October 27


"I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit' " (John 1:33, RSV).

One day a very special candidate appeared to John the Baptist for baptism. As He came up out of the water, a gentle dove began descending on Him while an audible voice announced, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17, RSV). At this paint, John the Baptist publicly announced, "He on whom you see the Spirit descend... this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit" (John 1:33, RSV).

How fitting for Jesus to be called the "Baptizer." While John's water baptism was important, Christ's Holy Spirit baptism was even more momentous for the church. Christ's role as the One baptizing with the Holy Spirit met its fulfillment at Pentecost. On that memorable day, Christ had kept His promise of sending the Holy Spirit in all His plenitude and power (see John 16:7). Referring to the promised Holy Spirit, Peter confirmed that Christ had now "received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear" (Acts 2:33, NIV).

The Holy Spirit continues to empower, teach, convict, guide, and comfort the believer. The baptism of the Spirit brings authentic power (see Acts 1:8), boldness and courage, soundness of mind and spirit (see 2 Timothy 1:7), and full assurance and hope (see Romans 8:31-39). Those who are baptized by the Holy Spirit treasure the permanent residence of Christ in the heart. Our life is part of His, and His life is part of ours forever. Indeed, "we need to pray as we never have prayed before for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, for if there was ever a time when we needed this baptism, it is now."--The Upward Look, p. 346.

My Prayer Today: Lord, baptize me anew with Your power. Amen.