For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. – Acts 1:5 KJV
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John the Baptist who was a cousin to Jesus Christ, in terms of earthly relationship was indeed sent into the world as a fore-runner to announce the plan of the Almighty God for the forgiveness, restoration and salvation of mankind. He arrived the world six months ahead of Jesus Christ through Zechariah who was a priest in the house of the Lord and Elizabeth who was an aunt to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ – Lk. 1:36; 57-66. Bible historians record Elizabeth as a sister to the mother of Mary, whose name was Anna with both of them being children of Joida, the high priest of Aaron.
The main task of John the Baptist was to prepare mankind for the arrival of the Messiah of God, as he personally admitted that he was not the Messiah but the people should expect another personality greater than him, the lace of whose shoes, he was not worthy to loosen – Lk. 3:4-6; 16. He made this revelation when the people, having witnessed the immense grace surrounding his ministry started thinking in themselves that John could just be the Christ, which is the Greek word for “the anointed one” with the Hebrew word being “Messiah”. He told them at that meeting that all he was going to do was to baptise them with water, but the true Messiah will baptise them with the Holy Spirit and with Fire. The Messiah will also wield a winnowing fork to be used to separate wheat from the chaff with the former going into his barn and the latter ending up in unquenchable fire – Lk. 3:15-18. His comment made it clear that the true Christian will have to undergo two baptisms in this realm, the one of water and spirit, but should expect a third baptism which will decide the eternal destination.
However to qualify for the first of the three baptisms, the individual is expected to have acknowledged his/her status as a sinner and must feel sorry for those sins with a decision not to go back to those sins again – Jn. 3:7-14. It is only when this has been done that the dipping into water which the baptism of John entails, can then be carried out. The effectiveness of this act will however depend squarely on the honesty of the individual who is confessing, repenting and seeking forgiveness. This is because the act of dipping the individual in water is only physical and symbolical and will not be spiritually effective if the individual is not been honest with the confession and repentance process. Unless carried out effectively, the body of the individual may be clean because it was dipped in water but the soul will remain dirty and filthy because of unconfessed sins.
Every true Christian will be expected to undergo this water baptism to mark the beginning of the journey to a new life in Jehovah just as even Jesus Christ had to go through the process – Lk. 3:21-23. Jesus was sure that his disciples too had undergone this stage of their journey with the Lord when he confirmed to them, his awareness of the fact that they had actually undergone the process of the water baptism but confirmed John’s statement by telling them to expect the baptism of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Ghost) after his departure. It was only after this baptism that they will be sufficiently empowered to successfully execute the work for which they were called. In other words, they will remain ineffective until they had been dipped into the Holy Spirit hence his advise to them to remain in Jerusalem until that baptism was implemented – Acts 1:4. It was not going to be implemented through the act of man but was solely a gift from the Almighty God.
That they had been with him for forty-two months was not sufficient enablement to successfully execute the task ahead of them as that will only be possible after the baptismal exercise was carried out by the Almighty God Himself.
Hmmmm. That definitely explains the ineffectiveness of the modern day Church to tackle the challenges facing Christians and Christianity as a religion. Human abilities are being deployed to counter challenges that will require supernatural abilities that can only come to the Christian through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. So many instances of evil spirit overpowering the Christian litter the space as they are regularly been humiliated by their situations and challenges. People who claim to be agents of light are complaining about the over-whelming effect of darkness on them. It is no longer strange to see Christians list Prayer Points that indicate the supremacy of worldly powers over their lives. All these no doubt because they lack spiritual ability to confront and defeat the devil and its agents, which is a consequence of not experiencing the true baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The Almighty God and his son Jesus Christ expect today’s Christian to not only profess the Christian faith but to also demonstrate sufficient ability to dominate and positively influence their environment, and also manifest spiritual fruits. This will definitely be impossible without the Holy Spirit.
Aside from the dynamic ability to cause change that is acquired by the Christian that has been baptised in the Holy Spirit, the Bible lists Christian virtues as fruits of the Holy Spirit – Gal. 5:22-23. This implies that it will be impossible to manifest those fruits without the individual having the Holy Spirit. No wonder again, there are so many Christian groups today that are more carnal than the spiritual despite honest attempts to be good Christians. They probably have very wrong foundation of either a dishonest and an ineffective water baptism or not having experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This remains a dangerous trend as it is simply impossible to be regarded as children of God without being led by Holy Spirit – Rom. 8:14-17. Equally significant
Equally significant is the effect of not having the baptism of the Holy Spirit this may affect the group that Christians will find themselves after the third baptism which is the baptism of fire. John the Baptist revealed that some will be classed as wheat and be placed in a barn whilst some will be classed as chaff and thrown into unquenchable fire. This is not referring to unbelievers only but also to those who believe but do not have the Holy Spirit since they cannot have ability to make positive impact or even manifest Christian virtues. It will be simply impossible for such people to successfully undergo the baptism of fire.
Do all you can to perfect your water baptism if you have any reason to doubt its efficacy else it will never be possible to have the baptism of the Holy Spirit but if you are comfortable with your water baptism, then strive to have the baptism of the Holy Spirit as that is what will make you the complete Christian and a true child of God. That way your living the Christian lifestyle will not be a wasted one and you will then be in a position to please Him and be welcomed into eternal home. May that be your portion in Jesus name. Amen.