What does it mean to have an incomplete baptism?
That is the question suddenly confronting the believers in Ephesus we read of in our lesson from Acts.
Paul arrives and says to them, “‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ They replied, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ Then he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They answered, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.’”
We might initially assure ourselves that this story has nothing to do with us.
We were baptized into Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the name of God the Father. Our Trinitarian credentials are secure.
But to read this text on that literal, surface level is to miss what it has to teach us.
Let’s take a step back and ask in what ways we were baptized into John’s baptism, why that was valuable, and what might still be missing from our baptism.
How are we failing to live into the full baptism of Christ? Continue reading