Born again – Part 28
Baptism In The Holy Spirit: An Overview Contd.
On the day of Christ’s resurrection, He breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22), indicating that regeneration and new life were being given to them. Then later, He told them they must also be “endued with power” by the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; cf. Acts 1:5, 8). For the disciples, it was clearly a post-regeneration experience (see Acts 11:17). One can be regenerated and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but still not be baptised in the Holy Spirit (see Acts 19:6).
(4) To be baptised in the Spirit means to be filled with the Spirit (cf. Acts1: 5; 2:4). However, this baptism occurred only at and after Pentecost. Concerning those filled with the Spirit before Pentecost (e.g. Luke1: 15, 67), Luke does not use the term baptised in the Holy Spirit. This would occur only after Christ’s ascension (Luke 24:49-51; John 16:7-14; Acts1: 4).
(5) In the book of Acts, speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance is the initial outward sign accompanying baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts2: 4; 10:45-46; 19:6). Baptism in the Holy Spirit is linked so closely with the eternal manifestation of speaking in tongues that this should be considered the norm, when receiving that baptism.
6) The baptism in the Holy Spirit brings personal boldness and the power of the Spirit into the believer’s life in order to accomplish mighty works in Christ’s name and to make one’s witness and proclamation effective (cf. Acts 1:8; 2:14-41; 4:31; 6:8; Rom 15:18-19; 1Cor 2:4). This power is not some impersonal force, but is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit by which Jesus and His glory and works are present with His people (John 14:16-18; 16:14; 1Cor 12:7).
(7) Other results of a genuine baptism in the Holy Spirit are: (a) prophetic utterances and declarations of praise (Acts 2:4; 17; 10:46; 1 Cor 14:2); (b) enhanced sensitivity to sin that grieves the Holy Spirit, a greater seeking after righteousness and a deeper awareness of God’s judgment against ungodliness (see John 16:8; Acts 1:8); (c) a life that brings glory to Jesus Christ (John 16:13-14; Acts 4:33); (d) new visions (Acts 2:17); (e) a manifestation of the various gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:4-10); (f) a greater desire to pray (Acts 2:41-42; 3:1; Acts 2:42); and (h) increasing awareness of God as one’s Father (Acts 1:4; Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6).
(8) God’s Word cites several conditions by which baptism in the Holy Spirit is given. (a) We must accept by faith Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and turn from sin and the world (Acts 2:38-40; 8:12-17). This involves surrendering our wills to God (“to them that obey him,” Acts 5:32). We must turn from that which offends God before we can be “a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and useful for the Master’s use” (2 Tim 2:21). (b) We must desire to be filled. Christians should have a deep hunger for baptism in the Spirit (John7:37-39; cf. Is 44:3; Mat5:6; 6:33). (c) We often receive this baptism in answer to prayer (Luke 11:13; Acts 1:14; 2:1-4; 4:31; 8; 15, 17). (d) We should expect that God will baptise us in the Holy Spirit (Mark 11:24; Acts 1:4-5).
(9) The fullness in the Holy Spirit is sustained in the believer’s life by prayer (Acts4: 31), witness (4:31,33), worship in the spirit (Eph5:18-19) and a sanctified life (see Eph 5:18). However powerful the initial coming of the Holy Spirit on the believer may be, if this does not find expression in a life of prayer, witness and holiness, the experience will soon become a fading glory.
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