many differing opinions within the body of Christ regarding the act of baptism.
Of course, we aren’t seeking opinions but rather the truth as revealed to us
through the holy scriptures. So, what is baptism? First of all, baptism is not
equal to salvation. We are saved or committed to eternity with Jesus
when we confess (and believe in our hearts) Him as Lord and Savior. (Romans
twofold. It is an expression in which we declare to the world that we have
chosen to accept Jesus as our Savior AND it is an indwelling of the Holy
Spirit within us! This is where a lot of Christians get confused. When we are
baptized, we receive power from the Holy Spirit. Sadly, many Christians don’t
quite understand that the Holy Spirit actually dwells in them, so this “power”
never manifests, even though it is available. The good news is, all we need to
do is ask the Holy Spirit to work in us. God in all His glory (Father, Son and
Holy Spirit) is a gentleman and will not impose His will on us. We are free to
accept or refuse His good gifts.
would anyone want to be “baptized" in the Holy Spirit and empowered?
Corinthians 12:1 (AMP) Now about the spiritual gifts [the special endowments given by the Holy
Spirit], brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.
Paul was very clear that we should want to be informed about the gifts of the
Holy Spirit. Sadly, these gifts or
manifestations are not taught in many Christian churches today. The biblical truths about “baptism” are not
clearly understood either. Baptism
occurs once, and the activation of the Holy Spirit often (but not always)
Here is an
example of a believer who attends a local Christian church:
that Larry has decided he wants to be baptized. He has been a faithful follower
of Jesus for several years and he has become active in the life of his church.
He loves the worship, messages from his pastor and fellowship with other Christians.
At some point, Larry feels something is missing from his walk with Christ. He
comes to realize that his church is a bit lacking in what he has heard
Christian friends outside of his church describe as a deeper intimacy with Jesus
through the power of the Holy Spirit. That is what Larry wants in his life too!
One evening Larry accepts an invitation by one of those friends to attend a
praise and worship gathering at their church. While there, the speaker explains
the gifts of the Holy Spirit and asks if anyone wants to be baptized in the
Holy Spirit. Larry longs
to be closer to Jesus and he wants to receive all that He has to offer him but
is stymied by the use of the phrase, “baptized in the Holy Spirit”. He was
always taught that there is one baptism (Ephesians 4:5-6) so how can he be
baptized again? He was confused but not hindered. He wanted to go deeper with
his walk with Jesus, so Larry accepted the call. He was prayed over and because
he earnestly desired for the Holy Spirit to be activated in him, he was not let
down. Larry began to speak in a language that was unknown to him. He learned it
was the language of the Holy Spirit which he could use to help his prayer life.
Larry learned more as time went on. All he learned was confirmed to him through
the holy bible. He stayed at his regular church and was still active, only now
he had a new- found love for Jesus through the manifestation of the Holy Spirit
in his life.
that we would be “baptized and empowered and united with the Holy Spirit. (Acts
1:5, 8) He also said that the Holy Spirit would “teach us all things and bring
to our remembrance all things that He said” (John 14:26) Jesus called this
Helper, the “Holy Spirit of Truth” who testifies of Jesus. This is the “baptism and empowerment” that we
should all want to have available in our lives.
8 (AMP) “For John
baptized with water, but you will be baptized and empowered and united
with the Holy Spirit, not long from now.”
will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you
will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all
Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”
told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit “came upon them”
so that they would receive “power” they did just that! Power is the Greek word:
dynamis which means power, ability, strength, might, workers of
2:2-4 (NASB) And
suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled
the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing
themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled
with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was
giving them utterance.
during the apostle Paul’s journeys, he encountered disciples who hadn’t even
heard about the Holy Spirit. When Paul explained the difference, they wanted to
receive the Holy Spirit (and the manifestations of the Spirit of God). He laid hands on them, they received the
“baptism of faith” and spoke with tongues and prophesied.
19:2-6 (NKJV) [Paul]
said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So, they
said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And
he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So, they said, “Into
John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of
repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come
after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized
in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when
Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke
with tongues and prophesied.
many other scriptures that explain why we should want to receive this “baptism”
and speak with other tongues and prophesy.
Corinthians 12:7-10 (NKJV) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit
of all: for to one [profit] is given
the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another [profit] the word of
knowledge through the same Spirit, to another
[profit] faith by the same Spirit, to another [profit] gifts of
healings by the same Spirit, to another [profit] the working of miracles,
to another [profit] prophecy, to another [profit] discerning of
spirits, to another [profit] different kinds of tongues, to another
[profit] the interpretation of tongues.
6:18 (ASV) with all
prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and
watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints,
(NKJV) But you,
beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy
the Spirit” is praying in tongues, which is also called our “prayer language.” It
is often called “perfect prayer” because this language comes directly from the
Holy Spirit. We do not know what we are
praying, because these prayers “by-pass” our own thoughts and words.
8:26 (TLB) And in
the same way—by our faith—the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and
in our praying. For we don’t even know what we should pray for nor how to pray
as we should, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot
be expressed in words.
Corinthians 14:2-5 (NKJV) For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no
one understands him; however, in the spirit, he speaks mysteries. But he who
prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks
in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish
you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who
prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he
interprets, that the church may receive edification.
be “no fear” involved in receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit into
manifestation in our lives. The Holy
Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, who guides us and brings to us the words of our
16:13-15 (NKJV) However,
when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for
He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak;
and He will tell you things to come. He
will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine.
Therefore, I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
conclusion, if you have been baptized in a church but would like a deeper
intimacy with Jesus through the Holy Spirit, we urge you to ask the Lord for
the power of the Holy Spirit to manifest in you. It’s that simple and, yes,
many Christians call this baptism of the Holy Spirit even though there isn’t
really a second baptism. Don’t let inaccurate or confusing wording stop you
from all that Jesus has to offer. Holy Scriptures tell us that the Holy Spirit
dwells in us and that He gives us power. Lay hold of that promise today!