Godsgirl wrote:[Theologians often confuse the baptism in the Holy Spirit with salvation. They often regard these two experiences as being the same. This confuses believers. They incorrectly assume that salvation is the same as the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Bible does not teach this.]
Theologians aside; In Joh 3:3 Jesus himself said that one must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God.
The question then is, "What specifically is Jesus referring to when He says; Born again"? Does He leave it open to interpretation? No, He is very clear on the requirement.
Jhn 3:3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
In John 3:5, Jesus further explains exactly what He is talking about. Obviously, the birth by water is how we come into the world in the first place, the second form of rebirth is the key to where we go in the next life.
[The Bible clearly teaches that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a separate experience from salvation and comes after a person is saved, although it can occur at the time of salvation]
You say that Salvation and baptism of the Spirit are not the same thing, it seems that Jesus does not agree with you.
He does not say that if you believe in me without being baptised in the Spirit, you will still see the Knigdom of Heaven, instead, He is emphatic about the requirement of baptism in the Spirit.
Jhn 3:5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
When Nicodemus questioned this requirement, Jesus said in John 3:7
Jhn 3:7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Baptism of the Spirit equates to a very specific life altering event. When one is beborn and baptised in the Spirit, their old self dies along side Jesus as He died on the cross so that we could be forgiven of our past sins. The Rebirth is the emergence of our New self, as Jesus emerged from His death on the 3rd day.
A person who has been truly baptised in the Spirit is not the same person that they were before. The Old man, as the Bible refers to us before we are reborn in the the Spirit, follows the ways of the world and the result is a man living in sin in a sinful world.
The only way for us to escape, or be Saved ,or receive our Salvation, is through the way that Jesus provided for us. Jesus said," I am the Way, no man shall enter Heaven except through me."
When one is reborn and baptised in the Spirit, as Jesus said in John 3:3, we follow the Holy Spirit as He leads us through the "Valley of the Shadow of Death". Many believe that this is the passage from this life to the next, this is not the case. The Valley of the Shadow of Death is the physical world that we all must live in while we are alive. Those that chose to walk through it alone will not receive the Salvation that awaits all those who have turned from their Old ways and instead, been baptised in the Holy Spirit as He leads us from the worldly Temptation that is everywhere.
Psalms 23:1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He is our shepherd after we are saved and Jesus made it clear what is required for us to receive our salvation.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Once we are saved, the world no longer holds the power over us that it once did. The Grace and peace that this verse is referring to comes after we are reborn in the Spirit. It is unattainable on our own.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Speaking from personal experience, my troubled Soul was restored after I was truly reborn and baptised in the spirit, not when I was water baptised, 40 years earlier. Why there is a difference, I can not say, I just know when I was truly reborn, and that was when my old Man died and my New man emerged from the grave where my Old man was laid to rest.
How does He lead me in the paths of righteousness for His mane's sakes after our rebirth in the Spirit? The verse makes it clear that He does, and Jesus confirms it in Matthew 6:13 "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:"
So there must be a way. This is where most people falter due to a lack of understanding as the Parable of the seeds points out.
Have you ever asked yourself how does the Holy Spirit lead us not into temptation? When you are tempted to sin, what happens? Your conscience lets you know that it is wrong "if" you are attuned to it and "if" you have not progressively hidden everything you do from the guilt that you should receive from it whenever you do commit a sin. Again, I know what I am talking about here and others do too, if they take a long hard look at their past where the commision of sin was/is concerned.
The trap for the lost is that they have been so successful at hiding from their conscience whenever they do things that they want to do, but need a way to avoid a guilty conscience afterwards, they become blind to the guidance that they once received from it as it shed the light of truth on what they were doing. Their conscience is not clear. Jesus referred to it this way;
John 3: 19 And this is the condemnation, that [the] light [of truth] is come into the world, and men loved darkness [the absence of a guilty conscience] rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Reproved? What is the definition of reproved? According to Random House; 1. scold, reprimand, upbraid, chide, reprehend, admonish.
Sounds like a guilty conscience to me, how about you?
So the light of truth through a clear conscience, lets us know when we are doing something bad and punishes us when we do, unless we decide to hide what we do from it.
But once we are saved, and we do the right thing, how do we know?
21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Our clear conscience is just as capable of rewarding us with good feelings as it is at punishing our bad behavior.
The Human body is the most complex organism ever created...every part of it has a very specific function and nothing that was needed was excluded and nothing that was not necessary was included, so why would God create within us a conscience that does everything that the Bible says the Holy Spirit will do for those who walk with a clear conscience which has been purged of all out past accumulated guilt, if it were not a vital part of how the Holy Spirit communicates Gods's laws and guidance to us? The answer is, "He would not." The guidance and comfort that we receive from the Holy Spirit through our cleared conscience can be described like this;
John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit doesn't speak to us in any language known to man, His voice is like the wind, we feel it and preceive it but we can not put our hands on it, if have cleared our conscience of the past guilt that we spent a lifetime avoiding by excusing it all away.
To repent is to admit that we will not do something any longer and that we understand that it was wrong. Accepting internal excuses in order to avoid a guilty conscience after we commit a sin is wrong and the baptised in the Spirit-New man, knows this and will not go back to that former sinful, worldly way of living.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
The Holy Spirit is always there to guide us from making bad decisions and He also prompts us to do good things "if" we keep our conscience clear and "if" we do not return to our old ways of applying excuses to sinful behavior in order to justify away the guilt that we know we would otherwise receive from our conscience.
"...thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. " How can a rod comfort us? A child might not agree when we use it on them whenever they do something bad, but the result is that they stop doing what they were doing and they understand that we do it out of our love and concern for them. God does the same thing whenever a Christian does something they should not do...and they will. The consequence of living with a clear conscience is that whenever we do something wrong and we refuse to apply an internal excuse to it, we will get a guilty conscience afterwards. This is the Holy Spirits way of chastising the saved. I welcome a guilty conscience when I do wrong because it lets me know that the Holy Spirit is watching and guiding me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
In verse 6, He says, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:"
All the days of my life, both in this world and the next.
Eternal death as referred to in the Scrpitures, is not the death of our physical body, it is the death of our Soul. The life that Salvation brings is the survival of our Soul after we experience the physical death that all must undergo. For those who chose to walk through this Valley of the Shadow of Death alone and without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, their life will be short indeed and their death eternal.
God Bless you,