For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father! The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God.
Romans 8:15-16 AMP
John the Baptist taught a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan river. And this was his message –
I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
Mark 1:8 AMP
At some point, our level of interest in God has to reach past just looking for forgiveness for our sins, past a fear of the punishment of hell – and it has to grow into a life of actually wanting to be like Jesus. It has to shift past our concern only for ourselves, and shift into a perspective of wanting others to know and see Christ who lives in us.
At some point, our Spirit must be focused more on being like His Spirit – using the word freedom as a promise that we can be more like Him, instead of as an excuse for why we are still chasing after those old ways.
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
Amos 3:3 KJV
Just as John was to make people ready to receive Jesus, his baptism was to make them aware of their need to be washed clean from their sin. But it is Jesus whose baptism is by the outpouring of His divine nature into us that generates the new creation.
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 KJV
John’s message was to prepare men’s hearts so they would recognize and understand their need for something greater than their own strength and knowledge and striving.
Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb again and be born? Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and [even] the Spirit, he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God. [Ezek. 36:25-27.]
What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not [do not be surprised, astonished] at My telling you, You must all be born anew (from above).
The wind blows (breathes) where it wills; and though you hear its sound, yet you neither know where it comes from nor where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.
Nicodemus answered by asking, How can all this be possible? Jesus replied, Are you the teacher of Israel, and yet do not know nor understand these things? [Are they strange to you?] I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, We speak only of what we know [we know absolutely what we are talking about]; we have actually seen what we are testifying to [we were eyewitnesses of it]. And still you do not receive our testimony [you reject and refuse our evidence–that of Myself and of all those who are born of the Spirit].
If I have told you of things that happen right here on the earth and yet none of you believes Me, how can you believe (trust Me, adhere to Me, rely on Me) if I tell you of heavenly things?
John 3:3-12 AMP
And this Holy Spirit that we receive is one of power, love, and self-control, so if we have received it, and if we say that we have Christ alive in us, and we say that He is teaching us and guiding us, shouldn’t we be walking in His ways instead of getting caught up in confirming to the old ways of our worldly lives? But so many have noliving, burning love for Him. So many have little interest in a relationship, a daily walk, with God – especially if it requires that our spirit be yielded to and in agreement with His.
So many have the perspective of trying to use God when we feel He is convenient or necessary in our lives – keeping Him just far enough away so that we can serve our true master, while keeping God in our contact list “just in case”. God doesn’t want to just be your bail bondsman. He wants to live in you and touch lives through you. He has a greater purpose and direction for your life.
But we have to let Him in. We have to decide to immerse ourselves in His Word, His teachings, His guidance, His presence in our lives – not just immerse ourselves under some water and think that’s the end of the journey. He has more for you, friend.
Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.
So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also. Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that. Brethren, together follow my example and observe those who live after the pattern we have set for you.
For there are many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, who walk (live) as enemies of the cross of Christ (the Anointed One). They are doomed and their fate is eternal misery (perdition); their god is their stomach (their appetites, their sensuality) and they glory in their shame, siding with earthly things and being of their party.
But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior, Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our humiliation to conform to and be like the body of His glory and majesty, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself.
Philippians 3:12-21 AMP