Sunday, August 14, 2011
Manna from John
(ESV) 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.' 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel." 32 And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."
Churches are filled with people who have only received the baptism of water and not the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That difference is the difference between religion, which gives more misery than comfort, and a saving faith in Jesus. Too many people have been baptised out of guilt or wanting to make someone else happy and never have met Jesus, they have merely gone through some form of religious rite which only resulted in wet clothes.
Belief in Christ is not just head knowledge, the Devil knows everything about Jesus and even believes that He exists, but for a saving faith, the difference is the calling of the Holy Spirit, the feeling of intense sorrow that you have not followed God's standards (not that you got caught), believing that Jesus' death and resurrection was necessary to pay for your sins, mentally turning away from your past sins and committing your life to following Christ. That is a lot more complicated than coming forward after a service, saying a prayer and getting baptised. Being redeemed from death is more complicated, there isn't much outward evidence of that happening other than a huge smile after feeling the weight of sin fall off of your shoulders.
If none of this makes sense, email me or message me and I will walk through it all with you, I can say pretty confidently that if you have never been convicted (felt overwhelming sorrow) of your sins and realized that there is nothing that you could do about your problem, you have NEVER been saved and your name is not yet in the Lambs Book of Life.
All for Him,