Sunday Devotional: He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit

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Isaiah 40:3, 5, 9-11

A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!

Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Here is your God!
Here comes with power
the Lord GOD . . . .
Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.

Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

The people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
“I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

After all the people had been baptized
and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying,
heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him
in bodily form like a dove.
And a voice came from heaven,
“You are my beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased.”

The Baptism of our Lord by St. John the Baptist was one of several instances in the Old and New Testaments  — see also Genesis 1:26, John 5:7, and Matthew 28 — when the nature of the Triune Godhead is revealed as the vexing mystery of three Persons in one God.

But the above narrative in Luke 3 also speaks to the importance that Jesus holds for the sacrament of Baptism. Even the Son of God was Baptized, intended for sinners, before He began His public ministry.

These are the words on Baptism of His Apostle, St. Paul:

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” -Romans 6:3-4

But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” -1 Corinthians 6:11

“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” -Galatians 3:27

Baptism purifies and sanctifies (makes holy) the person, making him/her a dwelling of the Holy Spirit. That means that without Baptism, a person is without the Holy Spirit and rendered defenseless against the Evil One.

I don’t know what other Christian denominations believe about baptism, but in the Catholic Church — for all its many flaws, including the terrible sins committed by its clergy — the sacrament of Baptism is an act of exorcism:

Since Baptism signifies liberation from sin and from its instigator the devil, one or more exorcisms are pronounced over the candidate. The celebrant then anoints him with the oil of catechumens, or lays his hands on him, and he explicitly renounces Satan. (#1237 of Catechism of the Catholic Church)

In this manner, through the exorcizing sacrament of Baptism, “all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam’s sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.”

Moreover, through Baptimism we receive the gift of grace from the Holy Trinity — to believe in God, to love Him, and to grow in goodness. “Thus the whole organism of the Christian’s supernatural life has its roots in Baptism.”

I was baptized when I was four, but fell away from God and from the Church when I entered college, naïvely believing in a charismatic professor named Mitchell Bedford who said the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls had proved Christianity was a myth. What terrible and evil deeds college professors can do.

An agnostic, I wandered in the wilderness for decades until I was born again. This August 9 will be the 17th anniversary of my coming home. On that day in 2002, choking with tears streaming down my face, I made my big Confession for all my sins and He forgave me. I truly believe that, had I not been baptized all those many years ago and given the shield of protection, I would have been lost forever.

So if you are a Christian, don’t make the mistake of postponing the baptism of your child(ren). Baptism — clothing your child “with Christ” — is the most important thing you can and will ever do for your child.

Jesus, I love You with my whole heart, my whole soul, my whole mind, and with all my strength.

And may the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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6 responses to “Sunday Devotional: He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit

  1. Dr Eowyn . . . . What a wonderful Sunday lesson. Of all the Heavenly gifts that have been bestowed on man, the fact that we can have the Holy Spirit to dwell with us is rated at the very top. The Holy Spirit whispers to us as long as we are living lives in accordance with The Lord’s commandments. Those who choose worldly pursuits little by little lose the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and eventually they accept the promptings of Satan.

     
  2. Amen, how true.

     
  3. Thankfully, I was baptized at birth, and later in grade school was confirmed to the faith. The years in my teens were so bad for me, that I almost fell away from god, and the church. I don’t know, it must have been Gods grace and love that pulled me back. My faith has been strong ever since.

     
    • BigBadCat . . . It is unfortunately not surprising when teenagers fall away from the truths their elders have taught them. The glorious blessing is when they return and live their lives in accordance to The Lord’s teachings. Evidently in your case that was how it played out. Thank goodness.

       
  4. Without Baptism, it is not possible to know God. We human beings are in a broken or fallen state, and we know this, from either the standpoint of Catholic doctrine or dogma, or even from common human experience. Baptism does not rid us of the consequences of our fallen state, but it exorcises, cleanses the soul of all sin and guilt and makes it possible for a person to know God personally. Oh sure, an atheist can read a catechism and repeat back what he read, but he cannot know God in his soul until he is baptized.

    Baptism is essential to the Beatific Vision, what we refer to as Heaven, and one does not have to be a Roman Catholic priest to administer the Sacrament. As a matter of fact, one does not even have to be a man: My paternal grandmother, when a teenager in the early years of the 20th Century, baptized two of her younger friends in their kitchen, as her friends’ parents were virulently anti-Catholic.

    I am, after over 50 years, very sad for a girl I knew in kindergarten, Lonnie, whose father was president of Hunter College (and later Lehman College). Her father had been baptized a Catholic and raised in the faith, and my memory of his situation was that he fought in WW II, specifically in the Battle of the Bulge. Something must have happened to him in that experience, for he renounced his faith, became an atheist, and refused to allow his three children to be baptized or raised in the faith. I have not seen Lonnie for some 50 years now; I looked her up on the internet, and she is nowhere near New York. What happened to her father was tragic; What he did was even worse.

    Now the question arises: How do we believers—imperfect as we may be—spread the Faith in this age, when it is considered off limits to do so given our politically correct and hypersensitive temperament? When it would be considered “impolite” or “offensive” to do so? The talks I’ve had in my Uber have been rare, indeed. When the subject ever does come up, I always tell people I know I am “a poor excuse for a Catholic,” and that no matter what kind of Catholic he or she comes across, he must never take that person as truly representative of the Faith. When they complain about bad priests, or the corruption in the Church, I always respond that America as a Nation has a corruption problem also: Would they renounce their citizenship because of the corruption of someone else? Of Course Not, they or I say.

    So we are in difficult times when everything can change in an instant: 9/11 proved that. We have to work our Faith out, and for me it is a daily challenge. IT IS WORK! PRAYER IS WORK! READING IS WORK! TALKING TO PEOPLE CAN BE WORK! How we MUST do this, as opportunities to talk to people are so rare! How few people are willing to hear it!

     
  5. Pingback: Sunday Devotional: Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Fellowship Of The Minds

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