Following on from last week about Baptism, Baptism comes in two forms. One is water and one is the Holy Spirit. This week I promised to write on Faith, the Holy Spirit and Eternal Life. Last week I placed this quote from Acts 11.
15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with[a] water, but you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.’ 17 So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”
John said he was not worthy to untie Jesus sandals as he knew the difference between baptism with water and the Holy Spirit.
See what Paul tells the Ephesians.
11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
The Spirit Comes by Faith and Not By Water
We get the Spirit when we believe, and it guarantees our salvation and inheritance with God. How about a familiar verse, John 3:16.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
To believe is life-saving. Someone baptizing you with water and then you attending church and giving money cannot save you. It is all material. God does not need to measure this way.
Faith, the Holy Spirit and Eternal Life in That Order
He sees our hearts and know when we turn to him in Faith. Then we are baptized with the Holy Spirit (God himself) and nothing can match that.
So, baptism is by water and the Spirit. God wants us to have and do both. Water is water and the Spirit comes by faith. Faith is the gift of God. It is not a snap of the fingers. People coming from Atheism in China struggle mightily. They can admire the Bible and want to join the Christians, but they struggle to find true faith. When they find it, they are overjoyed and never forget that day.