Baptism in the Holy Spirit

2. Understanding the Experience

1. Born of the Spirit and baptised in the Spirit.

Many sincere and faithful believers have difficulty with these two concepts. We are assured that all born again believers have the Holy Spirit.

John 3:5 (NIV) Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”

However Scripture teaches that what is known as the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a distinct and separate experience from being born again. This “anointing” is given for a different purpose and may be received at or subsequent to the new birth.

This study will be concerned with the distinct experience of baptism in the Spirit. It is intended to trace the shadows and types and scriptural evidence that show forth the difference between the two blessings of God. Note that they are both given by the grace (Grace = unmerited favour.) of our Father in heaven and may be accepted or declined. The sinner is never forced to accept salvation nor does the Holy Spirit force the child of God to accept the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

2. Jesus, the perfect pattern

Jesus the Son of God did not come into the world as an adult fully equipped for His ministry. His coming and His equipping for ministry were miracles that sprang from the power of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:35 (NIV) The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God”

Jesus was born of the Spirit. As He grew into manhood He was led of the Spirit, waxed strong in the Spirit, became filled with wisdom and knowledge and the grace of God was upon Him.

Luke 2:40 (NIV) And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.

Notice that He had no powerful delivering ministry during this time, yet He was about His father’s business.

Luke 2:49 (NIV)”Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

Thirty years went by before He began His public ministry in the power and demonstration of the Spirit.

Luke 3:23 (NIV) Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry.

There came a second operation of the Holy Spirit at this time. A new portion, a different operation of the Spirit.

Luke 3:22 (NIV) and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

There is a difference in the giving of the Spirit to us, but only in the measure given. As we are imperfect, we are unlikely to be able to contain the Holy Spirit in His fullness. To Jesus the perfect one, was given the fullness, but to us by measure.

John 3:34 (NIV) For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.

3. The disciples

To grow up into the full stature of the man Christ Jesus is the goal of every saint of God. So it is that if we have been “born again” of the Spirit, it is fitting that we be baptised in the Spirit, and so follow the Lord Jesus in His “Jordan” example. Jesus said to the disciples:-

John 14:17 (NIV) “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 (born of the Spirit) and will be in you. (baptised in the Spirit.)

Thinking about this we might ask…

a. Were the disciples saved before the day of Pentecost?
b. Were the disciples “born again?”
c. If “yes”, when?

Yes, they were saved, in the same sense as were the Old Testament saints, who benefited by the atonement and received salvation by looking forward to the cross. However, for any man to be born again required that Jesus die, be resurrected, ascend to the Father and present the blood of the atonement in the heavenly tabernacle. This new birth takes place in the spirit not the soul. The last Adam (Jesus) is a quickening Spirit.

John 3:6 (NIV) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
1 Cor 15:45 (NIV) So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

Yes, the disciples were born again of the Spirit. However, this could not happen until after the resurrection.

Ascension and glorification

Notice that Jesus ascended to the heavenlies twice.

i. On the first day following the three days and three nights in the tomb.

John 20:17 (NIV) Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”

Jesus sent Mary to tell the disciples He was returning to the Father.

ii. Following His forty day ministry:

Acts 1:9 (NIV) After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

Jesus returned from the Father, (i.e. the same day He ascended) and appeared among the disciples. He greeted them and then breathed upon them the Holy Spirit. THIS WAS THE MOMENT WHEN THEY WERE BORN AGAIN.

John 20:22 (NIV) “And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

From this moment the Holy Spirit was with them. However, notice the command of Jesus that followed this experience of being born again by the Holy Spirit.

Luke 24:49 (NIV) “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.”

While they waited the Holy Spirit remained with them, guiding them in prayer, increasing their desire for His anointing, uniting them in one accord and preparing them for the promised outpouring.

Consider what might have happened if they had not waited for the coming
immersion/baptism/clothing and had continued with only the initial “breathed upon” experience. Without the power of the “promise of the Father” the ecclesia would never have been established and the book of Acts never written.

4. ‘To baptise’ and the Holy Spirit

There are seven passages that refer to “baptise” in connection with the Holy Spirit.

i. Mat 3:11 (NIV)“”I baptise you with water” (immerse you in 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 baptise you (immerse you in / with (Greek. in or into.) the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

ii. Mark 1:8 (NIV) “I baptise you with water, but he will baptise you with (Greek. in or into.) the Holy Spirit.”

iii. Luke 3:16 (NIV) “John answered them all, “I baptise you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptise you with ( Greek. in or into.) the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

iv. John 1:33 (NIV) “I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptise with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptise with (Greek. in or into.) the Holy Spirit.'”

v. Acts 1:5 (NIV) “For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with (Greek. in or into.) the Holy Spirit.””

vi. Acts 11:16 (NIV) “Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with (Greek. in or into. ) the Holy Spirit.'”

vii. 1 Cor 12:13 (NIV) “For we were all baptised by (Greek. in or into.) one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”

The first important thing to note is that the preposition always attached to the word baptise throughout the New Testament has the meaning “in or into.” Translations, by using a variety of different prepositional forms, (e.g. by, with.) have obscured the clear meaning of the original text.

This has been unfortunate in the Corinthian passage. Using “by” tends to suggest that Paul is talking about some special experience in which the Holy Spirit is somehow the person who baptises. Study of the whole teaching of the New Testament agrees that Jesus Christ Himself alone is the baptiser (the one who does the immersing) in the Holy Spirit

The phrase “to baptise into” harmonises with the usage in water baptism. In baptism in water the act is an outward seal and assurance of an inward spiritual state into which the person had already entered by faith. In the same sense the baptism in/into the Holy Spirit is a supernatural seal acknowledging that the person has already become a member of Christ’s body by faith.

5. Born of (regenerated by) the Spirit, baptised (immersed) in the Spirit: a comparison

a. The impartation of life anew to the spirit
(John 3:2-5 NRSV) He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” {3} Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” {4} Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” {5} Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.
a. The impartation of power to the regenerated human spirit.
(Acts 1:8 NRSV) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
b. Regeneration of the spirit.
(1 Pet 1:23 NRSV) You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.
b. Baptism in/into or with the Holy Spirit.
(John 1:33 NRSV) I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’
c. Receiving Christ as Saviour.
(John 3:16 KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
c. Receiving the Holy Spirit.
(Acts 2:4 KJV) And they were all filled with (totally immersed in) the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
d. Evidence-inward witness of the Spirit unto salvation.
(Rom 8:15-16 NIV) For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” {16} The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
 d. Evidence-speaking in another tongue (language) as the Holy Spirit gives the words.
(Acts 2:4 KJV) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
e. The ninefold fruit of the Holy Spirit ; the nature and life of Christ grows.
(Gal 5:22-23 NIV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
e. .The ninefold gifts of the Holy Spirit show forth the power of Christ.
(1 Cor 12:8-10 NIV) To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, {9} to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, {10} to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
f. For Christian character and demonstration of a Christ like life. f. For Christian service. To minister Christ’s power
g. The gift of eternal life. From the Eternal. g. The gift of the Holy Spirit. From Jesus.
h. He shall be with you.
(John 14:17 KJV) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
h. He shall be in you. John. 14:17.
i. A well of water springing up into eternal life.
(John 4:14 NIV) but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
i. Rivers of living water.
(John 7:38 NIV) Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”