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Ask The Pastor

Sunday, July 7, 2002

> Hi.
> I've read the questions and answers posted on this webpage and I
> managed to understand a little more on the difference between the Jews
> and Christians. But what I still don't understand is: If the Jews do
> not recognize Jesus as the Messiah, then who do they worship?
> And what does it exactly meant by "baptism in the Holy Spirit"? Is
> water baptism sufficient?
> Please advise.
> Thanks.
> In Christ,
> Karen


You asked three good questions. Let's deal with each one:

First question: If the Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah, then who do they worship?

Response: The religious Jews seek to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but this creates a problem for them. When they rejected Jesus as Messiah, they forfeited their direct access to God. And while they hoped to continue with ancient Judaism, it became impossible. Ancient Judaism is fulfilled in the Messiah. Plus, ancient Judaism had to have its blood sacrifices. The temple was destroyed in 70 a.d. So, what you see as Judaism today is not Biblical Judaism. It is a religion that came out of the destruction of the temple.

Second question: What is exactly meant by the term 'baptism in the Holy Spirit'?

Response: The term 'baptism of the Holy Spirit' expresses what happens when a person is born again. (Born again also means to be born from above.) The apostle Paul explains it this way: "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit." (1Co12:13)

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a baptism of redemption. It is in this operation that the Spirit of God places our lives into Jesus Christ. We are said to be 'clothed with Christ.' It is also in this experience where the Holy Spirit testifies to our spirit that we are children of God. (Cf. Gal3:27; Rom8:14-17)

Third question: Is water baptism sufficient?

Response: Some teach that water baptism is where the baptism of the Holy Spirit (birth from above) takes place, but this is not true to the Scriptures. Certainly water baptism is an important part of our turning to the Lord, but water baptism by itself is not sufficient to salvation. A person must turn from their sins, and in this turning, they must take to themselves Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. (Cf. John 1:12,13)

I hope this helps.

Bro. Buddy Martin - Ask the Pastor

Lawrence "Buddy" Martin

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