Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” This scripture encourages us that when we are baptized, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit and he becomes part of us.
Ephesians 4:22-24 “You were taught, regarding your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
Why Praise & Worship
He is within us and around us, every creation in the universe carries his presence, so His presence surrounds us no matter what, we cannot escape His presence but we can tune in (using our free will) and extracts His glory, to function and live up to His ultimate purpose, which is Eternal Life (that is the Goal).
His potential is not our human festivity; Jesus says to submit to His will, Isaiah 55:8-9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, my ways”, declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Unfortunately, in this world, certain circumstances get in our way and human spirit gets crushed and that can lead many of us into uncertainty and fear. Our Fear makes us get disconnected with the original state that God had created, and this also makes us faithless or have no hope in God; opposite of Faith is Fear. We become flesh dependent and that automatically translates into Pride and related Sins, which makes us invite darkness and over time, we go away from the LIGHT of God.
This also means we are losing our relationship with the creator, our God (Yahweh or YHWH)
We have to understand at the outset, that we are praying to God, who is the Truth & Life itself, as John 1 says “All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made, in Him was life and life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”.
We can reverse Fear and move back into a state of Faith of worship or connecting to God, daily and finally come into a state, where we are always connected, and we are slowly transformed or enlightened into His image (original state). When Christ lives in us through the Holy Spirit, we become one, a place of the Christ mind. As John 16:13 ays, Jesus, answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
This oneness in God gives us that completeness or wholeness (HOLY – Psalm 29:2says “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness), which equates to love filled conscious lifestyle through believing in Christ and His faith through Grace (not through our strength, but always by his Grace & Mercy).
When we believe that the “blood of Jesus at the Cross, has paid for all our Sins and has bought us at a price”, this covers the transaction of guilt. Jesus takes our place, and covers the gap of the sinful nature, crucified on the cross.
Finally, by believing in Christ, redemption, we come with a choice to make the Salvation from bondage and being in permanent contact with our almighty God through Jesus Christ our Lord and the saviour.
The journey of worship takes us to the original states and that is Christ mind and the ultimate destiny of worship would be holiness (without holiness, we cannot see God). Seeing father face to face or the creator face to face in Heaven can happen, if we know Him through Worship. So, what’s Worship ?.
1. Deepening the Fire through the Personal Prayer
Prayer is one of the most meaningful gifts given to us by God. Through prayer, we seek higher counsel in our time of trouble or confusion and gather insight into a specific situation. Prayer reinforces faith and helps us to personally connect with God.
The Holy Spirit…will teach you all things…(John. 14:26) 13 The Spirit of truth…will guide you into all truth; He will tell you things to come. (John. 16:13)27 The anointing…abides in you, ..as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things… (1 John. 2:27)
David calmed and quietened His soul (Psalm 131:2). We need to dial down or just take our foot off the gas pedal and listen (without stirring our souls up to fervour). An over-active soul keeps us “out of sync with the subtle movements of the Spirit”. We need to quieten our soul to connect with the Spirit’s whisper in our heart (the still small voice,1 Kings 19:11-13)). We need to quieten the turbulent activity of our soul in our clamouring for attention, pleasure, a restless anxious spirit that is naturally active.
To have fellowship with the Holy Spirit, means we talk often to Him as we give our heart to Him. It means we hear back from Him in a two-way dialogue. The Holy Spirit honours our part in the relationship by not forcing us to dialogue with Him, if we do not want it. He does not force conversation or friendship with anyone who is not desperate or hungry for it. Love requires a voluntary response. He waits to beckon us to a deeper and more continual conversation. It takes a while to get in sync with this (a few months or more…but please persist). The discipline of waiting on the Lord is invaluable for your life.
Set Me (Jesus) as a seal upon your heart…its flames are flames of fire. (Song of Songs 8:6). We set Jesus as a seal on our heart by fellowshipping with the Spirit as God’s light, fire or river in us. The Holy Spirit ministers in us a bright light that drives darkness out and overpowers the darkness of confusion, accusation and rejection (John. 1:5); a consuming fire that devours everything that gets in the way like bitterness and addictions, a flowing river that connects our heart with the spontaneous movement of God’s heart (John. 7:37-39)
2. Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus
Jesus left Nazareth until He reached Bethany beyond the Jordan and went to John for baptism. Jesus joined in the line of penitents asking for baptism, yet he was pure, free from all sin. He was the one who would say to the Jews, “Who among you can provide evidence that I have committed a sin.” John knew of Jesus from the revelation and inspiration of the Holy Spirit (John 1:32). John, however, objected to baptizing Jesus saying, “I am the one that needs you to baptize me!” But upon Jesus’ continued insistence, John acquiesced and baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. Therefore, the water of the Jordan River became holy and all the waters that flow along the baptism site were purified, reviving the souls of people at every place and time.
As Jesus was coming out of the water, He saw the heavens open up and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove. He heard a voice from above say, “You are my beloved son, with whom I am well-pleased.” Then the Spirit took Jesus into the wilderness where he remained for forty days, and where Satan tempted him. In the wilderness, Jesus dwelt among the wild beasts, but the angels looked after him.
After Jesus came back from the wilderness to Bethany beyond the Jordan, He found John sitting with two of his students. When John saw Jesus he said to his students, “This is the Lamb of God who will take away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Hearing this, the two students decided to follow Jesus and were in turn followed by three others, among them Peter.
Jesus carried the torch of faith from John the Baptist, the torch that had also been carried by Moses, Elijah and the other prophets. From Bethany beyond the Jordan, Jesus declared the good news of God, saying, “The hour draws near and the Kingdom of God is at hand ! So, repent and have faith in the good news of God !”
After returning to Jerusalem, a dispute arose between Jesus and the Jews during the festival of the renovation of the Temple. When this happened Jesus fled back across the Jordan to Bethany where John was still baptizing. The people warmly received Jesus and many came to him from the surrounding towns and villages, from Salt, Amman, Madaba, and Hisban. They brought their sick to Him. He cured them, and many people came to believe in Him.
From Bethany beyond the Jordan, Jesus returned to Jerusalem only to have to flee again, this time to Ephraim near Ramallah. Later He returned to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and the events of His passion, death, and resurrection would follow.
3. Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Apostles
Many believe that the entry point of salvation is at baptism. Paul says otherwise. In Romans 10 He says that if we “confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead, we shall be saved”. The condition of salvation is faith, and confession of that faith is the only evidence needed. We, therefore, baptize people who have had their consciences purged from dead works to serve the living God. That is why the Apostle Peter called baptism “the answer of a good conscience toward God”. If we are unsaved sinners prior to baptism, we could hardly “answer in good conscience”. The order of events, normally, is
You Must Hear The Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is their salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith, it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thessalonians. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey Him, not to make Him Lord, but because He already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal saviour.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized For The Remission Of Sins
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to His church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)