Encounter II Lesson 7

EXPERIENCING BAPTISM
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

LESSON 7

INTRODUCTION

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit, though a critical component of the Christian faith and doctrine, has been a source of much controversy among believers and unbelievers alike.

Opening Discussion

Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit a special experience or does it happen to all believers at salvation?

What is Baptism in the Holy Spirit?

  1. Baptism is an act of immersion

The word “Baptism” is derived from the Ancient Greek word baptismós, which literally means “dipping” as in a liquid. Baptism in the Holy Spirit then would have the sense of “dipping” or “immersing” in the Holy Spirit.

Joel 2:28

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people…

Acts 2:22

Suddenly, a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

In both these verses, the impression is that of a “drenching” and “immersion” in the Holy Spirit.

  1. Holy Spirit Baptism was predicted by Joel.

Baptism in the Holy Spirit was foretold in the Old Testament, as one of the events of the coming redemption.

Joel 2:28-29

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

  1. Holy Spirit Baptism was confirmed by John the Baptist

The first person in the New Testament to introduce the subject of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit was John the Baptist.

Mathew 3:11

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

John here announced that there was coming one with a different kind of baptism – the baptism by the Holy Spirit. Thus it was distinct from the one John conducted – baptism with water.

  1. Holy Spirit Baptism was reaffirmed by Jesus .

Prior to His ascension, Jesus directed His disciples to stay in Jerusalem and wait to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:4-5

On one occasion, while he [Jesus] was eating with them [disciples], he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus mentions two significant things about the new baptism: first it would be the fulfillment of God’s promise, but secondly, it would be an additional experience to the baptism of John.

  1. Holy Spirit Baptism was fulfilled at Pentecost

After Jesus’ ascension, as the disciples gathered in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost, a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit came upon them.

Acts 2:1-4

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

This was the baptism by the Holy Spirit that had been promised by Jesus. It was the mark that the Holy Spirit had come upon them and they were now initiated into the realm of the Holy Spirit.


What is the significance of Holy Spirit Baptism?

The Holy Spirit baptism marked a significant turning point in the life and ministry of the disciples. Several changes are notable.

  1. The disciples became bold witnesses

The disciples acquired a noticeable sense of boldness in expressing their faith

Act 2:14-37

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say…

Act 2:37-38

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “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.

       Implication

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit emboldens the believer to share his or her faith with others.

  1. The disciples cultivated a special spirit of devotion

After the Baptism, the disciples developed a unique spirit of commitment to the things of God.

Acts 2:42

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Implication

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit creates in the believer a special desire for spiritual things.

Romans 8:5

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. NKJV

  1. The disciples witnessed miracles and wonders

Many miracles and wonders were performed by the disciples after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:43

Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.

Compare the experience of the same disciples previously.

Mark 9:17-18

A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech… I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

Implication

The Holy Spirit empowers for extraordinary spiritual gifts.

  1. The disciples developed a unique sense of unity

After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, a new sense of togetherness and generosity developed among the disciples.

Acts 2:44-45

‘All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need’.

Compare with Paul’s evaluation of the conduct of the Corinthians.

1Corinthinas 3:3-4

for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?


Is ‘Spirit Baptism’ different from being ‘Spirit Filled’?

Spirit Baptism occurs once

The term “baptism” generally infers an act of initiation.

Genesis 17:9-11

‘Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant… You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you’.

Acts 2:38-41

‘Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…Those who accepted his message were baptized…’

Likewise, Baptism in the Holy Spirit is inferred to occur only once.

Matthew 3:11

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire”.

To be Spirit filled is continuous or repeated

The biblical incidences of being filled with the Holy Spirit imply repeated occurrences in the life of the individual. Similarly, the call or command to be filled with the Holy Spirit signify a continuous requirement.

Acts 4:8 ‘

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!’

Ephesians 5:18

‘Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit’.

Is the Spirit Baptism a necessity?

It is apparent that we need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit if we are to operate effectively in the realm of the Holy Spirit. Paul encouraged the Ephesians to receive Holy Spirit Baptism. During his missionary visit to Ephesus, Paul questioned the believers about their encounter with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 19:1-2

“While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

Paul appears surprised that these believers did not know about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He therefore questioned them what baptism they had received.

Acts 19:3-4

So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”

Acts 19:5-7

“On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 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”.

When the Ephesian Christians learnt about the Holy Spirit, they were baptised in the Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit Baptism authenticated Gentile believers

Acts 10:44-47

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God…

…Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.

What is the evidence of Holy Spirit Baptism?

  1.  At the Upper Room they all spoke in other tongues

Acts 2:1-4

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the…

…blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them”.

  1. In Cornelius’ house they spoke in tongues and praised God

Acts 10:44-46

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God”.

  1. In Ephesus they spoke in tongues and prophesied

When Paul led some new believers to understanding the place of the Holy Spirit in their lives, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied

Acts 19:3-6

So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied

How does one receive Holy Spirit Baptism?

Just like salvation, there is no drama involved but is received by faith. The Spirit moves as He pleases and baptizes as He chooses.

The Spirit is for all who desire

John 7:37-39

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 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.

The Father is ready and willing to give all who ask

Luke 11:11-13

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Conclusion

Whereas the Baptism in the Holy Spirit has a significant impact on the believer, it is not to be construed as a measure of one’s level of spirituality. Similarly, the gifts that may accompany such an experience are not given to raise the status of the recipient but rather to enhance service in the Body of Christ.

Class Discussion

  1. Why do you think some people dismiss or not believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
  2. In what ways has this lesson enhanced your understanding of Holy Spirit Baptism?