If you have raised children, at one time or another, you have heard one of your children scream to a sibling at the top of their lungs, “It’s just not fair. It’s mine!” And, while you and I aren’t children any longer, we too can find ourselves at times looking at situations and inwardly thinking that very same thought. Come on, you know that I am right. Our minds race with thoughts of “It’s unfair. I’m missing out on what should be mine.”
Where in the world am I going with this thought? There is a great possibility that you have, for whatever reason, been robbed of an important relationship with the Holy Spirit. And, I will go on record and say that “it’s just not fair” that you have been missing out on what should be yours.
Consider these verses.
“So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start all over again with the importance of turning away from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.” Hebrews 6:1-3 (New Living Translation)
While reading this passage some time ago, I wrote “Christianity 101” in my Bible’s margin alongside Paul’s words. From what I can see, the three verses cover the foundational, basic values of our faith. It is in this passage that I discovered what might be an “it’s just not fair” reality in our life.
Read these verses again. In Paul’s letter to the Hebrew believers, he used the phrase “…further instruction about baptisms…” Did you notice that the word “baptisms” is written in a plural form which indicates that there is more than one baptism? The “it’s just not fair” could lie in the reality that many Jesus-loving believers are totally missing out on all of the benefits that accompany all of the baptisms (plural).
I am quite certain that you know of the first baptism. This is our baptism into the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 6:3-4) This baptism is our salvation. The second baptism is also no mystery to many believers. It is water baptism. We read of this in Matthew 28:18-20. To me, water baptism is one of the most beautiful celebrations in our life as a believer as we testify of our salvation and confirm our identity in Christ.
While these baptisms are so life-changing and powerful, in light of the scriptures, there is a missing baptism in the life of many believers. Having experienced these two baptisms, we aren’t to stop. There is more!
We learn of a third baptism when John the Baptist foretold…
“…He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
Matthew 3:11 (New Living Translation)
Later, Jesus said to His followers just before He returned to heaven…
“John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 1:5 (New Living Translation)
The prophecies were fulfilled. (Acts 2:1-4). In all actuality, it might be better to write that the Day of Pentecost was the beginning of the fulfillment (Acts 2:16-18) for this empowering baptism (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). The baptism in the Holy Spirit continues today for every Jesus-loving believer who asks (Luke 11:13).
The choice is ours to make. One baptism? Two baptisms? Or three baptisms? To me, it is a no-brainer. I don’t want an “it’s just not fair” to come out of my mouth. Instead, I want to declare “all three baptisms are mine!” I will not miss out on and fail to experience and walk in all of this Christianity 101’s way of life. How about you?