“. . . Into John’s baptism.” Acts 19:3
You do the best you can with what you’ve have. But what if all you have is not all there is?
There is a better, more excellent, fuller way. It’s not that the Christian life that many are living is incorrect, it is just incomplete.
The small band of twelve disciples in Ephesus were living an incomplete kind of faith. They had been disciples of John. They had left the Holy Land before the ministry of Jesus. They knew nothing of Calvary and the Cross. They had missed the resurrection, they were not present in the upper room to see the risen Lord. They had missed Pentecost. What they knew was not incorrect it was incomplete.
Knowing facts doesn’t form faith. The power of John’s ministry was what they knew. But what they knew had not been vital, used, enriched, and brought to life with the Holy Spirit.
The baptism of John meant they fought stringently to oppose every contrary appetite, every evil thought. Their faith was one dominated by self-restraint, rigid pursuit of purity, and a commitment to be rid of the world’s influences. They had taken the right side in the fight between good and evil. While these things are not wrong, in fact, they are a part of the good fight, not incorrect, just incomplete.
It’s incomplete because it’s not all Christ asks of us. Paul doesn’t tell the Christians in Ephesus they were defective or wrong-headed. He doesn’t say that their way of life doesn’t matter to God. He simply says he can show them how to do it better.
Life in the Spirit is more than an outward presence, it’s an inward power. In an otherwise flattened faith, now with the Holy Spirit, companionship is transformed into communion with the Lord.
What are the signs of an incomplete faith?