By One Spirit

Text: I Corinthians 12:1-13


I.         How does one become a Christian?

            A.        You’ll find a wide variety of answers in the world. You could even be left with the impression that there isn’t really a single way at all.

            B.        John 14:6 - There is only one way to God the Father and that is through Jesus Christ

            C.        Ephesians 2:18

                        1.         Again we are told that we have access to the Father through Jesus - John 10:9

                        2.         It was opened by Jesus’ sacrifice - Hebrews 10:19-20

                        3.         But agency that takes us through the doorway opened by Jesus is the Holy Spirit

II.        People reading I Corinthians 12:13 often misapplied

            A.        It is a common verse to say that it is through the baptism of the Holy Spirit that people enter the church

            B.        But we must ask: when Paul said, “by one Spirit,” did he mean that the Spirit was

                        1.         the medium in which we were baptized, or

                        2.         the agency that directed us to be baptized?

                        3.         It makes quite a difference.

            C.        Since we all were baptized by the one Spirit, we can settle the question by examining some of the conversions

III.       Medium or Agency?

            A.        Acts 2:36-41 - How did these people learn what to do?

                        1.         Peter taught them.

                        2.         But Peter was being guided by the Holy Spirit - Acts 2:4, 14-18

                        3.         Just as Jesus had promised - Acts 1:8

                        4.         Therefore, the Holy Spirit was the agency who moved these people to be baptized into one body.

            B.        Acts 8:26-38 - How did the eunuch learn how to be saved?

                        1.         Philip taught him

                        2.         But Philip was being guided by the Holy Spirit

                        3.         And what Philip taught was the Word of God, which came by the Holy Spirit - II Peter 1:19-21

                        4.         Therefore, the Holy Spirit was the agency who moved the eunuch to be baptized.

                        5.         The medium in which the eunuch was baptized was water.

            C.        Acts 10:34-48 - Who commanded Cornelius and his household to be baptized in water?

                        1.         Peter commanded them.

                        2.         But Peter was being guided by the Holy Spirit

                        3.         The Spirit coming upon the household was not the baptism commanded, because the command came afterwards as a result of the Spirit’s evidence of acceptance of Cornelius’ household

                        4.         Therefore, the Holy Spirit was the agency who directed these people to be baptized.

                        5.         The medium in which they were baptized was water.

            D.        Acts 18:8 - What lead the Corinthians to be baptized?

                        1.         Paul taught them the word of God.

                        2.         Thus the agency that led them to believe and baptize was the Holy Spirit.

IV.      All who were baptized were led to do so by the teaching of God’s word

            A.        Romans 10:14-17 - Faith comes from the word of God

            B.        God’s word came to men by the Holy Spirit

            C.        When people heard the teachings given by the Spirit and believed them, they were baptized - Romans 6:3-4

                        1.         There is no exception to this rule in the New Testament

                        2.         They all came to God through Jesus Christ in the same way

                        3.         Baptism in water was the medium in which people came in contact with the death of Christ

            D.        The Spirit was the agency by whom people came to know they need salvation and the way to gain that salvation

V.        John 3:5 - Born of water and the Spirit

            A.        It takes both.

            B.        Have you accept the words of the Spirit? Have you been baptized into Jesus’ death?

            C.        Titus 3:3-7

            D.        Have gladly received the Spirit’s words and acted accordingly?