GS24-11 Step Into Life-Giving Labels

Step Into Life-Giving Labels
Bill Giovannetti
Imagine waking up every day to a world where you're no longer defined by your past, your mistakes, or those painful labels that seem to cling to your identity. Today I want to show you the open secret of a transformative power that can redefine your story, introduce you to a whole new self, and equip you with a set of labels that will dramatically alter your thinking, your feeling, your psychological state, your believing, and your life.

This isn't just a dream—this is a reality within your reach. Stay tuned for the central biblical revelation that promises to unveil the mystery of a truly supernatural, remarkably abundant gift of life.

My talk today is part 11 of our 2024 series called Giant Steps. The goal is this is the year we would all step into the amazing promise that Jesus gave when he said, "I have come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

An overflowing, rich, God-blessed life—a life where you are tender-hearted, truly loving, peaceful in heart, richly blessed and highly-favored—this Abundant Life is the birthright of every child of God. If you are saved, this is your birthright.

Once you are saved, the doorway to that life is open.

But for most of us, and I'm talking about myself, we still find obstacles blocking the way.

One of the biggest obstacles is something we talked about last week, and I need to get everybody caught up.

The Obstacle of Negative Labels
That obstacle is all your labels of doom and gloom. Labels of defeat. All life long we gather labels. You're stupid, ugly, fat, skinny, short, tall, broken, wrong color, wrong language, wrong speech, you sound funny, different, defective, reject, outsider, addict, red pill, black pill, INCEL, weird, ugly. You don't fit in. You're messed up. On and on.

These labels come from bullies, mean girls, parents, teachers, bosses, teammates, people in power, people in authority. They spew like a firehose from media and social media.

Ultimately, they all come from the dark side, from the Accuser and Abuser of our souls, who is the devil.

Those negative labels go deep. They latch onto your spirit. They deform your identity.

That's why you need rehab. I need rehab. We all need a grace rehab.

I preached a whole sermon on these labels last time, it's on our channel if you want to go back.

But we also gave you this little slip of paper...

Because I invited you to write down some of those labels. Make a list.

Because in a few minutes, we're going to do something special with them.

I know that writing these down can be uncomfortable. I know this can bring up awkward or even painful feelings. But we all have a choice to make.

We will either choose the discomfort of surfacing our labels, and bringing them to Jesus,

Or we will choose the discomfort of burying those labels and having them run your life... through repeating painful patterns you'll never figure out.

Repeating Painful Patterns that limit your SUCCESS.

Repeating Painful Patterns that injure your LOVE.

So that's your choice. The only way to disarm these labels is to surface them so you can bring them to Jesus. Which we are going to do today.

So, today, I want to turn the corner, and think with you about today's main topic: Step Up to New Labels In Christ

Who's ready for some rehab? Some Label Rehab?
"Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? [4] Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:3-4)

"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, whether servants or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit." (1 Corinthians 12:13)

Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The first thing you might notice is that both of these Scriptures talk about baptism.

I want to jump in right away, and point out something very important about both of these verses.
And that is that these verses do not deal with being baptized in water at all. They deal with something else. They don't deal with water baptism; they deal with spiritual baptism.

Look at the words: For by one Spirit we were all baptized.

We were baptized into Jesus Christ. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I believe in water baptism. We are going to celebrate water baptisms next week. I'm going to invite you and urge you to actually get baptized next week, in water. The Bible teaches that in many places.

But not in these places. Because what we do when we baptize in water is an outward symbol of a deeper baptism.

And that deeper baptism is spiritual baptism. This is what the Spirit of God did to you in that moment you first believed. I'm going to explain it.

When you got saved, you got baptized, and you didn't get wet at all—unless you were shedding some tears, which happens quite a lot.

The Holy Spirit baptized you into Christ.

What this means is awesome and you will see it has everything to do with your identity and with your labels.

Water Baptism Pictures Spiritual Baptism

When you get baptized in water, you get completely submerged in water, and then lifted out again.

Water is a picture of spiritual baptism, and it happens the way it happens on purpose.

When a person is saved, the Holy Spirit baptizes you not in water, but into Christ, and specifically into his death and resurrection.

What does this mean?

"Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? [4] Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:3-4)

Imagine that the water represents a grave.

You are buried with Jesus Christ through spiritual baptism into his death.

That's symbolized when we lay you back into the water. You are submerged, plunged, completely immersed into the death of Christ.

His death is your death.

His death counts for you.

That means that you died to sin, the law, the world, the flesh, the devil... and to every single nasty label you wrote down on that list. You are dead to those things and those things are dead to you.

Not because YOU died. But because CHRIST died, and you have been united with him in his death.

You've been joined to Jesus so that his death to every dark force is your death to every dark force.

And to every dark label too.

As far as God is concerned, when Jesus died on the Cross, every one of those labels of doom and gloom was shredded to bits in Calvary love.

Now we said that that water is like the grave and in water baptism, you are plunged into that grave.

But you will notice that in baptism, we don't just lay you back in the water, we also lift you out of it.

So our verse says, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life..

The next verse actually says:
"For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection." (Romans 6:5)

So that sets us up for a definition. What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the work of the Holy Spirit in every single believer at the moment of salvation in which he places you in permanent union with Christ once for all, and forever.

You don't feel it. You don't see it. You don't touch it. You don't hear it. But God promises it so it's true.

You can't undo it. You can't lose it. You're made one. You're united to Christ. You're super-glued to him. It doesn't happen a little bit at a time. It happens all at once. It is instantaneous.

Once for all and forever.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit unites you with the death of Christ. That means his death counts as your death.

And that means all your nasty old labels are shredded.

Any label that cannot stick to Jesus Christ can never stick to you.

Look at your list, and think of that. Realize that the person who carried those labels—I mean YOU—you no longer carry those labels because you died to them.

You died with Christ.

But that's not all.

Because you not only died to Christ, you also were raised to new life as a new person, a new creation, in Christ. This means...

The only labels that can stick to you are the same labels that stick to Jesus Christ.

Can you see why being spiritually baptized into Christ is such a big deal?

And it's automatic. It's automatic at salvation.

At salvation, you are placed into permanent union with Christ, and that means you have a whole new identity and a whole new set of labels to go along with it.

So, that's the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

And this teaching leads to a follow up.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit leads to the doctrine of Union with Christ.