The Baptism and Fullness of the Spirit
“Worship and work – these are the purposes of the Spirit.”
“The totality of what God wants…to do in the Church and in the world cannot be done unless we are filled with the Spirit.
This chapter is clears up questions regarding the difference between receiving the Holy Spirit at conversion vs. the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
There are, traditionally, three primary views within the church to describe the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (They aren’t all right.)
- When we give our life to the Lord, we are automatically baptized in the Spirit. (Thus if you haven’t received the baptism in the Spirit, you aren’t saved)
- The highest goal of the Christian life is to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, and once the goal is reached, it need not be sought after again.
- “Spirit baptism is a distinct part of our entrance into the full Christian life, along with salvation and water baptism. These can each occur at different times, but I believe it is God’s purpose to make this a cluster of initiation events into the Christian life.”
There are two results of our baptism in the Spirit: deeper worship of God through prayer language, and power in Christian witness.
There are five terms used of the Baptism:
- Baptism in the Spirit
When we receive Christ, we receive the Spirit – all receive the Spirit of God in conversion. There are three separate events of note:
- The Holy Spirit baptizes, or immerses the person (now new believer) into the body of Christ.
- Christ baptizes the believer into the Holy Spirit.
- The minister baptizes the believer in water.
2. The promise of the Father
In Luke 24:49 Jesus said he would send “what my Father has promised”, referring to the coming events of Acts 2. “In scripture, the word utter means “to speak out loudly and clearly.” There is an emphasis upon enthusiasm… When the Old Testament used the verb utter, it referred to prophetic speech.”
So, the promise of the Father is something seen and heard that gave the disciples power to utter boldly. “The promise of the Father comes upon us so that we might have the power of utterance that magnificently declares God’s glory and greatness.”
3. The gift of the Spirit
4. Receive the Spirit “The word receive is used precisely in Acts to describe the baptism in the Spirit. But in John 20, it is used precisely to describe conversion.”
5. Filled with the Spirit. “We should never take a view of the Holy Spirit that once we are baptized in the Spirit we have all that He offers. While there is one baptism, there are many fillings of the Spirit.
Response to experiential theology criticism: “We understand that Spirit baptism comes in two ways. First, we set forth the pattern of Scripture as found in Acts 2, 8, 9, 10 and 19. Second, history is full of cases of the Spirit falling on people without their prior expectations. Just as Peter did in Acts 2, they then went to Scripture to find an explanation.
Kim’s note: I’ve been listening for some time to those who wonder if tongues are the initial evidence because people, D.L. Moody for one, have an experience where they encounter the Holy Spirit and are changed. It would appear that this would be exactly what we are being accused of – experiential theology – having an experience and building a theology around it. I don’t know exactly what they experienced, and I don’t doubt that they encountered God in a way different than they had before, but scripture is pretty clear that the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as noted in Acts 2, 8, 9, 10 & 19 is always accompanied by the outward evidence of tongues.
There are three words to describe the Spirit’s activity: Outpoured, Immersed (in the Spirit) and Filled. Interestingly, all are words also associated with water.