In our search to find CERTAINTY that we are Born of God into His kingdom we've so far looked at RBB:
» R is to CONFESS the sin we've COMMITTED AGAINST God, and to REPENT of it.
» B to truly BELIEVE IN Jesus and commit ALL OF YOU to Him FOREVER!
» B the 2nd B we've looked at, is to BE BAPTISED - Baptised in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, doing so because you ARE one who's: (a)REPENTED of all known sin, and (b) Believes and TRUSTS IN the Lord Jesus ENOUGH to CHOOSE to GIVE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE to Him - for His use alone! And ALSO INVOLVED here is a DETERMINATION to CHOOSE to OBEY Jesus in ALL things, from now on.
We must now ask two VERY IMPORTANT questions about BAPTISM:
1) Is Believers' Baptism an ESSENTIAL to the PROCESS of being Saved? (more on this "PROCESS of being Saved" real soon - it's not as simple as you think!) Short answer: YES!! Most decidedly essential! So you're saying it's not just an 'option' that I can make up my own mind about? NO, it's not!! And we've already looked at reasons why: 1) There are no UNBAPTISED Believers anywhere in the New Testament 2) Jesus said: "Make disciples AND BAPTISE THEM!!! (Click) Matthew 28:19. That's a COMMAND from the King - it is NOT OPTIONAL!!!
2) Please stay COOL as you read through this question and answer: "If I was sprinkled as a baby, I've already been Baptised, right?" Short answer: NO! There are NO baptised infants in the New Testament. Baptism is ALWAYS of those who BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus. And clearly an infant CANNOT POSSIBLY DO THIS; NOR can a parent "believe" on behalf of an infant. Yes, I'm certainly aware that churches all over baptise infants!! Similarly I see SO MANY who were sprinkled as a baby later getting Baptised as a Believer!! Infant baptism is a church TRADITION with no basis in the New Testament - which is WHAT THIS WHOLE THREAD IS BASED ON. As I've said before, if it's not CLEARLY in the New Testament then I am NOT INTERESTED!!
So we've now done 3 ESSENTIAL STEPS towards becoming a saved, born again person: REPENT of all your sins against God, BELIEVE in Jesus, BE BAPTISED: RBB. Rather amazingly, we've just observed an Inner Roomie BE BAPTISED - AND all of our final Step has just happened to Faithwoman!!! THAT'S rather mind-boggling!! Could it be that the Lord's trying to tell us all something!!!! I would say a loud YES!! - because Step 4 is R-RECEIVE the HOLY SPIRIT which she's just reported that she did receive AFTER her Believers' Baptism!! (and another gift as well!!)
Let's move towards COMPLETION of our 4 Steps by returning again to the Apostle Peter: ACTS 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. So now we finally have our 4 Steps!! When you have followed this path: 1-REPENT, 2-BELIEVE, 3-BE BAPTISED, then God's CLEAR PROMISE according to the New Testament IS THAT YOU WILL 4-RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT!!! How's THAT for a Hallelujah!!! (PLEASE NOTE that in the NT, receiving this GIFT is sometimes called "baptised with the Holy Spirit", but MOST OFTEN is called "filled with the Holy Spirit", so that's what we'll use here).
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is almost unbelievably LIFE-CHANGING! (as Faithwoman is currently experiencing!!!) And this gift is for every person who has earnestly followed all the Steps I've written in these 8 Messages!!! Many Believers don't understand the fact of FILLING. EPH 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, which leads to reckless action, but be filled with the Spirit. I've said before that "be filled" in the original Greek language is what I usually call "present continuous tense", i.e., it APPLIES NOW and ONGOING. So we may re-word "be filled with the Spirit" to "always BE BEING FILLED with the Spirit." Another COMMAND!!! And I'm sure you can then see that as God is telling us to always be being filled, then it's clearly possible to NOT be filled with the Spirit!!
And SADLY this is where most Believers are: they are UN-FILLED, if I may put it that way! They have the Holy Spirit in their lives, and within them, but NOTHING like they could and should have!!! God's constant activity in our lives comes VIA THE SPIRIT!! • HE makes things happen. • HE is the one Who moves us forward towards MATURITY IN THE LORD JESUS. • HE reveals the meaning of the Scripture we're reading. • HE gives gifts to us to SERVE Jesus. • HE provides us with LOVE, and deep-down inner JOY and PEACE, and the total 9 aspects of the Fruit of the Spirit (click) Galatians 5:22-23. • HE is THE Driving Force of our whole Christian life and Christian walk!!
So if it's not already happened in you, HOW do you get FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT? Below is ALL DEPENDENT on the fact that you HAVE DONE the first 3 Steps to the very best of your ability!! a) Once you've done them, you may get FILLED, without anything further to be done! - as happened to Faithwoman! DO ensure that you are LOOKING for this from the Lord, though, else it may happen and you don't realise it!! b) If you do not see anything to indicate FILLING, then you should ask the Lord TO FILL YOU!!! This is a COMMAND, right, so if we ask for the filling, He sure is going to hear this prayer!! As always, PRAY in faith and WAIT, PRAY and WAIT!!
c) What you may also do is go to someone you are really sure IS filled with the Holy Spirit, and is BALANCED and SOUND as to doctrine and practice, and ask him or her TO PRAY FOR YOU, and LAY HANDS ON YOU to receive the Holy Spirit!! ACTS 8:17 Then they (Peter and John) laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. What's interesting here is that in the previous verse it says that up to that point they'd only been BAPTISED in the name of the Lord Jesus! That is, they'd done it ALL, HADN'T received the FILLING OF THE SPIRIT, but LAYING ON OF HANDS gave this to them!! I think that's really, really encouraging for those who've done all, but are not yet FILLED!!!
We have done our 4 Steps!! With "RECEIVE (and BE FILLED with) the Holy Spirit" we finally have RBBR and they are THE NEW TESTAMENT REQUIREMENTS (and nothing less) for anyone to start living a Born Again life, Born of God, belonging heart and soul to the Lord Jesus, filled with His Spirit, and rejoicing that you are a son or daughter of God Himself!!!
Continued in Part 9, "The High and Eternal Significance of Your Life of RBBR" ...
- BM, with his LADY!