By Julia and CJ
The spirit of God has been in the earth from the very beginning, even before man or beast were created.(Genesis 1:2).
Moses knew that the Lord was the God of the spirits of all flesh, and was told to take joshua who had the spirit and set him before El-e-a-zar the priest and give him instruction so that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient(Numbers 27:15-20).
Jesus called the Pharisees and scribes out many times on their teachings, how they were blind guides who strain at a gnat and swallow a camel! This is why we must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit so He can guide us into ALL truth(Matthew 23:23-31).
1 Peter 1
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
What is this fire? A fire placed in our hearts when we are born again that is never quenched. A fire for righteousness, a fire for wickedness to be eradicated. A fire for all to repent and turn to God. A fire that brings the understanding, knowledge and truth. The Holy Spirit has also been described as fire as it descended on the Disciples in Jerusalem.
Well, I looked up the word “baptism” and was very surprised to find definitions even from popular dictionaries that described it as a ritual to accept one into Christianity. Very little about purification.
Then I looked up Mikvah, the Hebrew word for baptism.
Forgetting our Hebrew roots diminshes a sacred act for repentance given to us by our Lord. If you use the english definition John the Baptist, baptised Christ into Christianity.
So what is this Water they speak of. Water is to cleanse, Jesus also said I am the water, drink from me and you will never thirst again. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well, drink water from Me and you will never thirst again. He also told her that we would not need to worship only in a certain place any longer. That the Shekinah (Spirit of God) would reside in us. (John 4)
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The phrase ruach hakodesh (also transliterated ruaḥ ha-qodesh) is used in the Tanakh and other writings to refer either to the spirit of inspiration as above, or to the general, indwelling revelation of the Divine Presence among the Jews, also known as the Shekhinah.
Now I dont have to search for the meaning of Spirit, its use throughout the Bible is evident. And Jesus said “salvation comes from the Jews” but a time is coming this spirit will reside in everyone.
Jesus transformed water to wine. He said wine represents His blood that was shed for us, His blood that covers us.
When they pierced His side water flowed. At the last supper Jesus used water to wash the Disciples feet to show a Master is no better than His servant. (John 13)
There is salvation through none other. And salvation can not come without repentance and acceptance of Christs sacrifice, His living water.
As many scholars and Messianic Jews like Michael Rood point out, to be born again into a new body, mind and spirit, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us into truth means submission to the will of God, submission to Gods word, actually transforms and renews our mind, our spirit! We cant do this on our own. It would be like the Pharisees thinking they are righteous by enforcing laws they couldnt keep themselves. But by living in the Spirit of God we are guided into truth and zeal for living righteously. We can not do this without the Holy Spirit.
So as we study Gods word and the Gospel of Christ we find the true meaning of Baptism as it relates to repentance and Salvation, guiding us into as Jesus said to be Born Again.
One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism. (Ephesians 4:5)
Paul goes on to tell us to put away the old man, the old ways not to walk as the gentiles who are blind. He gives specific instructions on doing this. He also cautions against grieving the Holy Spirit. To put away all bitterness and anger.
Credit to Bible Gateway and on-line dictionaries, and wikipedia. Photo credit wikimedia commons public domain.