Salvation and The Church: Only A Work of The Spirit

Today’s message summary of September 8, 2019 from Pastor Gus Brown:

“The Holy Ghost is the life of the church, constituting and sustaining its union with Christ, the living head–the church is the body of Christ.”  –A. B. Simpson

One baptism that we are able to see is the water baptism, but we are told in Scripture, understanding by faith, that Jesus would baptize the believer with the Holy Spirit. We are placed within the body of Christ by the Spirit, who is doing this work within the believer and through the believer.

The Holy Spirit is working through all of believers in Jesus Christ.

“The union must be vital; the work must be divine. It is called a baptism. This word expresses the deep truth of death and resurrection. It is by death of our natural life and resurrection life of the Lord Jesus, that we become incorporated into His glorious body and united with His life as the great Head of the Church”  –A. B. Simpson

Matthew 20:22-23 ESV

Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

Jesus was asking if the two men could be baptized into what he was going to be baptized into. When you go through suffering and anguish, will you still serve Jesus Christ?

Why is it important that Jesus be removed from His disciples?

John 16:5-7

But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

The disciples were grieving because they did not understand why he was leaving them. They had the privilege of witnessing and experiencing life with Jesus, including all of His miracles and teaching.

He had to share with them that it was good for Him to leave in order for the Spirit to come and minister to them. The Spirit was to come to convict the world of sin with judgment in righteousness (John 16:8).

The Spirit would guide them, and all believers, into all truth.

What happens at Pentecost that is not shared with the disciples?

The Spirit arrives at the Pentecost to fulfill Jesus’s promise to his disciples. The Spirit is the one who baptizes. There is water baptism, and there is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

What is it that Jesus could not do with His disciples being in bodily form that the Spirit is able to do with them?

This we do know:

  • There is no church while Jesus was present.
  • There was no true unity of the believer while Jesus was present. (There was still individuality. Through the Spirit we are brothers and sisters in Christ within the body of Christ.)
  • There is no body of Christ while Jesus was present (We first practice our Christianity on each fellow believer before we share it with others.)
  • There is no engrafting into Jesus while he was present in bodily form. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that creates the sanctification of believers in Christ where the church becomes the bride of Christ.

Jesus Christ’s work was to save you through atonement for sin.  The Holy Spirit performs all of the finishing work.

Nowhere is it stated that Jesus Himself would baptize anyone into His body. The result of the Holy Spirit coming is the beginning of the church and the body of Christ.

The Holy Spirit is not the body of Christ, but is the One who places us in the person of Jesus. The baptism of the Holy Spirit happens mysteriously, and it happens by faith.

Galatians 3:27-29

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

1 Corinthians 6:16-17

Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

Ephesians 5:29-32

For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

The church is reminded that none of this is the work of man…it is a work of the triune God.  It is indeed a great mystery, but it is complete according to our faith and through the actions of those who believe in Jesus Christ.

Scripture has little to say directly on this subject. We are told we are baptized into one body by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13), and we are merely told “the how” it takes place (1 Corinthians 12:18).

1 Corinthians 12:12-14

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many.

1 Corinthians 12:17-20

If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

The Holy Spirit puts us into the body of Christ and the church as the bride of Christ. This baptism occurs immediately within the acceptance of Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.

1 Corinthians 12:13

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

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