Under the Influence
Her name was Myrtle. She was a part of a congregation I pastored. She was baptized by immersion before I met her. She told me that her mouth was open when she was baptized because it needed special attention. We can identify with her struggle to control her tongue (James 3:8).
She went under water for the sake of its influence.
R. W. Dale in Classic Baptism defines the Greek word for baptism as putting into any liquid for the sake of its influence. A related word means to dye.1 When people are immersed in water, their whole body becomes wet. The influence of the water extends from the top of their heads to the bottom of their feet.
Water baptism is a shadow of a higher reality. It’s important because Jesus commanded it (Matthew 28:19). Yet, it points to something beyond it. It symbolizes baptism with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “For John baptized withwater, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5, NIV).
For Jesus’ and John’s disciples, water baptism preceded baptism with the Holy Spirit. For Cornelius, his relatives and close friends, it was the reverse (Acts 10:44-48). We follow the Cornelius pattern. We receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit when we believe in Jesus. Water baptism follows that.
DUI stands for driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor. It describes those whom alcohol has impaired. I’m suggesting LUI represents living under the influence. The Christian life is powered by living under the influence of the Holy Spirit. “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18).
LUI is to be the new normal. From the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, outside and inside, you’re to be living under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Is there enough evidence to convict you of an LUI? Do you share what Jesus means to you with others (Acts 1:8)? Are Jesus’ love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control evident? Is it obvious the Holy Spirit is leading you (Galatians 5:18)? Do you praise and thank God (Ephesians 5:18-20) as naturally as you breathe? Let’s strive to make living under the influence of the Holy Spirit the new normal in our lives! #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources
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