Not Identified With the Holy Ghost

By Justin Johnson

Have you ever met a Holy Ghost Christian?

They are the folks who think the Holy Ghost does not get the attention he deserves and so make his power, manifestation, and glory the central focus of their meetings.

They might even identify themselves as Pentecostal, since it was on the day of Pentecost two thousand years ago that the remnant of Israel was identified with the Holy Ghost power from above.

Holy Ghost Christians looking to identify themselves with the Holy Ghost at Pentecost have missed the true identity of a Christian.

Baptism With the Holy Ghost

John the Baptist spoke of the Pentecostal identification with the Holy Ghost.

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:” – Matthew 3:11

It was called a baptism. After all, baptism is best described as your being immersed or initiated into something that results in a change of identity.

Baptism was used in the old testament to identify and ordain priests. They were baptized with water, oil, and blood (Exo 34:25; Exo 40:12).

John the Baptist identified sinners that repented with the cleansing of water for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4).

The Pentecostal believers were baptized with the promised Holy Ghost power.

Jesus said before his ascension:

“ For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence…. ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…“ – Acts 1:5-8

When Christ sent the Holy Ghost who filled the believers at Pentecost, they were immediately identified with the Holy Ghost and his power. Peter explained:

“ Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” – Acts 2:33

Peter even called upon the audience to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).

The baptism with the Holy Ghost at Pentecost was all about the power and presence of the Holy Ghost filled believers. They were identified with the Holy Ghost from heaven.

Our Identity in the Church, Which is His Body

Our identity today in the church is not that of the Holy Ghost, but of Christ. Though the Spirit dwells in all who believe (1 Cor 3:16; Eph 1:13), and Paul manifested the power of the Spirit, we are not identified with the Holy Ghost today, but with Christ himself.

1 Corinthians 12:13 says that we are “baptized into one body”. That is to say our identity has changed to that of the body of Christ (Eph 1:22-23). We are called a “new creature” and the “workmanship of God” (Eph 2:10; 2 Cor 5:17).

How are we identified as his workmanship? The message we preach is completely of grace. It is Christ’s work on our behalf. We are identified with Christ through baptism into his death and resurrection.

We who trust the gospel of Christ without the law, without Israel, and without covenants, are now identified as members of the body of Christ (Eph 1:22-23). Our identity is found in him as the Head of the Body of Christ.

All saved Christians have the Spirit dwelling in them, yet the identification of a Christian is by Christ in you (Col 1:27).

The Pentecostal believers needed to be identified with the Holy Ghost and his power to preach the gospel of the kingdom, and to separate themselves from unbelieving Israel. Christ sent them the Holy Ghost from heaven. Their baptism identified them with the Holy Ghost.

Believers today need to be identified with the body of Christ and all blessing by grace through his finished work. The holy Spirit places us into Christ. Our baptism identifies us with the body of Christ.

The one baptism is not one that identifies with the Holy Ghost kingdom power, but with Christ and the power of his cross. This is the one baptism and one body that Paul speaks about in Ephesians 4:4-6, not the baptism at Pentecost.

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Published: December 9, 2017
Last Modified: December 20, 2017
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