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Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Baptized with the Holy Spirit and Fire

Baptized with the Holy Spirit and Fire

Isaiah 43:1-7  Acts 8:14-17 Luke 3:15-22

Isaiah's prophecy is given to God’s people in exile in Babylon – far away from the Promise Land......
far away from where they were once settled… far away from what used to be normal........and that describes how many of us feel this morning, doesn't it?. So, as I read our reading written for God’s people 2500 years ago, hear God’s word for you today, as His word becomes a living word for us… NOW

As my text I have chosen Acts 8:16:
The Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

These folk, Samaritans, had only been baptized into the name of the Lord JesusWhat can that possibly mean?
Well, in the preceding verses, we see that Philip, one of the Jewish Christians in the Church just after Pentecost had fled Jerusalem because of the persecution which broke out against the early Christians, and found himself in Samaria, where he preached the gospel, performed miracles in the name of Jesus, and drove out demons in the name of Jesus:

  1. He preached the gospel – he told them the Good News about Jesus… about His life… about his gruesome death… and about His glorious resurrection… about His mysterious ascension and His promise to return and call to Himself all who choose to believe in Him. Phillip preached the gospel and people came to belief. Vernon, Ryan and I, and our local preachers, Roger, Michelle, Raymond, Lauren – we all… preach the gospel… and hopefully people come to believe in the name of Jesus. Have you?
  2. Secondly, he healed many people of their diseases and he did this in the name of Jesus and they came to believe in the name of Jesus. And through ministry in the name Jesus, many folk in our 100 year history here at AMC, have been healed. Have you?
  3. Finally, we are told that Philip drove out many demons, in the name of Jesus and people came to believe in the name of Jesus. And likewise here at AMC, many folk and their homes, have been delivered of evil or demonic influences and spirits (spirits of ...regret, unforgiveness, bitterness, dependence, pride, meanness, etc, etc, etc. Have you?

And having come to belief in Jesus, these folk in Samaria, had been baptized in water, into the name of Jesus. Water baptism,...... a sign of cleansing, a sign of being buried with Christ as they went under the water, a sign of being raised to new life in Chris as they came out of the water. Water baptism, a sign of putting to death the old self in the hope of the new self manifesting and growing.
Have you been baptized and do you live your baptism?

John had been baptizing in the water of the Jordan River, but throughout his ministry he had made it clear that he only baptized with water.
Remember our reading:

“Someone is coming more powerful than I, I’m not even worthy to untie his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

[How cool is that… not very cool. I've yet to come across fire that is cool]

Notice… “He will baptize you”......... you who are already water baptized… you need a further baptism.
A baptism which will impart to you, the ruach, the wind, the breath, the power of God himself.
Paul will later write that the Spirit in us, the power in us, is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
What power was that? God’s power, God’s Holy Spirit.

And John says, there’s someone coming who will baptize you, immerse you, fill you… with that power.
And not only that… he will also set you on fire.

“The Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.”

And Peter and John arrive in Samaria and they notice that while Philip was baptized into the name of Jesus and baptized with the Holy Spirit and baptized with fire… his converts, the Church in Samaria, were only baptized into the name of Jesus.

The Samaritan Church was in danger of becoming what nearly 1800 years later John Wesley would fear the Methodist movement would become:
A people with the form of religion, with all the right beliefs and practices of religion… but with no power. [See John Wesley's Fear]

Peter and John notice that these folk who believe with all their heart in the name of Jesus, do not have the power of Jesus. Do you? 

The Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

So what did Peter and John do – they prayed and the believers in Jesus name received the Spirit of God and Church of Christ caught fire in that place.

“There’s someone coming who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

That someone has come, and His name is Jesus, and I call on you to believe in His name. Do you want to do that this morning?
That someone has come and in His name – people are healed. Do you want to be healed this morning?
That someone has come and in His name, demons/spirits, have to flee. Do you want to be delivered this morning?
That someone has come and He wants to baptize you afresh in His Holy Spirit that you might have His power. Do you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit this morning?
That someone has come and He wants to set you on fire, to reignite the fire, the passion within you. Do you want to be set on fire again?

Let us pray for all these things now.


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