Part 2 – Who are we?
CHAPTER 3 continued – WHO I AM IN CHRIST BECAUSE OF WHO CHRIST IS IN ME
EXPOSITION OF THE 50 FACTS OF SALVATION[learn_more caption=”CMC Editor’s Note”] In Ward Brandenstein’s introduction to chapter three he writes: “There is freedom from living a guilt-ridden life to those who have received Christ, once the person learns his true identity in Christ. All of the amazing facts occur at the moment that a person receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Saviour!” Towards the close of his introduction to the 50 Facts he adds: “All of the facts are positional truths. Some may not be apparent as an evident experience at the moment of salvation. (What the believer is to do as a practical result of knowing who he is will be considered under the last section of walking in the Spirit.) These wonderful facts of salvation allow us to know who we are in Christ.” In our online presentation of these 50 facts of salvation we will consider one or more facts per week. We trust that you will be blessed as you follow along Ward Brandenstein’s unfolding of these precious truths.[/learn_more]
Fact 1 – Accepted
(Eph. 1:6)…He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.
We are accepted in God’s sight as acceptably as Jesus Christ is accepted. This fact brings healing to the souls of those who have experienced rejection in their life in Adam (before their salvation).
Acceptance in Christ provides the believer with a sense of well-being and wholesomeness as he appropriates this acceptance by faith, to replace his feeling of worthlessness and despair.
Fact 2 – Adopted
(Gal. 4:5)…That we might receive the adoption of sons.
(Rom. 8:15-17)…Ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, “Abba, Father”. The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; And if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ…
(Rom. 8:23)…Ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our body.
(Eph. 1:5), Having predestinated us unto the adoption of sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.
The word, adoption, is frequently misapplied in preaching and teaching to mean “adopted into God’s family”. This misapplication conveys an incorrect understanding of adoption as used in Scripture. The believer is born into God’s family through the new birth, which will be considered subsequently. The translation of the Greek word, huisthesia, literally means placing as a son, but does not refer to the manner in which one becomes a son. Rather, huisthesia (adoption) refers to the principle that God considers each individual born into His family as an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. As seen in Ephesians 1:5, God set the destiny for each one who is in Christ to ultimately share fully in inheriting everything that our Lord Jesus Christ receives in His glorification. According to Romans 8:23, this inheritance is awaiting the redemption of our body, which is, the resurrection of our body. The right of inheritance will be considered further under Heirs of God and Predestined to An Inheritance.
Fact 3 – Baptized In The Spirit
Spirit Baptism refers to what a believer is. (Since water baptism refers to what a believer does, rather than what the believer is, it will not be referred to here, although water baptism is important as a step of obedience.) Please see Appendix D, Baptism, for lists of Scriptures that refer to water baptism and to Spirit baptism.
The following Scriptures refer to Spirit Baptism:
(Matt. 3:11)…He who cometh after me is mightier than I…He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire.
(Acts 1:5), For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.
(I Cor. 12:13), For by one Spirit were we all baptized into one body…and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
(Rom. 6:3), Know ye not that, as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
(Rom. 8:9,10), But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.
(Col. 2:12), Buried with Him in baptism, in which also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.
In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist promised that the coming Messiah would baptize with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:5, Jesus said that the disciples would be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now, “now” referring to the time in which this statement was spoken. This baptism with the Spirit was fully realized on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, although the word, baptism, does not occur in that account. Some teachers consider the baptism of the Spirit to be the same thing as the speaking in tongues in Acts 2:4. Although the two experiences of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the disciples’ speaking in other tongues apparently occurred simultaneously, they are taught as separate and distinct principles in I Corinthians, chapters 12 and 14, as to their subsequent applications. To regard these two distinct experiences as being one and the same, has created confusion and divisions. In I Corinthians 3:3, Paul states that carnality is characterized as being strife and divisions, so that a teaching that causes divisions is not consistent with the principle of the unity of the Spirit, (Eph. 4:3).
It is necessary to gain some understanding of the meaning of the word, baptism, in order to alleviate confusion. Since the English word is a transliteration of the Greek baptizo, the subsequent meaning in the minds of many people would be to regard baptism chiefly in a sacramental or initiatory ceremony of water baptism. However, water baptism is not always the meaning that is implied. In I Corinthians 10:2, the word, baptized, conveys an idea of identification or united together when Paul states, …All our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea, (I Cor. 10:1,2). In contrast to the idea of the word, baptism, to refer to water baptism, this passage of I Corinthians 10:1,2 carries the opposite meaning, i.e., baptism without water, since the experience of Israel’s going through the Red Sea was on dry ground, the water being held back. Paul is using the word, baptized, to say that Israel was joined with Moses while passing through the Red sea, while being under the cloud (v.1), while eating the spiritual food (v.3), and while drinking the water flowing from the Rock (v.4). The meaning of identification for baptized is consistent in all of the various uses of the word, baptizo, throughout Scripture, whereas water baptism would apply in only some of the instances of baptizo, as determined by the Scriptural context.
Whenever there is a command to be baptized, as in the great commission by Jesus in Matthew 28:19, and in Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:38, the passage refers to water baptism, because Spirit baptism is not something that mankind can enact or perform. (See Appendix D for the list of Scriptures where the words, baptism or baptize, convey the meaning of water baptism.)
Some confusion has occurred also by attributing the baptism of the Holy Spirit to imparting to the individual the supernatural enduement of a gift for the benefit of one’s own personal blessing. In the Spirit is the meaning of the Greek phrase which appears both in Acts 1:5 and in I Corinthians 12:13. In Acts 1:5, in the Holy Spirit is translated in the King James Version as with the Holy Ghost. In one Spirit in I Corinthians 12:13 is translated in the same King James Version as by one Spirit. Both of these verses in the Greek have the meaning, rather than with and by, of “in” the Holy Spirit or “in” one Spirit. In is consistent with Jesus’ statement in John 14:17, and shall be in you, when He promises that He will give the Holy Spirit to the disciples, when He says,
…The Spirit of truth…ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you (through Jesus’ presence with them), and shall be in you (to the Christians after the Holy Spirit’s descent at Pentecost).
In this passage of John 14:17, Jesus promises the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
Note also that in John 17:21, Jesus begins to teach the indwelling presence of the Father and of the Son (also initially fulfilled at Pentecost), as well as the placing of the believer in Christ, when He says,
That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.
On the basis of this truth of our mutual identification with the Father and the Son, it is consistent to include the truth of our mutual identification with the Spirit in the use of the preposition, in, in John 14:17, when referring to the Holy Spirit’s presence in the believer, and the believer’s being in the Holy Spirit. Paul brings out this truth of mutual identification in his passage in Romans 8:9, when he says,
But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.
It might clarify this truth in our minds to think of the baptism in the Spirit as being immersed into the Spirit (a meaning of the root word, bapto, in the Greek).
Another major point of disagreement is often seen as to when the baptism in the Spirit occurs. In Acts 1:5, Jesus promised that the ones hearing Him just prior to His ascension would be baptized “in” the Holy Spirit not many days from now. In verse 3, we see that the time that Jesus gave this promise was forty days after His death. Pentecost occurred fifty days after His death, so within ten days after Jesus promised the baptism in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit came. The baptism in the Spirit that Jesus promised occurred only on the day of Pentecost. The following paragraphs will clarify this.
The word, baptism, promised by Jesus in Acts 1:5, does not appear in chapter 2 in describing the events on the day of Pentecost, but the baptism that Jesus promised was fulfilled when three things happened concurrently to the apostles: First, they were baptized in the Spirit (identification with Christ); secondly, they were filled with the Holy Spirit (under His sovereign control, Acts 2:4); thirdly, they spoke in languages other than their native language (spiritual gifts, Acts 2:4). The filling of the Spirit will be considered on page 189 in regards to the Christian’s walk in the Spirit in the section, The Christian Life is a Walk.
Throughout the book of Acts, references usually cited as proof of the baptism of the Spirit never include the word, baptism. Instead, several references speak of receiving the Holy Spirit, such as Acts 8:15,17,19; 10:47; 19:2. Other passages state that the Holy Spirit fell on people, as in Acts 10:44 and 11:15. The significance of the omission of the word, baptism, in these passages is consistent with the principle that the baptism in the Spirit occurred only on the day of Pentecost. When a person receives Christ as Saviour, he also receives the Holy Spirit and is thereby identified with the baptism that took place at Pentecost.
In addition to the foregoing passages of Acts 1:5 and Acts, chapter 2, that teach the baptism in the Spirit, only one other passage, I Corinthians 12:13, explains the baptism of the Spirit.
The time of the baptism in the Spirit is much in Paul’s mind as he uses the aorist tense, a distinctive tense in the Greek language. In our English translations, it would appear as a past tense, but the past tense does not adequately convey the sense of the aorist tense in the Greek. The past tense of the English could lead us to think that Paul has in view an experience each individual had at a particular point in one’s own lifetime. By using the aorist tense, Paul (under the control of the Holy Spirit) wants us to understand that Spirit baptism occurred once for all with the resulting benefit continuing into the future (the present age). The use of the aorist tense in Romans 6:6 indicates the believer’s co-crucifixion as to the old man at Christ’s crucifixion. Similarly, the use of the aorist tense in the passage, I Corinthians 12:13, would indicate the believer’s co-baptism in the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, at which time, from God’s standpoint, the placement into the Spirit of every believer occurred, with the outworking of it subsequently during the believer’s lifetime. Therefore, the believer need not wait for an experience to prove the Spirit’s presence. The work of the Spirit which relates to a Christian’s experience is the filling of the Spirit, and will be considered on page 189 along with The Walk in the Spirit.) The child of God can live in the truth that he is in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9), and the Spirit is in him from the moment of salvation onward.
Because Jesus is in the believer, Jesus will live His life out through the believer as he submits to the Spirit’s control. The believer does not have to try to live the Christian life, but should allow Christ to live it for him! This aspect of the believer’s “doing” will be covered in the latter section of the book under How To Walk in the Spirit, p. 165.
Next Week: Facts 4+
Copyright © 1996 A. Ward Brandenstein
Used with permission.
A. Ward Brandenstein
Pastor Ward earned an M.A. in Guidance and Counselling from Eastern Michigan University after taking special courses in psychology at Wayne State University, and earned a Bachelor of Theology (Th.B.) from Baptist Bible College and Seminary with Greek and Hebrew studies, and earned a diploma from Philadelphia Bible Institute (now Cairn U.), including New Testament Greek studies. His knowledge of the Bible and close walk with God are appreciated by all who know him and have sat under his teaching. Pastor Brandenstein and his wife Rose Ann reside in California, teaching college level singles and married couples, young professionals, and retired pastors and missionaries.