Posts Tagged ‘Baptized’


1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 12-13, 27
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good… For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit… Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.

Paul writes much about gifts of the Holy Spirit in this chapter and I recommend you read it well to understand it. The Bible tells us that we are filled with the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit is at work in us transforming us from inside out to make us like Jesus and empowers us to serve God in many ways. Different believers have different gifts that collectively serve God and Paul weeds out the confusion regarding this gifting because in our paradigm, we think each one should have the same gifts and don’t appreciate the variety that adds up to glorifying God collectively.

Yesterday we reflected on communion which is a symbol of the body and blood of Jesus. In 1 Cor. 10:17, Paul reminds us that ‘Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread‘. We are all different in our cultures, colors, languages, etc. but we all are bound in love by Jesus that makes us family. Similarly in our gifting, we are all differently gifted but collectively serve God to glorify Him alone. No one of us is greater or lesser because of our gifting and also Jesus reminds us in Luke 9:48 that whoever is the least among us is the greatest. Let us seek our spiritual gifts from God to use it for His glory and lets work together to build His kingdom.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


1 Corinthians 1:13, 17-18
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul…? For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Start of a new month and we begin our 7th book of the New Testament, a letter from Paul to the Corinthians written around 56-59 A.D. As you can read from the verses collated above, Paul hits hard at the Church in Corinth about key issues starting with their break-away factions. As we sit at the cross glorifying Jesus during this resurrection weekend, Paul asks us a question about our identity in Christ and questions our intelligence. What is our response to the question, ‘What kind of Christian are you – Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist, or Orthodox’?

My Dad was protestant and Mom orthodox and we went to the protestant church most of the year but during school holidays would visit catholic and orthodox churches in my grandparent’s native places. A dear brother in Christ asked me a few years back what Christian I was and I tried to explain my denomination. In response he simply introduced himself as a Bible believing Christian. How simple and true is that. We are followers of Christ Jesus and serve Him, not denominations. We may be different in our race, language, ways of worship, geographic locations, etc. but we are one family in Christ redeemed by His blood and made anew. Lets not empty the cross of Christ by applying our human wisdom to God but instead lets stand together as grateful newborns praising God for His abundant mercy and grace.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Acts 8:5-8, 26-27, 38b-40
Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city…Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians…Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

The book of Acts gives us a sense of how the Church exploded after Jesus’ resurrection. Nothing was the same and followers of Christ were doing things that were not of them. Philip seems to be the man of action mentioned throughout this chapter and he was involved in some real mystifying acts like healing people with evil spirits inside of them, healing cripples and paralytics and even disappearing after baptizing the Ethiopian eunuch who accepted Christ. What is God speaking to us today through this passage?

For many weeks, a dear friend of mine has been plagued by a rasping cough. It’s trying and hard when the medication he has been taking has had no effect and his faith is being challenged. It is at times such as these when one doubts why the Lord permits suffering in the lives of his cherished and those living far from God seem to be in bliss. The reality is that like Philip, we are called to serve God regardless of when and where and we should consider it a privilege to serve for the salvation we have received from the Lord. Philip was not acting in his strength but through the Holy Spirit at work in him. The Lord works in mysterious ways when we submit to his will and we need to pray for humble hearts that we might serve faithfully and God is glorified through our lives.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Acts 2:37-39
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.

After reading through the gospels, the first thing that strikes me about Acts is that the disciples have suddenly matured and are a different set of people. No longer do they seem silly, doubting, tense or confused but they seem to be transformed and the obvious reason is not alcohol as some locals witnessing this change commented it might be. Peter stood up to speak and the 10 other disciples stood up with him and there seemed to be no bickering or doubts about what he spoke. What was happening here? What happened to these local uneducated fishermen that they suddenly grew wise?

All along the Bible, people have held onto the prophets and the disciples as significant. The Jews hold onto Moses’ law, some Christians look up to the disciples as special but the reality of the matter is that everything is about God, his son Jesus Christ and the ministering of the Holy Spirit. The change the disciples encountered was not of their own accord, not because they suddenly understood and certainly not because they were a special set of humans. They were empowered by the Spirit of God that was at work in and through them. Today we are called to submit our lives to Christ and to let the Holy Spirit work in and through us, not to be called great but to direct the world to Jesus Christ, the savior!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting this group. Also, share this with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.