Christianity isn’t a religion – it’s not a set of rules to follow, any more than marriage is an institution bounded by strict rules. No, just like marriage, Christianity is a relationship in which our behaviour changes because of the love that we share with God. Big difference!
I recently observed a terrible conflict inside a Christian ministry organisation, with people behaving really badly. And through that failure, I was reminded just how incredibly important relationships actually are.
Relationships are like bridges that we build into the hearts and lives of one another during the good times and the bad – bridges that are meant to stand strong during the storms that inevitably come along.
To be sure, it’s hard work building a strong bridge like that, but when the storm’s raging, how awesome is it to have relationships that endure the test? The very first thing that John the Baptist said about Jesus was this:
Luke 3:16 I baptise you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (NRSV)
Now that was a radically new thing to say because up to that point, the Spirit of God had only ever been given to a handful of selected leaders and prophets.
It turns out though, that God had this plan to build a powerful relationship with each of us by drenching us in His Spirit. That’s what it means to be baptised; to be immersed, drenched and thoroughly transformed in something.
In this case, it is the plan of God to immerse, drench and thoroughly transform us through the outpouring of His Spirit on us. That’s a bridge built through the suffering of His Son. It’s a relationship that will last forever.
Be baptised – immersed, drenched and thoroughly transformed – in the Holy Spirit.
That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.