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Thanks for responding. I especially like your Isaiah 53:7. Your Holy Spirit answer surprised me using Peter’s command in Acts. I would say that is one of the more unique answers and approaches I have seen.Reply
Even though Jesus and the New Testament writers changed, for the better, the terms and conditons of the New Covenant, Scripture is clear that “some” people have received the Holy Spirit, without involving Acts 2:38. For people after the death and resurrection of the Messiah, the only definitive scripture I see about how to obtain the Holy Spirit is Acts 2:38. My wife and I have been doing a lot of searching for churches that have beliefs we can get behind and it is actually fairly difficult. The oddness, no weirdness that is out there is amazing. One group, and I will not call them a church, says that you NEED to have the laying on of hands specifically to get the Holy Spirit and that Acts 2:38 is NOT the way. Odd, though, when I was baptized as an adult, was dunked 3 times, and they had to use their hands to do so. Of course have no memories of when I was baptized as a child….but they also had to use their hands to do so….Reply
I hope you find a church. I am not too concerned about small differences like the laying of hands, or talking in tongues. We were at a church for 38 years before changing because we moved 40 miles away. When looking for a church in Orange County, CA, we narrowed the search down to one, after visiting about six. We listed nine questions for the Head Pastor and met with him personally. The questions and observations were not about the practice but commitment. For example, we wanted a church that was deeply tied into the community. We wanted a church that has both men and women on the pastoral staff. We found one that we think is excellent.
I have corresponded with people in Africa that churches that use smaller things to divide people, like “you were not baptized if you were not dunked. Pouring of water over your head doesn’t count.” I really disagree with Pastors who are trite like this. We are to gather people together, not look for ways to drive them apart. The Spirit comes to us through our heart.
Thanks for your comments! Very insightful!Reply
Rick’s thoughts on John 1:29-34
1. What did John mean by “lamb of God?” Why not “lion” of God, or “Son” of God. Why is Jesus the “lamb of God?”
I don’t see it in these comments, but in third world countries many have answered that Jesus is the Lamb of God because of humility, which has some relevance. The real reason for Jesus’s title as the “Lamb of God” is that he took the place of the traditional sacrifice of the Jews, specifically on Passover. Jesus replaced the sacrificial lamb on Passover as an unblemished lamb, not just for those present, but all of society.
To understand who Jesus was and what He did, we must begin with the Old Testament, which contains many prophecies concerning the coming of Christ as a “guilt offering” (Isaiah 53:10) among other types of sacrifices. In fact, the whole sacrificial system established by God in the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) set the stage for the coming of Jesus Christ, who is the perfect sacrifice God would provide as atonement for the sins of His people (Romans 8:3; Hebrews 10).
It is arguable that the religious leaders in Jesus’s time would have also been familiar with the Old Testament prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah, who foretold the coming of One who would be brought “like a lamb led to the slaughter” (Jeremiah 11:19; Isaiah 53:7) and whose sufferings and sacrifice would provide redemption for Israel. I would say that they did not make the connection because of the predominate belief that the Messiah would be a political redeemer of Israel.
“But with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Peter 1: 19)
2. Was John related to Jesus? How? If so, “how could he not know him?”
John the Baptist was related to Jesus because their mothers were related. (Luke 1:36). “On the eighth day during the circumcision and naming ceremony, the people were going to name the baby Zechariah after his father, but Elizabeth prevented them saying, ‘No; he shall be called John’ ( Luke 1:60 ). Elizabeth believed what the angel had told Zechariah and she stood firm in obeying the command to name the baby John. John 1:33-35 makes this fact confusing, but it is assumed that John did not know Jesus as the Messiah that he envisioned, but as his cousin. God informed John as to Jesus’s identity. “And I, myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”
John then knew Jesus was the Messiah but may have held the wrong idea that Jesus was going to save the Jews from the Romans. This became apparent in Matthew 11:1-11:19, where Jesus responds, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” These acts were the “calling card” of the Messiah to come from Isaiah 35:3-6. “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.
3. As a Christian, do you feel like the Lamb of God is walking with you every day?
I have felt the Lamb of God in my presence, whether through God’s Holy Spirit or guardian angels, or any other ways I don’t clearly understand. This impact may be through my conscience which acts as a guardrail for my words and behavior. The struggle is to walk and commit to “God’s timing” for prayers to be answered.Reply
1. Isa 53:7Reply
3. only definitive way to get Holy Spirit by fulfilling acts 2:38
4. if He is in us and we are in Him, have to be