WE BELIEVE that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the bestowing of the believer with power to be an effective witness for Christ. This experience is distinct from, and subsequent to, the New Birth; is received by faith, and is accompanied by the manifestation of speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance, as the initial evidence – Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4,5,8; Acts 2:1-4; 8:15-19; 11:14-17; 19:1-7.
What we intend doing through this study, is to clarify what we believe the Bible teaches about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and inspire every believer to seek after every good gift that God has to offer us.
I – BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT IS NOT REGENERATION
1. Jesus’ ministry had two distinct goals.
To take away sin = regeneration, being born again. Jn 1:29, “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”.
To baptise in the Holy Spirit. Jn 1:33 “…this is He who baptises with the Holy Spirit”.
2. The Disciples received two distinct and separate workings of the Holy Spirit.
After Christ’s Resurrection. John 20:22, “He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit”. This is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that every believer receives at salvation.
At Pentecost. (An experience subsequent to regeneration.)
Acts 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance”. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
Jesus made reference in Acts 1:5 that what they received in John 20:22 wasn’t the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. That would occur a few days later. What is clear however is that they were already saved.
They belonged to God, Jn 17:9-10.
Their names were written in heaven, Luke 10:20.
They had eternal life, Jn 10:27-29.
3. The Samaritans also had two distinct experiences.
They were saved and baptised in water under Philip’s ministry, Acts 8:5-13.
They were baptised in the Holy Spirit under Peter and John’s ministry some time later.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an experience that can only happen to a Christian. It is the Holy Spirit coming upon believers and filling them in order to energise and empower them for service.
This experience is also referred to in the New Testament as:
Falling of the Holy Spirit – Acts 8:16, 10:44, 11:15.
Filling of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:4, 4:8,31; 6:3,5; 7:55; 9:17; 11:24; 13:9.
Coming upon, Acts 1:8; 19:6.
Poured out upon, Acts 10:45.
Receiving the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38; 8:15,17; 8:19; 10:48; 19:2.
Gift of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38, 8:20, 10:15.
III THE PURPOSE OF THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
1. An Empowering to Minister God’s Message.
This is the chief purpose of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:8, Jesus said, “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.”
Power = Gk Dunamis – miracle working power, abundance of strength.
Power to witness, Acts 1:8.
Power to do the works that Jesus did and even greater works, Jn 14:12.
Power to speak God’s Word boldly.
4:31, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
2. An Empowering to Minister Life.
Jesus said in John 7:38-39, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, “out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive, for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
God wants to give us an inner power that flows out of us and impacts those around. This power is described as a river of living water.
Those that we witness to don’t need religious rituals. They need a river of life.
The falling upon us of the Holy Spirit, fills us. By being filled, a river of life is able to flow out of us and bless others.
3. An Empowering to Minister in the Miraculous.
Luke 24:49 says, “But tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued (clothed) with power from on high.”
Power from on high is God-given ability from heaven. Ability to carry out God’s commands, ability to heal the sick and cast out devils, ability to cause the unsaved to stop and take notice of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mark 16:17-18, “These signs shall follow those who believe: in My name they will cast our demons, they will speak with new tongues … they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.”
IV THE NEW TESTAMENT PRECENDENT
Jesus said that He came to baptise with the Holy Spirit.
2. Up until Acts 1:5 no one had yet been baptised in the Holy Spirit. “You shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now”.
3. The first people to receive the Holy Spirit were the disciples in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost, 10 days after the Ascension. Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance”.
(Note: they were all filled, not just the apostles or a select few.)
4. The Samaritans received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit through the ministry of Peter and John, Acts 8:17, “Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit”.
5. The Household of Cornelius were the first Gentiles to be baptised in the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:44, “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.”
6. Some Ephesian believers were baptised in the Holy Spirit after they were baptised in water.
Acts 19:6, “And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”
V. THE SCRIPTURAL EVIDENCE OF BEING BAPTISED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.
There are many evidences of a person “on fire” for Jesus that relates back to their revelation of Jesus, enthusiasm, motivation and zeal. These things are all wonderful but it is not the evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. We have to rest our doctrines on the foundation of Scripture. We believe that the scriptural evidence of a believer baptised in the Holy Spirit is the God-given and inspired ability to speak in languages they have not naturally learnt.
1. Acts 2:4, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages.” The word all means that none were left out. None received another manifestation. Those that were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost spoke with other tongues.
2. Acts 10:46, “Cornelius’ household were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages.”
4. Acts 19:6 – When the Ephesian Christians were baptised in the Holy Spirit, they spoke with tongues.
5. Mark 16:17 – Jesus said that believers would speak in new tongues. Many people would have us look at other experiences as the initial evidence. This however does not concur with the scriptural evidence. Once our experience is raised above what the scriptures clearly say, we are on a pathway that leads to all types of beliefs. Zealousness, love for God, love for people, evangelism, commitment to holiness, ought to be the evidence of regeneration. Peter clearly concluded that Cornelius had been filled with the Holy Spirit because he spoke in other tongues. There is no other sign apart from tongues that the scriptures declare to be the initial evidence of being baptised in the Holy Spirit. The scriptures teach us what to look for.
VI. SOME CLARIFICATIONS CONCERNING TONGUES
1. The ability to speak in tongues that one receives at the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is different to the manifestation of the Gifts of the Spirit as enumerated in 1 Cor 12:4-11.
2. There is a special gift called the ‘gift of tongues’ – PUBLIC USE. This gift is for special use in Church meetings in conjunction with another gift called the ‘interpretation of tongues’. Not everyone has this gift. 1 Cor 12:30 “…do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?”
3. This gift of tongues is for man’s benefit that all who hear the message with its interpretation may profit.
1 Cor 12:7, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all”. Note the word ALL.
4. The tongues that one receives at the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is for – PRIVATE USE. It is not for everyone’s benefit but rather for God. 1 Cor 14:2 – Speaking to God. “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to man but to God.”
5. This private use of tongues edifies the believer, not the church.
1 Cor 14:4, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.” Edify = Gk OIKODOMEO = to build up, promoting the spiritual growth and development of the character of believers. (Vines)
6. Paul encourages us not to forbid people speaking in tongues.
1 Cor 14:39, “Do not forbid to speak in tongues”.
VII. HOW TO RECEIVE THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
Acts2:38, “Repent and let everyone one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus … and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
We cannot approach God on our terms.
We must completely surrender our will to Him
Turning away from sin and turning to Jesus.
2. Be Baptised in Water
This is a step of obedience.
It shows your sincerity in following Jesus as the only true way to God.
You ask and receive forgiveness of sins.
(N.B.) Baptism in itself is not always a precondition, but obedience certainly is. In Acts 10:44-48 – We see that Cornelius and his household were baptised in the Holy Spirit before they were baptised in water.)
3. Seek Earnestly.
Luke 11:9 says, “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened to you.”
Luke 11:13, “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”.
1. Anything we receive from God is on the basis of faith.
2. If we truly desire the baptism, it requires believing that God wants to give us this great gift. Luke 11:13, “If you 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.”
As with everything in God, He does His part, we do our part.
By faith we are saved.
By faith we are baptised in the Holy Spirit.
By faith we receive.
By faith we speak in new languages. The Holy Spirit will not place us in a trance and move our tongues for us. By faith WE SPEAK by His inspiration.
If there is one doctrine that has defined the Pentecostals, it is this one. I believe that it is imperative in these days of great evangelism to depend more and more on the power of the Holy Spirit. It is for this purpose that we are empowered to take this gospel to the ends of the earth. It is not a coincidence that the Pentecostals are now the greatest missions force in the world. It is because our emphasis is not in the might of man’s words but in the demonstration of His power.
Zech 4:6, “…Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of Hosts”.