This came as an email and Kathy and Tim allowed me to post it for all to see – Pastor Doug ><>
Both our groups met last week and started our discussions. Both went really well and generated great discussions and better understanding. my mom’s group wanted to get your input on two things when you have time:
Why did Jesus get baptized himself rather than just baptizing others?
This is a question that always perplexed me because I only saw baptism as a way God washes away our sins. And although it is true, baptism is so much more. There is an existential connecting and uniting element to baptism – Mark 10:38-39 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized”. Here Jesus is talking about his forthcoming death and resurrection.” I find it interesting that he refers to his death and resurrection as drinking and baptism. Because these are both God’s chosen ways of connecting to us to himself. Communion and Baptism. You see the connecting part of baptism brought out in other places like:
Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
Romans 6:3 “Or do you not know, that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?”
Baptism is God’s way of connecting us to Christ.
Now if we are connected to Christ through baptism, Christ also connected to us through baptism. I hope you get this Christ unites with us in baptism not for his salvation or need for forgiveness but for ours.
We understand that He is sinless so does not need a repentant baptism. We also discussed that the trinity and his identity is revealed during his baptism. Are there any other significant reasons that we didn’t come up with?
One thought at Jesus Baptism we have the water, the Spirit and a voice and in the beginning of creation we have water the Spirit and a voice. Jesus Baptism is a re-genesis – a recreation – for us and ultimately for the world. In baptism we become born again.
2) Is there a difference between the Holy Spirit being on someone in the old testament (i.e. David) v. the Holy Spirit being on us now after Jesus’ resurrection/Pentecost?
I am not sure exactly about the experience of the Holy Spirit in the OT vs the NT. Because the HS was “on” Sampson with strength and David with words of scripture and “on” the leaders of Israel in the desert (Nu 11:17). Yet he “filled” others – Exodus 31:1-3 The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship”. Therefore the on and in concept does not always hold up.
But we do know that now the Holy Spirit is being “poured out on all Flesh” Joel 2:28. Because of Christ death and resurrection and that a defining mark of a believer is that you have the Holy Spirit in you!
3) Why did Jesus need the Holy Spirit to guide him in his ministry? How was it different from prayer with the Father? Couldn’t Jesus know his next step as the Son of God?
“Need” is a funny word when we are talking about the Trinity. I like to think of the Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, more in terms of roles and functions. The Spirit’s function or role was to lead Jesus into the desert and into suffering. And it is Jesus role to suffer. But the three are one. You see this when Jesus breathed out the Holy Spirit on his disciples (John 20:22) and when Jesus said “I and the father are one.”
The Trinity is a mind boggling and yet so beautiful. In the trinity there is a community of deference, honor and mutual submission of love. And although this is a short answer and a more complete study of the role and function of the HS would be enlightening, I think it would be fair to say that your question is akin to asking someone, “why did you just scratch your nose with your left hand and not your right?”
4) Our Bible notes say to blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to call the work of the Holy Spirit the work of Satan and that to commit this eternal sin you would not have fear/care that you were doing it. Therefore, someone seeking to know if they had committed this sin already shows they care for God’s favor and could not be turning away from Him fully as this sin indicates.
Good answer – John 16:7-11 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
The Holy Spirits role is to bring conviction and without this how can we repent so when you offend the one who empowers/moves you to repent there can be no forgiveness. And no desire to be forgiven. This is why what they said above is true.
– I hope this is helpful – Doug ><>
We realize your time is limited so we don’t expect an all inclusive answer but would appreciate your quick thoughts on these items.