Wednesday, September 12, 2012

John the Baptist and the Apostle Peter

John the Baptist and the Apostle Peter preached the same message except for one distinction. John preached “a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:4). Peter added the Holy Spirit to the mix: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39). Both baptized in water, but only Peter promised the Holy Spirit in addition to forgiveness of sins! The Holy Spirit’s presence was the sign that the kingdom had already arrived. It was God’s eschatological gift to his people. Just as God sent the Holy Spirit upon Jesus at his baptism, so he pours out the Spirit on Jesus’ disciples when they are baptized. As James Dunn writes, “Wherever the Spirit is there is the Kingdom of God.” The question remains, if Peter promised the Holy Spirit to all who were baptized in Jesus’ name, should we do the same?

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