The first forward thrust of the race is baptism, because it is a picture of redemption – stepping from death into life, your new life in Messiah/Christ. If you were baptized as a baby or young child by your parents, they believed for you and now you are affirming your own choice to believe. You stand before the congregation of the church and tell them your decision to accept your parents’ belief as your own in confirmation. That act publically identifies you with Messiah.
If you were not baptized as a baby or child you will want to be baptized now as an act of testimony. The mode of baptism, whether it is sprinkling, pouring or immersion, is a symbol of Ruach Kodesh/Holy Spirit baptism that placed you positionally in Messiah’s death, burial, and resurrection. The Public identification represents the spiritual relationship. It is also the picture of the baptism of Ruach Ha Kodesh/ the Holy Spirit. It’s not the signs and wonders we are following after, but a new realm we are living in – the kingdom of the spirit. We will no longer be controlled by the flesh; we are led and nourished by the very Spirit of the Living God.
John told his disciples, “…He will baptize you with Ruach Ha Kodesh and with fire,” Jesus said, “…but you shall receive power after Ruach Ha Kodesh is come upon you.” Without Ruach Ha Kodesh you would be like a baby who never gets any nourishment. He is the seal of our redemption. He is our security, guide, and teacher – messiah’s gift to every Christian. The baptism of the Spirit is not something you wait and get later, hope for, pray for, or try for. When the Ephesians heard about Yeshua/Jesus and were baptized as an expression of their faith in his atoning sacrifice, the next immediate step was the baptism of the Spirit. When the apostles heard some in Samaria were saved, they immediately sent Peter and John to lay hands on them so they could obtain the baptism of the Spirit too. We don’t need anyone to lay hands on us because we have the Word of God to show us what we ought to do. We yield to the power of Ruach Ha Kodesh by faith. We will ask believing and act accordingly.
Yeshua/Jesus is God’s gift to the world. Ruach Ha Kodesh is Yeshua’s gift to his body (Christians). A gift is freely offered and it’s an insult to refuse it. The only reason why anyone would not have the baptism of the Spirit is because of unbelief, and unbelief is sin.
As winners in the race, we allow Ruach Ha Kodesh to control our tongues because they are the most untamable members of our bodies (read James 3) and they are the first thing we must yield to the direction of Ruach Ha Kodesh. As we surrender this member others follow. We know when our tongues are disciplined by Ruach Ha Kodesh because they speak the Word of God with boldness; we open our mouths with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on our tongues.
While we are running the race as winners we continue to identify ourselves with the goal – not in water baptism, but in our behavior, words, and in the community of believers taking the Lord’s Supper.
Prayer: Lord, as I run the race my identification with you will become more credible every day, each step of the way. I will allow your Holy Spirit to control my lips. I will open my mouth to allow you to speak through me. I will practice submitting my tongue to you. I will yield my eyes to you and see with eyes of compassion. I will submit my ears to you to hear the cry of the needy soul and respond with my hands and heart. I will yield my feet to you so you can lead me where you want me to go. I will no longer make it a habit to go and do as I please; but will publically identify with you in all that I do in the flesh.