Do we praise God because we are holy? Do we praise him for knowing that we are no longer the same, but rather a new creation in Christ? John 1:29 – 34 identifies the inception of holiness through baptism.
In John 1:32, John identifies the Spirit descending and resting upon Jesus. This occurrence signified Christ’s anointing, his deity as Messiah, and God’s chosen one. In John 1:33, after Jesus’ anointing of the Spirit and prior to Jesus’ divine mission of bringing salvation, John proclaims that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit. Unlike John’s previous references with the Spirit, John prefixes it with Holy. Holy translates in the Greek lexicon to agioß. Agioß appears two hundred and thirty-two times in the New Testament. The definition of agioß means the most holy thing or saint. In addition, the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament defines agioß in relation to the gospel of John as Jesus representing the holiness of God. It continues to define Jesus and the holiness of the Spirit as inseparable. Therefore, the Holy Spirit links Christ’s followers to Christ during their burial in baptism. His followers then possess the ability to represent the holiness of God through the reception of the Spirit. In this context, his followers separate themselves to God’s holiness, which establish their setting apart to sainthood. Moreover, the Holy Spirit provides divine spiritual resources girded in Christ to establish a new life in the holiness of God. In this new life, the Holy Spirit empowers Christ’s followers to live and teach the message of salvation.
John reveals Jesus as the son of God who sets apart his followers through baptism of the Holy Spirit to fulfill his mission. By receiving the Holy Spirit, Christians possess the ability to represent the holiness of God, which propels them to live and share the gospel of salvation. By representing God's holiness, Christians have a reason to praise him. In him, we are able to reflect his holiness, while proclaiming his Gospel.