The Baptism of Love
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” (NIV)
Jesus lived His life for thirty years before entering the waters of baptism that day. He was just as much God before and after, but this baptism was the beginning of His ministry. Why was it important that the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus being that Jesus was God? Jesus didn’t minister as God. He ministered as a man anointed with the Holy Spirit. According to Philippians 2, He emptied Himself and became a servant. If the Holy Spirit landing upon Him was not for ministry, why did this event take place? In conjunction with the Holy Spirit landing upon Jesus to empower Him to complete the purpose of His life, we see the Father speaking and letting everyone know that this was His son. How awesome. This is the first appearance of the trinity in the New Testament.
This is what happens to a believer’s life when the Holy Spirit comes upon them, the Holy Spirit speaks the affirmation of adoption, of sonship.
John 1:12, 13
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (NIV)
As we receive Jesus we are accepted into the family. We are not accepted because of what we can do. To believe you are accepted by some works of your own would be idolatrous and pride. You are a child of God because of what Jesus has done and you receiving it.
Romans 8: 14-17
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (NIV)
It is so important to know that you are an heir of God. We are heirs of heaven! And guess what? We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to enjoy what is promised to us. We can have heaven’s joy here. We can have heaven’s power here. We can have heaven’s provision here. What do you think Jesus meant when He told us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!” (Matthew 6:10)
God knows how to take care of His children. The sixth chapter of Matthew delves into that beautifully. God is constantly trying to get our attention to the fact that we are His children. We have to believe it and walk in it. There is a connection to knowing you are a child of God and overcoming fear. Fear is very real! Fear is a punisher; it is merciless. Fear is a prison and will consume your thoughts. For His children it is important to remember that God has not given us fear! (2Timothy 1:7)
1 John 4:18
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (NIV)
Love drives out fear!!! I have discovered that there is a direct correlation between the fear I allow in my life to the amount of faith I have in my life that God can protect me and provide for me better than I can. There is a place for the believer where he or she will never allow fear to dominate them again and that place is in the perfect love of God.
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (NIV)
The Holy Spirit pours His love into our lives and drives the fear away! How? By reminding us through His presence that we are His children. As His child, He will provide for me. He will protect me. He has a plan for my life. I can trust His love. No fear can stand when the Holy Spirit pours the love of God into your heart. In order for Jesus to truly be our example to follow, He had to empty Himself and be human. He needed the confirmation of the Father and He needed the Holy Spirit upon Him to fulfill what the Father sent Him to do. Otherwise if He conquered all of that simply as God, then there would be no hope for us, because we aren’t God. But if He did it as a man empowered by the Holy Spirit and trusting in the Father completely, then we can do it as well with the same provision. Except we have even one more awesome thing that Jesus did not have. We have Him as our forerunner. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
When the presence of God comes upon your life, that is the Holy Spirit reminding you that you are a child of God. You are His child and He will take care of you. You have nothing to fear. The only thing you have to do is seek His face and get to know Him more!
The Baptism of Love