. It’s not sprinkling. It’s not representative of a spiritual reality. No, Jesus says, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of both water AND the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. You see, the water baptism is not optional. It seems the way Jesus is talking that this water baptism is part of salvation. We are saved through the Spirit, yes. Here, it also says, you are saved by water. The Spirit and water together, unless you do both, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Both the Spirit and water are required. So this water baptism is not optional. It’s not just representative. It’s not just something we remember from a past spiritual event, a commemoration of our spiritual salvation, and now, we do this ritual of water baptism. No, Jesus says, you must do both. You must be baptized with water and the Spirit. Then you can enter the kingdom of God.
Jesus actually elevates baptism higher than the Baptists. It’s not just immersion as a remembrance of what happened before. Baptism is part of your salvation. So if you know a believer who has not been water baptized, I would urge them strongly to get baptized. Show them the Word. You must get baptized.
If that’s not convincing enough, Mark 16, Jesus says it again…
14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
Jesus could have said, whoever believes is saved. He says, whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. Both are needed. Then you are saved. The water baptism is a necessity. We must go through it. And did you know — Jesus Himself, the Righteous One, the Sinless One, is baptized by immersion?
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.
If you need any more convincing, just look at our Savior, the Sinless One. He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. All three metaphors — the water baptism, the Spirit baptism, and the fire baptism, they all signify immersion. That is what the word “baptize” means. It means to immerse. It doesn’t mean to sprinkle. You are covered in the water. You’re covered in the Spirit. You’re covered with fire.
And that’s why even the mode of baptism — sprinkling vs immersion — is significant. I would say, if you have a choice, why not do it the way Jesus did it? He was immersed in a river. Why not do it the way He did it? Jesus says, you must believe and you must be baptized. Then you are saved. Believed and baptized. Then you will enter the kingdom of God.
Let’s not try to understand why does it have to be that way? Let’s just take Jesus at His word instead of our theological disposition because this is what I was taught and this is what my church taught. Let’s just take Jesus at His word. He elevates baptism. It is a big deal.
Matthew 28:18 also says that as disciples of Jesus, not only do we go through the baptism of water of repentance. We also disciple other people and we baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
18 And 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.”
And that is all of our job. It’s not the pastor’s job. I didn’t go do a seminary class on baptism. You don’t need a lengthy dissertation to understand. You just dump them in the water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and you lift them up. If you led them to Christ, why wouldn’t you do that for them? They would want you to do that for them. Don’t let somebody else do it. We as disciples went through the water baptism and when we lead someone to Christ, let us be the one to baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I think it would be beautiful for a father and a mother to baptize children in the name of the Father, Son and Holy spirit. All of us as disciples, I hope we can practice this. If you are involved in seeing someone come to faith in Christ, that you are in the water with them, you are praying over them. You are baptizing them the same way that you were baptized.
And what are we to be praying during this baptism?
1 Pet 3
20 …when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…
1 Peter 3 is interesting. I never saw it until I was studying this topic of baptism. Peter likens baptism to the flood, when the whole world was immersed and covered in flood waters. And out of the water there was Noah and his family, eight people who chose in faith to walk into an arc.
Through their obedience and their partaking in it, because they had to walk themselves into this arc, they were saved.
Peter says we are saved through baptism the same way that Noah and the rest were saved through the arc. We are saved through baptism, he says in 1 Peter 3:20-21. It’s not as if we are being physically cleansed and the dirt is being removed. Peter says that the reason we are saved through baptism is that we are appealing to God for a good conscience. Remember before you knew Christ, you sinned and your conscience was busted and so you just kept sinning. You didn’t know anything else but to sin. But then when we are being saved, the first prayer during our baptism is, Lord, fix my seared conscience, so that when we sin, we actually repent quickly.
Believers, we Christians have to be good repenters. We are good repenters if our conscience is functioning and the Spirit is able to say, don’t go there. Don’t do this. Stop this. It’s our conscience. It’s a God-given gift in conjunction with the Holy Spirit that makes it possible for us to stop sinning. Not perfectly because we all have a bad day, but you will not willfully sin. You can stumble into sin. Satan can pounce on you when you’re unguarded but you will not willfully sin because your conscience and the Spirit are working to protect you.
That’s the water baptism. It is the baptism of repentance and we must go through it. If you have somebody that you love and they have not been baptized, and I would say, they have not been baptized by immersion, I would ask you out of your love for them, tell them you must be baptized and show them the Scripture. Show them the Scripture that it is not enough to believe. You must go through this baptism of repentance.
We must lead other people in this baptism of repentance. What a privilege we get to be the ones to baptize other people. Jesus Himself submitted under John the Baptist. That should be a sign. This is so important that Jesus did it. He never asks us to do anything that He hasn’t done. He got baptized even though you could say He didn’t need to, but if fulfilled righteousness. He did it and He’s asking every one of his disciples to do it.
Before I talk about the Holy Spirit baptism, I want to talk about the fire baptism. Some Pentecostals with good intentions, they pray fire over believers. We see some of that in Acts 2, where there are tongues of fire that are resting on top of the disciples. But when you’re baptizing someone with fire, you’re saying, immerse that person in fire. Not a tongue of fire that rests on you for some spiritual purpose but you’re asking for someone to be consumed by fire, the same way that when you go underwater, you’re consumed by this water. Is this a good thing that we are praying immersive fire over our fellow brothers and sisters? No, it is not okay. It says why in God’s word in Matthew 3:11.
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
John the Baptist says, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. And how does he explain the fire baptism? It’s the next verse. His winnowing fork is in His hand and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.
The Spirit baptism came at Pentecost. This was an event in history. This fire baptism is also an event. This will be at the end of history when Jesus returns. When Jesus comes, He is not coming as a helpless Lamb but He is coming as a ferocious Lion of Judah. Not like when He came the first time where He is humbly submitting to John the Baptist to baptize Him. When Jesus comes again, He is not submitting to anybody. Everybody submits under Him, whether you believe Him or not. And those who do not believe Him will be immersed and baptized in fire. This whole world is going up in flames.
So we should never pray a fire baptism over our fellow brothers and sisters. We had the water baptism in the beginning, and at the end when it is the second coming of Christ, we have the fire baptism. In between is Acts 2, where we have the Spirit baptism.
In John 20, actually it says Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on to the disciples. When did the Spirit arrive? Was it in Acts 2? If you remember the Old Testament, aren’t there references to the Spirit? Like King Saul in moments, wasn’t he filled with the Spirit?
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit has been there from the beginning, even in John 20 when Peter and John saw the empty tomb. Mary Magdalene was the first disciple who saw the Risen Jesus and she tells the other disciples. All the disciples except for Thomas are gathered in a locked room and Jesus comes. The first thing He does after He says peace is He breathes on them the Holy Spirit.
So if you’re a believer, the Spirit has been breathed upon you like John 20 at the very least. The Spirit has been breathed upon you because without that, there would be no regeneration. There is no rebirth. There is no belief in Jesus. It’s not possible without the Spirit to believe. But in Acts 2, the Spirit comes and it’s not just breathed like a little portion. You are immersed in the Spirit. Much of our Christian life, we are somewhere in between John 20 where the Spirit is breathed and Acts 2 where the Spirit is immersing you. For most of us, we’re in between there.
1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
We have the Spirit, but we’re always asking for more. We have to ask, what is the purpose of the Spirit? Is it to speak in tongues? Is it to heal? Is it to cast out demons? Is it to do ministry?
Is that the main purpose of the Holy Spirit? Is that how He’s helping the believer?
No, I think always the Spirit’s main goal is twofold. It is repentance and belief. Repentance and belief in who Jesus Christ is, the beloved Son sent by the Father. The issue is in terms of the degree of belief. We believe, but am I the only person in this room who says I can sure use some help to believe more. We all believe, but the Helper’s job is to help us to believe more.
37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
This is an issue of degree of belief. The disciples here in John 7 believe, but they need a lot of help to believe more. In John 20, the Spirit is breathed on them. They believe but there’s so much more to believe. In Acts, they believe even more but is that the last time they need the Spirit’s help to believe? We need help to believe more and more each moment. It happened in world history in an event at Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus resurrected.
For the believer, the Spirit is always available. One way to say it is, you have enough of the Spirit for the current season that you’re in, in order for you to believe, in order for you to be successful, you have enough of it.
The disciples in the first century had the Roman Empire out to kill them, and they as forerunners who were to birth the church were up against this type of hatred of all the nations and of the religious system. They needed help just to hold on and to survive the persecution. They needed help.
For us we have enough, but does that mean we assume that I have the Spirit so I don’t have to ask? A lot of people who are maybe Reformed in their thinking, they think, I have the Spirit, why should I ask if it’s already there. It’s already in me. I don’t have to ask. Don’t you need help to believe, that’s why the Helper is there. He’s going to help you to believe and so why wouldn’t you ask for help?
And then on the other side, you have the Pentecostals who make a big deal about tongues. And for them, if you have the tongues, you are in a special club. And if you don’t have the tongues, you’re in a second tier. I don’t know how they can arrive at that conclusion from Scripture.
First of all, you have to wonder, why tongues? Why did it have to be tongues? There’s a theological reason and there’s a practical reason. The theological reason is Genesis 11 — you had all the nations, everyone in a one world system, gathering, unifying for this goal of building a tower to reach the heavens. This is unity apart from God. And unity apart from God is satanic. It’s demonic. And God, in His mercy, had to scatter them because if they continued, there’s no end to the depravity that would have been unleashed on the earth. Unity without Jesus is satanic.
There are many people today trying to get people to be unified. Don’t judge, be tolerant. And their goal is to gather all people together, to be unified, but there’s no Jesus. And I’m telling you, in the beginning, it looks good. But if you let it continue, and it will continue as Revelation has told us, it will continue until there is a one world system. And at that point, we know the end is upon us. It’ll be so difficult. Unity without Jesus is purely a plan devised from the pits of hell.
Then, you have Acts 2 — unity in the Spirit with Jesus at the center. And that signifies the birth of His Church. And that is true Unity. That is the only kind of unity that matters. Unity of His Body under the headship of Christ by His Spirit.
What is just a practical reason why it had to be tongues? I think simply, it had to be tongues because among all the spiritual manifestations, tongues is observable. Let’s say all of them were sick and they were instantly healed and they’re rejoicing. I’m healed! Other people would be like, well, there’s no proof. I don’t know whether or not you were actually sick. Maybe you’re just faking it.
Or supposed they were all demonized. And the Spirit came and the demons were cast out. And they say, they had demons and then the demons were cast out. Now I can think clearly. I’m not tormented anymore. Well, again, the crowd could dismiss it.
But the thing about tongues is that it is observable. It was observable for the disciples who are speaking in tongues because these were actual foreign languages that were speaking. And it was validated by the crowds. The people in the crowd heard what they were saying in their native tongue. It was amazing for the disciples who experienced it. It was also a miracle for the crowd because these spoken languages was observable. The Holy Spirit baptism was validated by the disciples as well as the crowd. This is a miracle, a bona fide miracle of God. And I just think practically, it had to be tongues.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
The problem I have with people who emphasize the tongues is, it’s almost as if they have the Holy Spirit on a leash. And they’re so concerned when they find out that you don’t have the tongues. Okay, I’m going to pray. I’m going to give it to you right now. I’m going to command the Spirit to come into you. John 3 says, the wind blows where it wishes. Meaning, it just comes suddenly. You cannot command the wind to come. It just blows. You can’t command the Holy Spirit to come and and give this tongue gift.
Actually, there’s more than tongues. Tongues is just one of the gifts. What about the gift of shepherding? What about the gift of teaching? Why doesn’t anyone pray for these gifts? But tongues, I’m going to pray for you to have tongues. It’s like the Holy Spirit is on a leash. I’m going to command Him, like He’s a genie in a bottle. Rub the bottle, Spirit, come, right now.
No, it’s like the wind. The Holy Spirit is above us. He comes when He wants to. He gives the gifts that He wants to give when He wants to give them. We cannot command the Spirit on our timetable to give a certain gift of tongues right now. That is so presumptuous.
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
What are we believing? Why are we abiding in the teaching of Christ? The words of Christ? Because I want the Spirit to help you to understand what Jesus is teaching. Jesus is The Teacher and I want you to ask for the Spirit’s help to understand what this teaching means.
Not just generally, but at the right time, He will bring to remembrance the exact teaching of Jesus that you need for that moment. The helper does it. And so we’re just storing up, we’re just filling up our minds with the teachings of Christ. And the Spirit’s job is to locate, among all the teachings of Jesus, this one is for you today. This one is for you tomorrow.
We’re asking the Spirit, help us. See, it’s all about belief in Jesus. The Spirit’s job is repentance and belief. Repent of our unbelief so that we can believe. Believers, we have to be good at repenting. And the reason why we are called believers is, believers, we have to be good at believing.
16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
What are we believing? Here, you have the Triune God — the Father’s voice from above, Jesus coming out of the water, dripping with water, and the Spirit descending like a dove, immersing the Son. And if you have the Holy Spirit, you see this picture, you believe in this picture, that Jesus is the beloved Son, sent from my Heavenly Father.
Your spirit agrees with the Holy Spirit. Jesus really is the beloved Son. I put my faith in Him.
If you’re Spirit-filled, this picture is for you. This is what you believe in. It’s not a mere Rabbi. He is the beloved Son of God in the flesh. You believe in Him. You follow Him. You abide in Him. You adore Him. You love him. The Spirit will help you to see it.
9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
We are thankful for the portion of the Spirit that’s already been given. It is sufficient for the day. It is enough for you to believe, for you to walk faithfully in this season. But there’s a holy discontent in us. And the Father Himself wants you to ask for more of the Spirit. You already have it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be asking. You wouldn’t even know that you have a Heavenly Father. He’s talking to believers who have the Spirit, who know there’s a Heavenly Father.
We are holy discontent, meaning, we’re not in angst because we don’t have more of the Spirit. We’re thankful. We believe. But we know there’s so much more to grow in our belief. I have belief, but I know I have so much more to grow in my belief. And I need the Helper’s help.
Likewise, I have the Spirit. I have belief. But I want more belief. And in order to have more belief I’m going to need more of the Spirit’s help. It’s not enough to be breathed upon on occasion. I want to be immersed.
And when you’re immersed, it’s not always tongues. Don’t let people deceive you. I don’t think it always has to be tongues. I know I don’t have the gift of tongues. I know there are moments when I had such strong belief. I would have never become a pastor unless I had moments when I strongly believed in Jesus. And you also have moments. You can look back and there are moments when you were immersed in the Spirit because it’s not about the gift. It’s about belief. And there are moments that you can locate in your past when you really believed, more than you do now.
Remember those moments and long for them. Ask for more of the Holy Spirit. We are to ask to be filled every moment of every day.
So this water baptism — we must go through it. It is a baptism of repentance. If you or your loved ones have not been baptized by immersion, please get baptized. Or, baptize your loved ones. The fire baptism is connected to the Second Coming of Jesus. This baptism, we need to avoid, and because we’re in Christ, this burning is not going to come to us. It’s coming to the world, it’s coming to unbelievers, and it’s directed at Satan. God doesn’t want anyone to burn. This judgment is reserved for the ruler of this world. John 16.
We avoid the fire baptism. And this Holy Spirit baptism, we ask for more and more.
Father, thank you for speaking so clearly through Your Word. I never realized until recently how seriously You take the water baptism. It is not just a ritual. You say, we must go through this in order to be saved, in order to enter the kingdom of God. So Lord, we pray, if we have not been baptized by water, by immersion, we pray we would have the desire to do so quickly. And for our loved ones, we’re praying as soon as possible, once they believe, we pray that the moment they believe, we would get them baptized. The moment they believe, we want to see them baptized. And may we have the privilege of baptizing them because you say that all disciples will teach and baptize to the ends of the earth.
Father, the fire baptism is reserved for the evil one, the ruler of this world. Hell fire was created for him and him only. Father, too many people in this world are deceived. They’re going to hell fire. They will be immersed in it. Lord, give us an opportunity to warn them. As many people as we can, we want to warn them of the fire that is to come. And this fire is not for them. No, you don’t want anyone to perish in this eternal fire, Father. Thank you for saving us from eternal fire so that we can be eternally with you, Father.
This Holy Spirit baptism, Lord, we’re thankful for the portion you’ve given us for today. We’re not comparing with other people. Some people, because they are so addicted, so enslaved to sin, they need the Holy Spirit baptism at conversion. The Spirit comes in such a supernatural way and it’s different from our conversion. We understand that some people are like that, and for us, many of us, it’s been a different path. We don’t compare. We don’t say, how come they have more of the Spirit than we do? We don’t put levels and tiers on one another. They are more spiritual and we are less. No, we are just on our specific journey.
You’ve given enough of the Spirit for today and we’re thankful for His presence, His help and all the gifts of the Spirit that you’ve given to Your people in this room. But, we’re not content. The same way that we’re not content with our current level of belief, we’re not content with just being breathed upon on occasion, or breathed upon years ago one time.
We want to ask You, Heavenly Father because You’re a good Father and we want to persist in asking for more of your Holy Spirit. Immerse us in the Spirit. Immerse us today in the Holy Spirit so that we would repent. So that we be good at repenting. So that we be good at believing. We need help in these two areas — repentance and belief. Immerse us, baptize us, send Your Spirit. We take heart because you have overcome the world.
We pray that we can connect to You in a mysterious way during Communion. I pray You would meet us and nourish us through the partaking of the Bread, symbolizing Your Body broken and the Cup symbolizing Your Blood shed. Thank you. In Jesus name, Amen
Preacher: Pastor Ray
Text: Matt 3:11-17
The Helper helps us mainly in two ways. First, He helps us to repent. Second, He helps us to believe. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we are to become good repenters and good believers.