05 - Doctrine of Baptisms - Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Part 1)
We have already learned that the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in our hearts at conversion. He brings the life of God into our spirits and begins the work of transforming our nature into the image of Jesus. There is another baptism for the believer and that is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He is in us for salvation but comes upon us for ministry to others.
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8
Read Acts 8:4-17
- Jesus never intended the Church to be His witnesses in their own strength and ability. He said in John 15:5, "...for without Me you can do nothing."
- Jesus said to His disciples, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." John 14:12
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a baptism of God's power that enables the Lord to work His wonders through us. The Book of Acts is filled with accounts of miracles, healings, signs and wonders done by the
Holy Spirit through the disciples and apostles. Throughout history, the Holy Spirit has empowered the Church to be effective witnesses for Jesus by anointing us with His power and gifts. The same gifts that are recorded in the Bible are at work today because the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever
Who is the Holy Spirit and what is His function in this dispensation?
Who He is
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
- The Holy Spirit is God. He is as much God as the Father and the Son. He is in no way inferior.
The Holy Spirit has seven main functions in this current dispensation
1. John 16:8–11
- He is at work convicting the world of their sin and God's judgement. It is the Holy Spirit who draws and points men to Jesus that they might be saved.
2. Acts 1:4–8
- The Holy Spirit empowers the believer with Gods dunamis (miraculous power) so that our witness for Christ will be infused with Gods' power and ability. Jesus wants His church to live and witness by the power of the Holy Spirit and not in our own limited human ability.
3. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
- The Holy Spirit is at work in every believer moulding and conforming us into the image of Jesus our Lord. God's ultimate purpose for each of us is to be conformed into the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29), and this the work of the Holy Spirit.
4. John 14:26 and John 16:12-15
- The Holy Spirit is our teacher, He teaches us things that we cannot grasp with our natural mind because they are spiritually discerned.
5. John 14:15-23
- The Holy Spirit is our Helper, helping us to live out the Christian life by the strength and grace that He gives. The Father and Son manifest themselves to us through the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who leads, directs and speaks to us on behalf of the Father and Son.
6. Romans 8:26-27
- The Holy Spirit helps us to intercede often by praying on our behalf.
7. Acts 13:1-4
- It is the Holy Spirit who is guiding and leading the church on earth today. Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, making intercession on our behalf, until He will one day return in glory. In the meantime the Holy Spirit is interacting with the church on behalf of the Father and Son.
Is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit for Everyone
Acts 2:38-39 / Luke 11:9–13
- According to Scripture, all who are born again should experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
When are we Baptised in the Holy Spirit
In both the above Scriptures in Acts, individuals had come to salvation. We now know that this is a work of the Holy Spirit, yet they had not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The disciples in Jerusalem were filled with the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost after they had been with the risen Christ for forty days. The Samaritans received the baptism of the Holy Spirit after they were converted and baptised in water. Only then were hands laid on them by Peter and John. The baptism in the Holy Spirit can happen at salvation (Acts 10:44-48) or at any time there after.
How are we Baptised in the Holy Spirit
- It is God's will that we are baptised in the Holy Spirit. Like salvation, it is a free gift and we receive it through faith. Once we are assured of His gift to us, He will baptise us when we ask Him in faith
The Scriptures reveal two methods that God uses to baptise us in the Holy Spirit.
- The first and most common method is through the laying on of hands in prayer. Here are two good examples, Acts 19:1-6 and Acts 9:17. In both these examples a person who has been baptised in the Holy Spirit prays for those who have not been.
- The second method is when God in His sovereignty fills individuals with His Spirit. Again there are two good examples in the book of Acts, namely Acts 2:1-4 and Acts 10:44-48.
Is the Baptism of the Spirit a Single Experience
"And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:31
- The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a once off experience. However, as we see from the above scripture, we can be continually filled or saturated by the Holy Spirit. The apostles were baptised in the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and they were filled again when they sought the Lord in prayer. We should continue to seek to be saturated by the Holy Spirit through, prayer, fasting and obedience to God. We should continue to ask the Father to fill us with the Spirit in order for us to be effective witnesses for Jesus.
- "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit," Ephesians 5:18 The Greek verb filled is in the present tense implying that the individual must be "continuously being filled with the Spirit."
Evidence of Being Filled with the Holy Spirit
- The most obvious signs that a person has been baptised in the Holy Spirit is that they begin to prophesy and speak in tongues.
"And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;" Mark 16:17
"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts 2:4
"For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God." Acts 10:46
"And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied." Acts 19:6
- It is the Holy Spirit who enables the believer to speak from his spirit in an unlearned tongue. This language does not proceed from the mind and the mind does not understand the words of the spirit. "For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful." 1 Corinthians 14:14
There are many other evidences and gifts that the Spirit imparts when a believer receives His baptism. However, the most important evidence of the Holy Spirit indwelling us should be the fruit of the Spirit, which is, "...love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..." Galatians 5:22-23