Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Baptism with or in the Holy Spirit is a Biblical a term describing baptism as washing, immersion and infilling with the Spirit of God, and after repentance. The scriptures also cite that proof of receiving God’s Spirit will be evidence of spiritual gifts and empowerment for Christian ministry.

Acts chapters one and two describe the 'baptism of the Holy Spirit'. This event in history is certainly a key if not ‘the’ key moment in which mankind both evidenced and documented the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. This is the same Holy Spirit that anoints people today. 

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “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. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” (Acts 2:37-39 ESV)

Baptism produces personal revival, and a crucial point is that the Biblical context shows the conditions that enable revival. Revival and then proper baptism can occur when a person submits to Christ and repents.

To explore evidential outcomes of baptism we can think about similarities between the words ‘true baptism' with ‘revival' because in essence baptism of the Holy Spirit is revival and true revival comes from being anointed by the Holy Spirit. So while there are some inherent differences in these two expressions, ultimately they both create dramatic change in a persons life that we can call, anointing or a state of revival and Baptism into new life. 

It is fairly common for preachers across the world to place a huge emphasis on how we must personally strive to be filled with the Spirit, and how we have to really wait on God (because the apostles were told to wait in Jerusalem). Sadly this position can lead to spiritual pride or human failure because it is rooted in works: us doing or personally experiencing something rather than having a change of heart and a new understanding that produces repentance. In short, this inadvertently creates a distance between mankind in their humanity and God in his deity. Or it can create a distance between those who have experienced something and those who have not.

The prominent passage which is talked about from the pulpit on many Sunday mornings is the typical Acts Pentecost dialogue (Acts 2:1-2). In sermons, much emphasis is placed on people patiently having to wait and seek God for baptism of the Holy Spirit and for revival. Theologically however, this modus operandi is flawed. It is error because actually the context of the scripture is all about reminding us that God has done the work and that humans have crucified Christ, because of a sinful nature. It is worth remembering that in our ‘PC’ culture today we don't like to talk about sin… However, conviction of sin cuts to our heart and we repent because of our sins and then the Holy Spirit is poured on us because God has promise this in the book of Joel (CF. 2v17).

A flawed contextualisation makes the assumption that the ‘preacher' and / or the ‘congregation' are / or can be like the 'first Apostles' waiting in the upper room. In fact this was a unique situation in which God first poured out his Holy Spirit on the Apostles as leaders and pioneers. This actual and physical event was a one off kickstart, to equip and to enable the apostles. This commenced and disseminated revival and the gospel message with power. This is evidenced by the broader context of Acts (called The Acts of the Apostles). Recorded history right up to the modern age further substantiates that the Holy Spirit with supernatural signs is active today.

Church teachers and preachers would be on much safer ground theologically if they were to pick up the passages emphasis at 2:22, ‘Peter’s Sermon’. Peter is delivering revelation to the people / congregation. 

The following is the context for the passage:

1. The people are reminded about the ancient prophecies of a messiah sacrificial servant.

2. The people are reminded that this was fulfilled in Jesus and his sacrifice for sin.

3. The people are reminded that they like us crucified Jesus Christ.

4. The people are cut to the heart.

5. The people repent.

6. God revives and anoints and pours out His Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit lovingly and willingly pours out His power, not because we deserve it, but because He loves us, and we repent, and have understood the role of the sacrificial Lamb; Calvary and the crucified God. Some misunderstandings on how to receive the Holy Spirit inadvertently happen because preachers focus on the passage about the disciples waiting for the Holy Spirit in the upper room, after being told to wait by Jesus.

The evidence for this is revival meetings. Britain has a rich history for revival meetings from the start of the Evangelical Revival. These meetings in essence correctly connect from verse 22 (as they should) and as a result enable revival. The reason why the early Evangelical Revival was so successful is because it properly interpreted the scriptures and methodologically followed Peter’s alter call, as illustrated in the above 1-6 contextualisation.

The question we are left with is, “Do you really want revival?"

If you truthfully want revival then ultimately you (or your congregation) are going to have to understand who God is, why he had to be crucified through Christ (our sin), that humanity has caused this sacrifice, and only then you will have the foundations for Baptism of the Holy Spirit / revival: then He will pour out his power into your life(s).

Key points: 

a) You don’t have to wait in a room for days, or seek a feeling...

b) You don’t have to do anything but repent out of understanding of who God is and what he has done and what humanity has done to Christ.

c) Your own life actions and a the miraculous will show you whether you are transformed or not.

d) Baptism is a daily state of living being repeatedly immersed in God’s spiritual provision for those who have repented, past and present for their sins.

e) Baptism (true baptism) is Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Key words: 

Baptizo (with water or the Holy Spirit) 1:5

  1. to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)
  2. to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one's self, bathe
  3. to overwhelm

Dunamis 1:8 ("you [talking to the apostles] shall receive" power)

Strength power, ability

  1. inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
  2. power for performing miracles
  3. moral power and excellence of soul
  4. the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth
  5. power and resources arising from numbers
  6. power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts

Pletho (filled) 2:4

  1. to fill
  2. to be fulfilled, to be filled

Ekcheo (pour out) 2:17, 18 (God will do this man wont make it happen).

  1. to pour out, shed forth
  2. metaph. to bestow or distribute largely

Example of the process of being baptised: Acts 8:26-40

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