The next stage of our spiritual life is baptism. This is not a new thing for both Christians as well as Hindus. Large number of Indians every year participate in various Kumba-melas. By dipping themselves in different rivers they believe that they will be cleansed of their sins. But for Christians it is considered as fulfilling all righteousness of God after becoming His children. This baptism by water is only symbolic and it is also external, but the real baptism is for the soul. John the Baptist replied to all of them, “I am baptizing you with water, but the one who is stronger than me is coming, and I am not worthy to untie his sandal straps. It is he who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”.
Baptism by Holy Spirit is a continuous process of strengthening of our spirit by the Word of God, which in turn rejuvenates our soul, ultimately helping the spiritual being to grow spiritually and get transformed to the image of Jesus Christ. This process has to continue as long as we live on this earth. Similarly, the baptism by fire is also a continuous process of refining or becoming holy by the refining fire from the altar. This is what is being practiced as walking on fire by devote Hindus hoping to get themselves cleansed, and it is also believed that, if the fire doesn’t hurt them, then they are supposed to be without sin.
As the spiritual being grows from strength to strength, we are able to recognize God’s glory, and be in constant communion with Him and the soul enjoys the heavenly peace and happiness which the world cannot give. Because of this, the worldly desires, longings and priorities gets changed automatically. We begin to see the world through the eyes of the Holy Spirit which has now taken control of our soul and not through the lustful eyes of the devil which was the root cause of all evil.
The learned man Saul (later became Paul), of the tribe of Benjamin wished to destroy Christianity. He was a Hebrew a Pharisee, a legalist, self-righteous and a scrupulous follower of the law. Act 9:1,2 “And Saul, yet breathing out threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem”.
On theway when he heard a voice saying unto him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” And Saul said, who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks”(Acts 9:4,5). Repenting for his mistakes Paul says, Phi 3:8 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the Excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ”.
Written by The word of Truth