by Jonathan McLeod

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The Unity of the Spirit (4 of 5)
Series: The Holy Spirit
Jonathan McLeod


''I [John the Baptist] baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one [Jesus] who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire'' (Matthew 3:11; cf. Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33).

On one occasion, while [Jesus] was eating with them, he gave them this command: ''Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit'' (Acts 1:4-5; cf. 11:16).

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we are all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).

Some Christians make a distinction between being baptized ''with'' the Spirit and ''by'' the Spirit. But in all of these verses the Greek word is the same: en, which can be translated ''with,'' ''in,'' or ''by.''

What is the baptism of the Spirit?

• It is something that happens at CONVERSION.

''We are all baptized by one Spirit into one body.'' The believers on the Day of Pentecost received the baptism of the Spirit after their conversion because this was a transition period.

• It IMMERSES us into the body of Christ.

There is a difference between the visible, local church and the invisible, universal church.

• It makes believers ONE in Christ.

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:27-28).

Unity transcends ethnic, social, and gender distinctions.

In the body we find, not uniformity, but unity with diversity.

We ar ...

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