The baptism of the Holy Spirit
Updated: May 16
How to be endued with power from on high to boldly witness about Jesus
Firstly, it is important to realize that the baptism of the Holy Spirit does not set any believer who has received this, above any other believer who has not. There are no second-class citizens in the church of Jesus Christ! Before we explore the purpose and method of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it is important to consider the Holy Spirit himself.
Teaching on the various doctrines about the Holy Spirit are complex and usually involve many scriptural references. The purpose of this study is to try to simplify the topic of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and as such is presented in an abbreviated form. There are two vital things to appreciate about the Holy Spirit.
1. The Holy Spirit is a person
2. The Holy Spirit is God
So many people talk about the Holy Spirit as though he was a force and refer to him as ‘it’. A person can talk to you and understand you, but a force cannot! A person can love you, but a force cannot!
We are now going to consider the time sequence of the disciples’ experience of the Holy Spirit.
The Disciples receive the Holy Spirit.
“Receive” in the Greek is in the aorist meaning receive now!
If you carefully read the above full chapter (John 20) you will find that this took place on the same day as the resurrection! This is the birth of the church when the Holy Spirit first came to permanently indwell believers. There is no record of any outward manifestations.
Mary was not allowed to touch Jesus, but Thomas was permitted eight days later! So what happened in between?
Jesus was lifted to heaven on the first day of the week (compare John 20 with Leviticus 23) and waved before the Father God as a first fruit offering. We find the next special offering on the fiftieth day (Pentecost).
vv3-5 This message was spoken to men who had already received the Holy Spirit that they should wait for the promise of the Father, that they would be baptised with (or immersed in the Holy Spirit).
v8 the purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to fill us with power to witness to Jesus Christ.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit comes to regenerate us when we believe.
He comes to indwell us forever.
He is the one who baptises us into the body of Christ.
He seals us i.e. puts God’s mark of ownership upon us.
He gives spiritual gifts of his choice to the believer to edify the church.
He has many other ministries.
Enduement with power from on high
The power of the world to come can be experienced by believers!
What a difference this enduement with power made to the disciples. One day Peter is frightened to be associated with Jesus and fifty days later Peter is standing up in public preaching Jesus Christ to thousands. This enduement with power can be referred to in various ways, as the baptism of the Holy Spirit or the filling of the Holy Spirit. When we are born again and receive the Spirit it is as though we get a pilot light inside us but the baptism in the Holy Spirit switches the full burner on!
The Holy Spirit baptises us into the church, but it is Jesus who baptises us into the Holy Spirit. Jesus plunges us into or immerses us in the Holy Spirit. Picture a sunken ship surrounded by water inside and outside, or a sponge saturated with water!
Day of Pentecost
On the day of Pentecost 120 believers were gathered in the upper room when there was the sound of a mighty rushing wind. This reminds us of the dedication of King Solomon’s temple when 120 priests blew trumpets and the Shekinah glory of God fell on those present. It was as though God was filling his temple with his Spirit and this is also what happened on the day of Pentecost for God filled his new temple i.e. the believers’ bodies.
Some would argue that what happened on the day of Pentecost was simply them being born again but in Acts 4 we find the believer being filled again with the Spirit, so that this would mean they were being ‘born again’ again!
Similarly in Ephesians 5 where Paul says be filled with the Spirit, in the Greek it is continuous i.e. keep on being filled with the Spirit (moment by moment, day by day). We need the oil of the Spirit daily to lubricate our lives and ministries! When we are getting empty of the Spirit, we are like grinding metal!
The Subsequent baptism of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts
Paul had believed in Jesus when he received his vision of him. Now what he needed was to have his sight restored, to be baptised in water and to be filled with the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands.
The gospel is preached at Cornelius house and the gentiles are filled with the Spirit.
These men were disciples and obviously as such, believers! They were then baptised in water and then were filled with the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands.
In the book of Acts Jews, Romans and Greeks who had first believed in Jesus were subsequently filled with the Holy Spirt thus enduing them with power of service. The initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit was usually them speaking in other tongues!
Receiving the enduement with power today
Some people are fortunate enough to receive this on the day that they first believe like those of Cornelius household! The original 120 disciples had to tarry at Jerusalem because Jesus was obeying the law of the feast of weeks or Sabbaths (Leviticus 23) and the timing of the baptism of the Spirit fell on the day of Pentecost. There is no obvious reason for believer to tarry today. Some people have been filled with the Spirit while praying or when meditating in bed! We cannot put the Spirit in a box, but the key thing is to be open! There are four important things you must bear in mind when considering asking for this enduement with power.
1. Father wants you to have this experience and Jesus is willing to baptize you. Every one that asks, receives!
2. Confess any unrepented sins and be cleansed so that God can fill a clean vessel.
3. Get your motives right. This enduement of power is for your witness and ministry not for your personal desires. Remember the parable of the friend chapping up his neighbour for bread for his visitors! Be persistent, keep knocking until you receive for the benefit of others not yourself.
4. Come expectantly to Jesus, believing that you will receive the filling of the Holy Spirit!
Do you want this?
Do you believe God is willing to do this?
And if you have been filled before it is OK to ask again!
As D.L Moody said, ‘I have been filled with the Spirit, but I leak’!
Prayer for the baptism in the Holy Spirit
Lord Jesus fill me with your Holy Spirit so that I can be bold in my witness to your wonderful salvation. Lord endue me with your power from on high and give me divine appointments to share my faith in you with many other people.