Good Morning Ladies (and few gents),
I don’t know about you but I’ve had many a dream shattered only to recognize that the dream God had for me was bigger, badder, and better than I could have imagined. Time we stop cheating God by coming up short and instead stay the course—the King is Alive, wait on him.
It’s Monday and time to share the 45th Catechism truth of 52.
When John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Luke 3:16 NLT
Question 45: Is baptism with water the washing away of sin itself? Luke 3:16 NLT
Answer: “No, only the blood of Christ and the renewal of the Holy Spirit can cleanse us from sin.”
GiG, Pastor R. Kent Hughes, (Born: March 1, 1942) was Senior Pastor Emeritus of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois. The author of numerous books, including the best-selling Disciplines of a Godly Man helps explain today’s truth. The great classic text that celebrates and announces the believer’s baptism into Christ is 1 Corinthians 12:13 NLT:
Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
This verse speaks of the Spirit’s initiating us into the body of Christ, and that happened to us when we were saved from sin, self, separation, and Satan. For many of us, the years have gone by, what was an objective fact has become a subjective reality in our lives. John 3 gives us a beautiful picture. When we were baptized by the Spirit, we were regenerated, born again; we were born of the Spirit.
At the same time we were regenerated, born again. We each were indwelled by the Holy Spirit. John 14 says that the Spirit “will live with you” and “will be in you.” As it is said, in Ephesians 1:13-14, “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” That should further give us a sense of protection and reality, that we were tagged for eternity by the Holy Spirit when we were baptized by the Spirit.
Desiring to make this truth crystal clear, let’s hear what Romans 8:26 has to say on the matter. “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”
Now I will close with this, when John the Baptist pointedly said, “I baptize you with water, but (Christ) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire,” he was talking about the superiority of Jesus’s baptism. Water can wash only the outside, but the Spirit and fire regenerate and cleanse the inside. May we be grateful and encouraged our transformation day by day into Christ’s likeness, conforming us to his ways. The Holy Spirit is making all things new and constantly conforming us to the image of Christ.
I realize today’s devotion is way too long, but I just felt led to give you a more thorough explanation on this particular Catechism truth. Thank you for hanging in there and reading it.
May we be encouraged by baptism.
Let us not make baptism the object of our trust, but look instead to the cleansing work of Jesus, beautifully depicted in baptism.