The Spirits Power in The Church
A Sermon on John 1:26-33
John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Behold, the Lamb of God
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ (ESV)
What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? Is it a saving experience? In Dr. Lloyd-Jones' exposition of John 1:26–33, he expounds on the outwards biblical markers of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and argues for its essential (but not salvific) need in the church. He notes this need because the only true knowledge of God comes through the Holy Spirit. After discussing the internal markers of being Baptized by the Holy Spirit (such as a sense of God’s holiness, humility, assurance of the love of God, etc.) in the previous sermon, he moves on to address the outward. First, He argues that a Biblical marker is often physical phenomenon— like a shining face. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones notes stories such as Stephen and Moses, and also recounts stories in church history. Second, he argues that Baptism can be seen through the power dispensed to men and women in private conversations and preaching. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones bemoans the academic preaching that surrounds the church; and notes that the Disciples had all the facts when Jesus ascended, but Jesus knew they needed the Holy Spirit. He ends with the following question: do you know anything of this power?