Matthew 3:11: John said, “I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
When John baptizes Jesus, the Spirit comes down as a dove and rests on Jesus. Pentecost fulfills the baptism of Jesus: Because He is filled with the Spirit beyond measure, Jesus overflows to pour and breathe and give the Spirit to His disciples. Jesus’ baptism is completed when Jesus becomes a Baptizer.
The apostles in the upper room are the first to receive this overflow of the Spirit of Jesus. But the Spirit is for all – sons and daughters, young men and old, slaves and freemen, men and women. Already on the day of Pentecost, some 3000 received the same Spirit when they repented and were baptized with water in the name of Jesus Christ.
At Pentecost, the whole process that began with Jesus’ baptism begins again. The apostles are baptized in the Spirit as Jesus was, and like Jesus they become baptizers. As with Jesus, the Spirit overflows and spills out from them to those who hear them.
That is still happening: We don’t receive the Spirit to hold Him in, but to pour Him out. Everyone who drinks his fill of the Spirit of Jesus, from his innermost parts flow rivers of living water.
Today, on Pentecost, Ariana receives the seal of the Spirit in baptism. She is ordained as a priest in the temple of the Spirit. She becomes a member of the Spirit-filled body of Christ. The Spirit gives her, and will give her, gifts she will use to edify and build the church. The Spirit fills her, so He can spill out and pour out and flow out of her to others.
We are all charismatics. By her baptism today, Ariana joins this Pentecostal assembly of God, to take her place among us, gifted by the Spirit to share those gifts and that Spirit.
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 6:30 am
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