The same thing is evident from Acts viii. In the twelfth verse we read that a large company of disciples had believed the preaching of Philip concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ , and "had been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus" v. Certainly in this company of baptized believers there were at least some regenerate persons. Whatever the true form of water baptism may be, they undoubtedly had been baptized by the true form, for the baptizing had been done by a Spirit-commissioned man, but in the fifteenth and sixteenth verses we read, "When they that is Peter and John were come down, they prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: for as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they had been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
So again, it is evident that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is an operation of the Holy Spirit distinct from and additional to His regenerating work. A man may be regenerated by the Holy Spirit and still not be baptized with the Holy Spirit. In regeneration, there is the impartation of life by the Spirit's power, and the one who receives it is saved: in the baptism with the Holy Spirit, there is the impartation of power, and the one who receives it is fitted for service.
The baptism with the Holy Spirit, however, may take place at the moment of regeneration. It did, for example, in the household of Cornelius.
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We read in Acts x. Regeneration and the baptism with the Holy Spirit took place practically at the same moment, and so they do in many an experience to-day. It would seem as if in a normal condition of the church, this would be the usual experience. But the church is not in a normal condition to-day. A very large part of the church is in the place where the believers in Samaria were before Peter and John came down, and where the disciples in Ephesus were before Paul came and told them of their larger privilege -- baptized believers, baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus, baptized unto repentance and remission of sins, but not as yet baptized with the Holy Ghost.
Nevertheless the baptism with the Holy Spirit is the birthright of every believer.
It was purchased for us by the atoning death of Christ, and when He ascended to the right hand of the Father, He received the promise of the Father and shed Him forth upon the church, and if any one to-day has not the baptism with the Holy Spirit as a personal experience, it is because he has not claimed his birthright. Potentially, every member of the body of Christ is baptized with the Holy Spirit 1 Cor. All men are potentially justified in the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross, that is justification is provided for them and belongs to them Rom.
We may go still further than this and say that it is only by the baptism with the Holy Spirit that one becomes in the fullest sense a member of the body of Christ, because it is only by the baptism with the Spirit that he receives power to perform those functions for which God has appointed him as a part of the body. As we have already seen every true believer has the Holy Spirit Rom. It is one thing to have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, perhaps dwelling within us way back in some hidden sanctuary of our being, back of definite consciousness, and something far different, something vastly more, to have the Holy Spirit taking complete possession of the one whom He inhabits.
There are those who press the fact that every believer potentially has the baptism with the Spirit, to such an extent that they clearly teach that every believer has the baptism with the Spirit as an actual experience. But unless the baptism with the Spirit to-day is something radically different from what the baptism with the Spirit was in the early church, indeed unless it is something not at all real, then either a very large proportion of those whom we ordinarily consider believers are not believers, or else one may be a believer and a regenerate man without having been baptized with the Holy Spirit.
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Certainly, this was the case in the early church. It was the case with the Apostles before Pentecost; it was the case with the church in Ephesus; it was the case with the church in Samaria. And there are thousands to-day who can testify to having received Christ and been born again, and then afterwards, sometimes long afterwards, having been baptized with the Holy Ghost as a definite experience.
This is a matter of great practical importance, for there are many who are not enjoying the fullness of privilege that they might enjoy because by pushing individual verses in the Scriptures beyond what they will bear and against the plain teaching of the Scriptures as a whole, they are trying to persuade themselves that they have already been baptized with the Holy Spirit when they have not. And if they would only admit to themselves that they had not, they could then take the steps whereby they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit as a matter of definite, personal experience.
The next thing which is clear from the teaching of Scripture is that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is always connected with, and primarily for the purpose of testimony and service. Our Lord in speaking of this baptism which they were so soon to receive in Luke xxiv.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me , both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. The result was that Peter and the other Apostles spoke with such power that three thousand persons that day were convicted of sin, renounced their sin and confessed their acceptance of Jesus Christ in baptism and continued steadfastly in the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship and in the breaking of bread and in prayers ever afterwards.
In the fourth chapter of Acts, the thirty-first to the thirty-third verses, we read that when the Apostles on another occasion were filled with the Holy Spirit, the result was that they " spake the word of God with boldness " and that " with great power gave the Apostles their witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
We read in the seventeenth to the twentieth verses, "And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened And straightway, he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God," and in the twenty-second verse we read that he "confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is the Christ" R.
In 1 Cor. This is the classical passage on the whole subject. And the results there recorded are gifts for service. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is not primarily intended to make believers happy, but to make them useful. It is not intended merely for the ecstasy of the individual believer, it is intended primarily for his efficiency in service. I do not say that the baptism with the Holy Spirit will not make the believer happy; for as part of the fruit of the Spirit is "joy," if one is baptized with the Holy Spirit, joy must inevitably result.
I have never known one to be baptized with the Holy Spirit into whose life there did not come, sooner or later, a new joy, a higher and purer and fuller joy than he had ever known before. But this is not the prime purpose of the baptism nor the most important and prominent result. Great emphasis needs to be laid upon this point, for there are many Christians who in seeking the baptism with the Spirit are seeking personal ecstasy and rapture.
They go to conventions and conferences for the deepening of the Christian life and come back and tell what a wonderful blessing they have received, referring to some new ecstasy that has come into their heart, but when you watch them, it is difficult to see that they are any more useful to their pastors or their churches than they were before, and one is compelled to think that whatever they have received, they have not received the real baptism with the Holy Spirit. Ecstasies and raptures are all right in their places.
When they come, thank God for them -- the writer knows something about them -- but in a world such as we live in to-day where sin and self-righteousness and unbelief are so triumphant, where there is such an awful tide of men, women and young people sweeping on towards eternal perdition, I would rather go through my whole life and never have one touch of ecstasy but have power to witness for Christ and win others for Christ and thus to save them, than to have raptures days in the year but no power to stem the awful tide of sin and bring men, women and children to a saving knowledge of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The purpose of the baptism with the Holy Spirit is not primarily to make believers individually holy. I do not say that it is not the work of the Holy Spirit to make believers holy, for as we have already seen, He is "the Spirit of Holiness," and the only way we shall ever attain unto holiness is by His power. I do not even say that the baptism with the Holy Spirit will not result in a great spiritual transformation and uplift and cleansing, for the promise is, "He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire " and the thought of fire as used in this connection is the thought of searching, refining, cleansing, consuming.
A wonderful transformation took place in the Apostles at Pentecost, and a wonderful transformation has taken place in thousands who have been baptized with the Holy Spirit since Pentecost, but the primary purpose of the baptism with the Holy Spirit is efficiency in testimony and service. It has to do rather with gifts for service than with graces of character. It is the impartation of spiritual power or gifts in service and sometimes one may have rare gifts by the Spirit's power and yet manifest few of the graces of the Spirit.
See 1 Cor. In every passage in the Bible in which the baptism with the Holy Spirit is mentioned, it is connected with testimony or service. We shall perhaps get a clearer idea of just what the baptism with the Holy Spirit is, if we stop to consider what are the results of the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and when does someone receive it?
The specific manifestations of the baptism with the Holy Spirit are not precisely the same in all persons. This appears very clearly from 1 Cor.
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And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kind of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. The gifts vary with the different lines of service to which God calls different persons. The church is a body, and different members of the body have different functions and the Spirit imparts to the one who is baptized with the Spirit those gifts which fit him for the service to which God has called him.
It is very important to bear this in mind. Through the failure to see this, many have gone entirely astray on the whole subject. In my early study of the subject, I noticed the fact that in many instances those who were baptized with the Holy Spirit spake with tongues e. I did not know of any one who was speaking with tongues to-day and so I wondered still further whether the baptism with the Holy Spirit were for the present age.
But one day I was studying 1 Cor. Are all apostles?
Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gift of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? I saw furthermore that the gift of tongues, according to the Scripture, was the last and the least important of all the gifts, and that we were urged to desire earnestly the greater gifts 1 Cor.
A little later I was tempted to fall into another error, more specious but in reality just as unscriptural as this, namely, that if one were baptized with the Holy Spirit, he would receive the gift of an evangelist. I had read the story of D. Moody, of Charles G.