Holy Spirit Baptism
Holy Spirit Baptism
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The Spirit is at work in all Christians, whether they have been baptized in the Spirit or not. God can also use and does use Christians who for one reason or another have not received the Baptism experience. However, the baptism in the Holy Spirit will make one’s life and ministry even more effective. All of the New Testament was written by men who were baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is a person. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are one in unity, as one God.
The Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him (The Lord Jesus Christ), and a voice came from heaven (God the Father) which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased” (Luk 3:22).
For there are three who bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one (1Jo 5:7).
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Mat 28:19)
What is the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is God’s gift of spiritual power to His Church (Act 2:38; 10:45; Heb 6:4).
When an individual is born again of the Spirit the gift of salvation brings eternal life (Joh 3:5-7). The gift of the Holy Spirit gives believers the power to reach the lost with the Gospel message. It is a special work of the Holy Spirit separate from salvation. This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth. On the Day of Pentecost, disciples who had already made a decision to follow Jesus, “were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues” (Act 2:4).
John the Baptist spoke of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that He might be revealed to Israel.” Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on Him. I would not have known Him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is He who will baptize with the Holy Spirit” (Mat 3:11; Joh 1:29-33).
Jesus spoke of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him would later receive. Up to that time the Holy Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified (Joh 7:37-39).
Before Jesus ascended into heaven He said, “For John truly baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Act 1:5; 8).
Did early Christians receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
The baptism in Holy Spirit was a normal experience in the early Christian Church. Jesus’ told them, “I am going to send you what My Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high”. When the day of Pentecost came, they were all with one accord in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them (Luk 24:49; Act 2:1-4).
Peter and John laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit (Act 8:17).
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God (Act 10:44-46). When Peter told the other apostles what had happened he said, “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Act 11:15-16).
When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all (Act 19:6-7).
The promise Jesus made before He returned to heaven was fulfilled, “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear” (Act 2:32-33).
What is the evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance (Act 2:4). The evidence always occurred (and still does today) at the time believers were baptized in the Spirit.
Speaking in tongues is the only phenomenon mentioned every time Scripture supplies details concerning the Baptism experience. Of the five instances in Act which recount the experience of believers being baptized in the Spirit, three supply details. Speaking in tongues is the only one that occurs each time (Act 2, 10, 19). In the Acts 10 account, tongues is specifically mentioned as proof that “the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues” (Act 10:45, 46). The relationship between the phenomenon and the experience cannot be ignored.
In the two cases where details are not supplied, circumstances strongly imply that speaking with other tongues accompanied the experience. In Acts 8 Simon saw something (most likely tongues) that prompted him to offer money for the power to impart such a gift. In Act 9 Saul (who became Paul) is filled with the Spirit without the mention of any details. However, Paul later testified, “I speak in tongues more than all of you” (1Co 14:18). It is logical to conclude that he began speaking in tongues when he was baptized in the Holy Spirit.
What is the purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and praying in tongues?
The baptism in the Holy Spirit imparts power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry. The Spirit of God will:
Declare the wonderful works of God (Act 2:11).
Comfort you (Joh 14:26).
Teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance (Joh 14:26).
Cloth you with power from on high (Luk 24:49).
Give you power to be a witness for Jesus Christ (Act 1:8).
Give you visions and dreams (Act 2:17).
Guide you (Act 8:29, 39; 10:19; 11:12; 16:6-7; 21:4; Rom 8:14).
Give you boldness (Act 4:31).
Give you rivers of living water in your life (Joh 7:38).
Give you gifts of wisdom, knowledge, discernment, faith, healings, miracles, tongues, interpretation and prophecy (1Co 12:8-10).
Give you power to preach, teach, heal, deliver, and liberate others (Luk 4:18-19; 1Co 12:9).
Give you power over devils (Mat 12:28).
Help you in your weaknesses (Rom 8:26).
Help you pray and intercede in the perfect will of God (Rom 8:26-27).
Build you up in your most Holy faith (Jud 1:20).
Is the baptism in the Holy Spirit for today?
Yes. Because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). In Mat 16:18 Jesus did not say, I will build my churches! He said I will build my “Church”. Jesus was smart enough to build the kind of church He wanted. Why start out with a “powerful church” and end up with a powerless church? Believers down through the ages have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every person. Those who believe and are baptized will be saved; but those that do not believe will be damned. And these signs will follow them that believe; in My Name they will cast out devils; They will speak with new tongues; They will take up serpents and if they drink any deadly thing it will not hurt them (referring to divine protection); they will lay hands on the sick and the sick will recover (Mar 16 15-18).
Paul said, Be filled with the Spirit. Tongues are not a sign for believers but for unbeliever. I would like every one of you to speak in tongues. (Eph 5:18; 1Co 14:6, 2).
Peter said on the day of Pentecost, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God will call (Act 2:38-39).
Who can receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. The baptism in the Holy Spirit with the initial physical evidence of speaking in other tongues is the promise of the Father to every believer who desires the experience. On the day of Pentecost Peter preached, “It will come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams” (Act 2:17).
How can I receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
1. Repent: Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Act 2:38-39). We need to confess and turn away from all sin before seeking the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
2. Pray: Jesus said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him” (Luk 11:13). We need to ask God for His gift of the Holy Spirit.
3. Believe: Jesus said, “Those who believe in Him would receive the Holy Spirit”. Paul taught, that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith Jesus said, “Whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Joh 7:39; Gal 3:14; Mar 11:24). We need to believe that we will receive the Holy Spirit when we ask for the Holy Spirit.
4. Receive: Paul found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “We have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” So Paul asked, “What baptism did you receive?” They said, “John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied (Act 19:1-7). We need to freely receive the Holy Spirit as the early believers did.