The Baptism & Filling of the Holy Spirit

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Acts 1:5 “For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Jesus was speaking to His disciples and informed them that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit in the very near future. But what exactly does it mean to be “baptized” with the Spirit and how is one “baptized” anyways?

Well, this is a very long discussion, but let me see if we can summarize this important part of the Christian life in a neat little nutshell.

Prior to becoming a Christian, the Holy Spirit is “with” you (the Greek word is “para”). He convicts you of your sin, and shows you your need for a Savior. We read in John 14:17a “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells WITH you…” (see also John 15:26; 16:8 on how the Holy Spirit’s job is to point you to Jesus when He is “with” you).

After becoming a Christian, the Holy Spirit lives “in” you (the Greek word is “en”). If you finish the above passage in John 14:17 “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be IN you.” When Jesus breathed on the disciples in John 20:22, they received the Holy Spirit, and He came to live “in” them. Paul mentions the fact that under the New Covenant, God lives “in” us Personally and Congregational – yes God lives in His people (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19).

But that’s not all, there is one more Greek preposition and that is “upon” (the Greek word is “epi”). This is subsequent to salvation when the Holy Spirit comes “upon” the people to empower them for service and sanctification. We read Jesus’ words in Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come UPON you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

As you read through the book of Acts you will see the way the Holy Spirit came upon the people the first time (when they were baptized), and then He came and empowered them again and again, as they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17; 13:9, 52). It’s for that reason Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:18 “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation {wasted life}; but be filled with the Spirit.”

How about you? Are you walking in the power of the Holy Spirit? Is He upon you with power – to the point that you’re walking under His influence? How can we receive that power?

Two words stand out to me – pray and obey! Don’t quench the Spirit through doubt, and don’t grieve the Spirit through disobedience (1 Thessalonians 5:19; Ephesians 4:30).

Two Scriptures would be appropriate in closing:

Proverbs 1:23, “Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my Spirit on you…”

Luke 11:13, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

 

 

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