I am a sucker for the “free gift with your purchase” selling gimmick. Seriously, I have to stop and ask myself, “Do I really need what is offered just to get the bonus items?” It is always fun to get a little something extra for your money, isn’t it? The best deal I have ever found is what is offered to me absolutely freely because it has been purchased by someone else for me – the grace of God.
Jesus is the one who purchased that gift for me, for everyone really, when He willingly died on a cross for full payment of the sins of the world – for my sins, for your sins. By His choice, His blood flows over our sins and cancels our debt when we believe in Him – as the perfect Son of God, as our Savior who died, was buried and is now the resurrected Lord and King. The grace of God that offers us salvation and eternal life was Christ’s purchase; it is freely given and cannot be earned by us in any manner.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
As with the “free gift with purchase” sales policy, there is something you are asked to do – you have to make a choice to believe. To confirm your choice, you are asked to:
- Confess Jesus Christ as Son, Savior, Lord and resurrected King.
- Be buried with Christ in water baptism. This represents your old man (your old self/nature/way of life) being buried with Christ in His death. Therefore, it is being fully submerged under the water – after all, a dead body isn’t just sprinkled with dirt and left exposed. That would result in a spread of disease and sickness.
- Be raised with Him as a new creation (new self/nature/way of life). The old man is dead, a buried corpse, so don’t keep digging it up and dragging it around!
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit. This step is so key that Jesus modeled and emphasized it!
Jesus had left His position in Heaven to be born as a human being on earth. He experienced life as we experience it, and yet didn’t sin. At the age of 30, we are told in Luke 3:21 -22 that Jesus was baptized in water by John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove. Then, in Luke 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where He was tempted for 40 days by the devil – and He stood firm, not yielding to the devil. Following this, we are told in Luke 4:14-21 that Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit and announced at the beginning of His ministry that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him because He anointed Jesus to preach the Gospel , proclaim release to captives, recover sight to the blind, set free those who are downtrodden, and proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. Do you see how the indwelling Holy Spirit empowered and equipped Jesus for what the Father sent His Son to do? That is what Jesus wants for us as His warriors!
Jesus told his disciples in John 16:7, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper [Holy Spirit] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” In John 20-12-22, the resurrected Jesus breathed on His apostles an initial deposit of the Holy Spirit – defined in Luke 24:49 as “the promise of the Father upon them” and that they will be “clothed with power [Holy Spirit] from on high”. This is also recorded in Acts 1, where Luke reiterates that Jesus gathered the apostles and instructed them to wait in Jerusalem for what the Father has promised – they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit and receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them after Jesus has ascended to Heaven. We see them receiving that power in Acts 2. That same power is our’s today! Warriors, let’s choose to walk in it!