What a Body!
1 Corinthians 12:12-13
I. What this implies:
That its members, like a living organism, are:
A. Animated by one spirit (verse 13)
Further clarification of what the baptism of the Holy Spirit is:
1. Acts 1:5. Here the verb used is βαπτισθήσεσθε, in or with the Holy Spirit. This is in the future indicative passive indicating that at a future date, “not many days later,” the people to whom repentance and the baptism of repentance was preached (by John and the Lord and later by the Apostles and others) were going to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
2. 1 Corinthians 12:13. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one spirit.” The translation of this is unfortunate. That which is translated “by” in the phrase “by one Spirit” is the same preposition ἐν, in or with used by John and in Acts 1:5. It is “for” “with” or “in one Spirit.”
a) There is no doubt whatsoever that Paul is speaking here not of physical baptism but of spiritual baptism.
b) Since John declared that it was the Lord Jesus, and Christ Himself made it very plain in Acts 1:5 that He was going to spiritually baptize all believers, it is evident that the baptizer here is Christ and the element is the Holy Spirit.
c) This is explained not as an experience for selective believers. Paul does not tell us that only some, the most spiritual in Corinth, were baptized by Christ with the Holy Spirit, but all, even those weak and carnal believers so graphically described in 1 Corinthians 1:3 were included. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a work of Christ of historical importance such as His crucifixion, His resurrection and His ascension.
d) What He did by sending the Holy Spirit into the world consequent to His departure from earth, as described in John 16:5-14, was in fulfillment of the prophecy of John and of Himself.
e) The purpose of this baptism in the Holy Spirit was the attachment of truly repentant believers into the body of Christ. “For with one Spirit are we all baptized (or, better still, we were all baptized) into one body.” This means that when the Lord Jesus witnesses our repentance and baptism to be genuine, then He Himself attaches us to His body through the miraculous operation of the Holy Spirit.
1. Who Is Baptized with the Holy Spirit?
a. Observe the word πάντες, “all,” occurring twice. Even the immature, carnal Christians of Corinth (1 Cor. 3:1-3) and all true believers whose faith was energized by the Holy Spirit, were baptized into the body of Christ.
c. Clearly this is not an experience of individual believers as a sign of maturity, but it is something Jesus Christ accomplished for us all as a result of His incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. He will finally make the identities of those in His body known at His coming again (Rom. 8:21).
2. When Does This Baptism in the Holy Spirit Take Place?
a. Before we are Christians, the Holy Spirit’s only relation to us is that He convicts us of sin (John 16:8).
b) The verb that is used is ἐβαπτίσθημεν, which is the aorist passive indicating that this occurred in the past as a once and for all act.
c. Then when we trust the work of Christ for us on the cross, our relation to the Holy Spirit changes (John 14:17; Rom. 8:14).
d. Genuine believers are joined to His body when they are saved. When this joining is done by Christ, it is no more “our” salvation but “His,” and once He has made us part of His body no one has the power to tear His body apart by annulling His work.
Baptism of Repentance
A. The word “repentance” means a change of mind, μετάνοια.
1. There is another Greek word which is also translated repentance, μεταμεληθείς, which is from the verb μεταμέλομαι.
2. This latter verb is used to indicate, for instance, Judas’ change of mind after he betrayed the Lord Jesus (Matt. 27:3). Judas did not really repent unto salvation, but he simply regretted his action because of its consequences.
3. Μεταμελητηείς is the change that a criminal brings about in his life because he is afraid lest he be caught and punished. That is not true repentance. True repentance is caused by a deep conviction and turning from the sin which has alienated the individual from God.
B. There are five elements in true repentance:
1. A reckoning with the past in freeing the individual from the guilt of sin.
2. A change of mind. There is a completely new attitude toward life and God in the person who truly repents.
3. Contrition of heart. One who truly repents feels sorry for his past sin and for the sin that exists all around him.
4. A change of conduct. A person whose life is not changed has never truly repented.
5. Turning over the controls of one’s life to God.
B. Mutually dependant (verse 14-18)
The vine and the branches (John 15:5)
The head and the body (Ephesians 1:22, 23)
The meat eaten and the meat eater (John 6:56)
C. United for one end (19-20)
II. What it requires in the members:
A. Humility and contentment (verse 21-24)
B. Unity and sympathy (25-26)
As we all grow older we feel the pains that creep into our once strong and fluid joints. Our hands hurt when they do their work. Our knees creak when we stoop down. Our backs and necks are sore when we sleep wrong. The ailments we suffer from are seemingly endless. We are aware of those faulty parts, are we not? When we have a pain in any portion of the body we tend to focus on that area. We aren’t so mindful of the hundreds of other parts that don’t hurt. We do that because we go to the aid of the weakest members. They need the attention, or at least they demand it. The spiritual implications of these thoughts are many.
C. Gratitude and fidelity (27-31)
Water Baptism and the Holy Spirit
Key Verse: Acts 8:15
I. Philip Baptized Believers and Unbelievers with Water
A. Many in Samaria were baptized after hearing Philip preach about Christ and believing “the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 8:12).
B. Among them was Simon the magician who had been influencing the people in that region with his magic. Although Simon claimed to be a believer, his heart had not yet been enlightened by the Holy Spirit.
II. The Apostles Responded to the Situation
A. After hearing “that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John” (Acts 8:14).
B. The Apostles’ concern was that the believers receive the Holy Ghost (Acts 8:15, 17), the sign of true acceptance by God (Matt. 3:11; Acts 10:44-48).
III. Water Baptism Is Invalid without the Holy Spirit
A. The believers’ faith was confirmed and their salvation made sure when they received the Holy Ghost (Acts 8:17; 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; Eph. 1:13, 14).
B. However, Simon, who observed the proceedings, completely misunderstood their significance. He thought the Holy Ghost was some kind of magical power that could be purchased with money (Acts 8:18, 19).
C. The Apostles rebuked Simon and said that he was still “in the bond of iniquity” and needed to “repent” (Acts 8:22, 23) despite his previous confession and water baptism (Acts 8:13).
D. Jesus had promised that the Holy Ghost would direct His followers into “all truth” (John 16:13). Simon’s ignorance of the truth was proof that his heart had not yet been changed by the Holy Ghost and was “not right in the sight of God” (Acts 8:21); water baptism alone had not saved him. Only the Holy Spirit can truly join us to the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13).