Before we can delve into the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we must lay some ground work.
First we must understand that there are three main works of the Holy Spirit: re-birth, sanctification and endowment with power from on high.
We are born into the family of God by the Holy Spirit. (re-birth)
John 3:3-7 – “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
After we have been born again, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in us to sanctify us.
John 14:16-20 – “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”
Jesus announces the coming of the Holy Spirit as a counselor or advocate to help us. The Holy Spirit is there to help us understand Christ and help us to walk in obedience to Christ.
John. 16:12-13 – “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. ”
The third work of the Holy Spirit is to give us power to be witnesses for Christ and accomplish His work on earth.
Jesus announces the future coming of the Holy Spirit to empower us in Luke 24:49. We must understand that this is not a prophecy concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit in believers to work out their salvation. The purpose or objective is not one and the same as that of John 16.
Luke 24:49 – “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.”
John 4:17 says that “He will be in you”. While Luke 24:49 says you “will be clothed with power”. These are two separate works with different objective. One is a work within and the other is a work from without.
Also see Matthew 3:11 and Acts 1:4-8
To help us see that these are two different works let us look at John 20:22.
“ And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
After Christ had risen from the dead and been glorified, he appeared before His disciples who believed on Him and said, “receive the Holy Spirit”. It is that very moment they received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The word “breathed” is “Emphusao”. It is the same word used in the Septuagint (Greek word in O.T.) that was used is Genesis 2:7 where God breathed life into man. Also, we find it in Ezekiel 37:9, where God breathes life into dry bones. In other words, in that very moment, the disciples who were present received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and received the life giving Spirit of God. They were born again and became a new creation in Christ Jesus. These are the same disciples who were later, on the day of Pentecost, received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. These disciples were indued with power on the day of Pentecost to be witnesses for him and establish Christ church. It is after the day of Pentecost that wee see those same disciples who were afraid, and not witnessing for Christ, boldly and proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.
III. After the day of Pentecost, everyone who accepts Christ as their savior, receives the Holy Spirit in its entirety.
Romans 5:5 –“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
I Corinthians 6:19 – “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”
The New Testament makes a distinction between the baptism of the Holy Spirit, baptism of Jesus and the baptism of John.
Matthew 3:11 – ““I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Luke 3:16; Mark 1:8)
Baptism in water is a sign of repentance. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a baptism of power with the objective of being witnesses and establishing God’s kingdom on earth.
Acts 1:8 – “But 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.”
Keep in mind this prophecy, in Acts chapter one, was spoken after the disciples of Jesus had already received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
When we say the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we speak of one being immersed in the power of God.
To more fully understand the term “baptism of the Holy Spirit” one must understand the word baptism.
In Greek “baptisma” signifies immersion/submersion which comes from the root word “bapto” that means “plunge or dip”. The Greek verb is “baptizo” which they used to describe dying cloth in colored water. Therefore, when we speak of being “baptized in the Spirit”, we are speaking of one who has been immersed into the power of God or enveloped in His power. When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, we do not receive more of the Holy Spirit, but receive more of the Holy Spirit’s power. At salvation we receive the Holy Spirit to work in us to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit. When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit’s power envelopes us and equips us for works of power.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for all who believe in Jesus Christ.
Acts 2:3-4 – “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
Take note that ALL who were waiting on the coming promise of the Holy Spirit received Him. It wasn’t only a few, but ALL. Not only did they all receive the Holy Spirit, but they a ALL spoke in other tongues.
The next article I write, we will delve more deeply into the baptism and/or filling of the Holy Spirit.