“For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one Body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” 1 Corinthians 12:13

In the 1890’s, mountain climbers who fell and survived gave stories about how their whole life flashed before them before they landed. A French psychologist named this phenomenon in English “an experience of imminent death.” In 1943, a man by the name of G. Tyrrell wrote a book called, “Apparitions,” in which he introduced the term “out of body experience” referring to the same type of phenomenon. Those two terms have now morphed into what we call “a near death experience.” Even though there is a tremendous amount of interest in these types of experiences, I am much more interested in what I call an “in the body” experience.

1 Corinthians 12:13 describes the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Baptism can be a controversial Christian subject if not biblically understood. Simply put, the baptism of the Holy Spirit puts us into the Body of Christ, and it happens the moment we believe in Jesus Christ. The Body of Christ is not “a church,” but rather “The Church.” The Body of Christ is the family of God made up of all believers everywhere. It is important to understand that you can be a part of “a church,” but not be a part of The True Church. You can be baptized in water (whether sprinkled or immersed), without truly knowing Jesus. But when you are baptized by the Holy Spirit it is because you truly know and have trusted Jesus.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit never happened in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit would come upon people, but He never stayed inside of people. No one in the Old Testament was baptized into what we would call “The Church,” because there was no Church yet. The Church was not established until Pentecost – the time when God’s Spirit first came to live inside followers of Jesus Christ. This was the birth of God’s Church.

We are commanded in the New Testament not to be baptized by the Holy Spirit, but to believe in the Son of God. Why? Because when the Spirit of God leads us to believe in the Son of God, He baptizes us into the Church of God. This baptism happens at the moment of belief. Water baptism, therefore, is a picture of what God has already done by His grace, through faith.

Application: Have you been baptized by the Holy Spirit through belief in the Son of God?

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4 Responses to The Church
  1. I am I guess a purest in the baptism, so I have a question ! Is there any mention in the Bible anywhere of a person ever being “sprinkled” vs “submerged” ??
    The sprinkled concept certainly would have been an easier way to baptize people in Jesus’ time and today, but it was never used, everyone was submerged, so my question begs…..why would we alter God’s word, he plainly submerged people for a reason and for that reason we should not change his methods………Im a bit confused why Pastor Merritt would suggest “sprinkled” is Okay.

    • Hello and thank you for the comment. In re-reading the post, I do not see that Dr. Merritt’s comments as approving sprinkling as a method of baptism. The subject of the post is baptism by the Holy Spirit and not a discussion of water baptism. His point in referencing sprinkling and submersion is a warning for those who feel because of some former baptism, he/she is fully approved by God. In other words, one could be baptized having never truly received Jesus as Lord and Savior.

      As a matter of practice and belief, Dr. Merritt practices baptism by immersion. Our church (Cross Pointe Church) is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, and we have a statement regarding baptism by immersion on the website. (http://www.crosspointechurch.com/aboutus/page_corebeliefs_baptismlordssupper.htm)

      Thank you again for your comment. Please let us know if you have any more questions.

  2. Is water baptism then, necessary or is just a outward acknowledging that you do believe and have received Jesus Christ?

    • Thank you for your comment! We do not believe baptism is necessary for salvation but rather, as stated in the Baptist Faith and Message, “Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead.” Baptism comes after the believer has professed faith in Christ.

      You may find one of Dr Merritt’s blogs for new believers helpful. Here is the link: https://touchinglives.org/2016/10/23/3-aspects-christian-growth-every-believer/

      Thank you again for your comment!


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