for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."Acts 1:5(HCSB)
Before the cross of Calvary, the people of Israel were called by John to turn from their sins because the promised Messiah of God had come. John’s was a baptism of repentance, specifically targeted at Israel - because Jesus, their King was in their midst and they were to turn from their sins. First, they were to repent of their sins, because the kingdom was near for the King was present. Though John may not have fully understood - he prophesied that at a future time Christ, the King would baptise these repentant believers, who turned to Christ as Messiah, with the Holy Spirit of God – He will baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire, he proclaimed. The baptism of fire – a baptism of judgement, was reserved for those that would not turn from their sins and accept Christ but those that accepted the Lord Jesus as their Messiah were to be baptised with the Holy Spirit, one day in the future – what a joyful proclamation.
But although Christ was crucified, He reiterated the wonderful promised baptism of the Holy Spirit, forty days after His resurrection – you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit, in just a few days, they were told. What joy and expectancy must have filled their trembling hearts. Just before Christ ascended into Heaven He told them to wait in Jerusalem for this momentous occasion. He had already appeared to many believers after His resurrection – one here and a couple there and one occasion He showed Himself to 500 at one time, but ten days after He ascended to heaven on that special feast of Pentecost, 120 faithful followers were waiting together for the momentous occasion when Christ would baptize them with the Holy Spirit.
There were many people who had believed in Christ as the Messiah, but up ‘til now they had not yet received the promised Holy Spirit as an indwelling reality – they had been told, He is now with you, but he WILL be IN You - and so Christ Himself baptised that little body of believers with His Holy Spirit on that very special day.
That first day of Pentecost was the day the Church was born, and the Holy Spirit was given – they were all baptised into One Body – the body of Christ. Up until that point they were quite fearful but, on that day, when they were baptised with the Holy Spirit, the Church was born, and they were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and began to witness with great authority and joy.
On that first Pentecost, it was Christ Who baptised that little group of Believers with the Holy Spirit, Who became an indwelling reality - and the apostle Paul tells us that from this point forward it is the Holy Spirit Who baptises every new believer into the Body of Christ – the moment they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ – What GRACE.
Loving Father, thank you for Your Word and for Your understanding. Thank You that I have been baptised into that Body of Christ by Your Holy Spirit and that He now lives in me forever. What a mystery that You should take up permanent residence in my weak and frail body – but Father I praise Your name for all Your goodness and loving kindness to me and all that are Your children – the Body of Christ, in Whose name I pray. AMEN.