Repentance – Actioning Sincerity
For some Christians this weekend will mark another event in the spiritual calendar called Trinity Sunday. Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost. It celebrates the three persons of the Holy Trinity – God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
So let’s just go back in time for a moment to the Day of Pentecost. Following their ‘Pentecostal’ experience, the disciples were now fully equipped, to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The Great Commission had been activated! For the thousands gathered in Jerusalem that day for Shavuot and whose lives had been touched so dramatically, it was one moment in time that would never be forgotten. During his address to the crowd, Peter told them who Jesus of Nazareth was – that He was the promised Messiah. He also imparted that because Jesus had been exalted to the right hand of God, He had received the promised Holy Spirit from His Father. Peter also confirmed that the outpouring of this gift that they had just witnessed in Jerusalem, was originating from Jesus (Acts 2: 33).
In the Complete Jewish Bible, it states that the people were ‘stung in their hearts’ upon hearing Peter’s words. They asked him what they should do. Peter instructed them in Acts 2:38 with the following words,“Turn from sin, return to God, and each of you be immersed on the authority of Yeshua the Messiah into forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh!
Immersion – completely submerged to Jesus’ authority
Now this is very important, so don’t miss it! Everyone had gathered in Jerusalem for Shavuot, a Jewish festival, therefore, they were all Jews. Without getting too complicated, the word ‘baptism’ in Hebrew is the word Tevilah meaning ‘immersion’. In Judaism water immersion is designed to remove ritual impurity. It is carried out in a mikvah. Mikvah which means a gathering of waters. The word first appears in Genesis 1:10. However, the water had to be ‘living water’ i.e. water that was flowing or running, it flowed into a pool or man made pool. Not only was it considered a physical cleansing but a spiritual one as well.
When John the Baptist immersed those in the Jordan he brought an additional message. True ‘cleansing’ in the spirit could not occur unless man REPENTED. Symbolic spiritual cleansing was not what God required. He required man to be branded in his heart for Him. For the first time this traditional ritual was being transformed or connected to the spirit of man, his own accountability for sin through the redemptive power of the coming Messiah. The Baptist stated that the one that would come after him – Jesus – would baptize or immerse with the Holy Spirit.
Are you thirsty enough?
The process of salvation is a miraculous multi-layered experience. Repentance and forgiveness of sin is only the beginning of God’s divine plan of restoration. Therefore, let’s go back again to the Day of Pentecost – it’s so important. Baptism/Immersion of the Holy Spirit enables us and equips us to take others on the journey too. The gifts are never for self – always for others and edification of the Church.
We need the Holy Spirit so much. If we tried to accomplish what God needs us to do in our lives and for His kingdom in our own strength – we wouldn’t get very far and the Kingdom would be pretty small, right? Jesus gave the Great Commission to us all. Whatever the capacity. We are here to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth – period. The time is NOW!
It’s not a good idea to loiter around with your gifts in a satchel either, Remember, you have a big responsibility. You are passing on a spiritual inheritance that is priceless.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit only needs to occur once in the believer’s lifetime. From then on it is like a tap that is never turned off. I’ll leave you with some of Jesus precious words…
“…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” (John 7:37-39)
How thirsty are you today?
This article was written by Karin McBride-Chenoweth, an award-winning writer, editor and publisher of Christian and secular works in Europe and the USA. Originally from Northern Ireland, Karin now lives in the USA.