Good Shepherd Lutheran

He’ll Always Be ThereMark 1:4-11
Baptism is important. It was important enough that even Jesus was baptized by his cousin John. And God was pleased enough about it to thunder his approval from the heavens and send his Spirit, like a dove, to rest upon him.
But the Spirit is also in us. God has placed His Spirit inside us through Baptism to tell everyone we belong to him now. His Spirit inside us is His assurance that He’s coming back for us when Jesus returns. Ephesians 1:14 says God’s Spirit “is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession— to the praise of his glory.” When He comes back, He’s coming back for us, too.
God marked us because He loves us and wants us to eternally be His beloved children, but He could have marked us in any way He wanted, so why do it this way? Why put Himself inside us? I thought about that for a while and I came up with three reasons that made sense to me.
First, God doesn’t want our faith to “rub off” and get worn away. He wants His Spirit INSIDE of us so that our bond with Him isn’t just something casual. He wants our relationship with Him to be intense and personal.
Another reason for giving us His Holy Spirit through Baptism is He wanted to be inside us so that we’d realize our faith is more than just a “religion”. It’s a life empowering relationship.
Many religions are based on the idea that the more rules we follow, the more righteous we become. But rules only make us better people for as long as we WANT to obey the rules.
But, by contrast, when God placed His Spirit within us, He did it so His Spirit could change us on the inside. That’s what it says in Galatians 5:22-23. It tells us that when we walk by the Spirit, when we allow God’s Spirit to guide our lives, we change. When God’s Spirit is in control we bear the fruit of the spirit which is “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” In other words, we become more like Jesus.
Then the final reason He sent us his Holy Spirit through Baptism is that He wants to be with us all the time because He knows we need Him. This is a hard world. And too often we feel like we’re alone in the decisions and challenges we face. But we’re not alone. Someone is listening to us. The Holy Spirit is still on our side. God still lives within us because of our baptism. No matter what happens or how difficult things become – and believe me there’s every sign that they will get even more difficult – God will never leave us because He’s promised us, through His Holy Spirit, He’ll always be there.