January 5, 2012 § 2 Comments
This coming Sunday is traditionally the Sunday during which we celebrate Jesus’ baptism. Celebrating Jesus’ baptism naturally leads to reflecting on our own baptism. Acts 19:1-7 makes a strong connection between baptism and the Holy Spirit. It confirms what we already know from Mark 1:8, namely that unlike John the Baptist, who baptized with water (baptism of repentance), Jesus came to baptize with the Spirit. So when Paul baptized in the name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit came on them (19:5-6). The main question in these seven verses is not focused on baptism, but on whether they have received the Holy Spirit (19:2). When we are also reflecting on our baptism when we celebrate Jesus’ baptism this coming Sunday, we are not focusing on a ritual in itself but on how our identity in Christ is embedded in the power of the Holy Spirit. Our baptism is not a confirmation of our natural attributes, but of our identity in Christ. We are now defined by who we are in Him, celebrating the gifts of his Spirit in our lives. Can you define yourself in terms of who you are in Christ, given the gifts of the Spirit in your life, rather than the limitations of your natural attributes?