Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The New Birth, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, and Water Baptism, Part 2

In my first post in this series, I talked about the new birth. Today I will be sharing on the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit, as mentioned in Acts 2, and other places in the book of Acts, is not the same thing as the new birth.  It is an experience subsequent to salvation, and often comes through the laying on of hands, but not always.

In Acts 1:4 and 1:8, Jesus is speaking with His disciples after the resurrection.  He gives them a command to wait in Jerusalem until they receive the “gift my Father promised.”

“One on occasion, while He was eating with them, He gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”-Acts 1:4-5

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”-Acts 1:8

I find it interesting that in Acts 1:4-5, He points them back to John’s baptism with water, because that is where He first received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, was when John baptized Him with water.  It was when the power of God came on Him, and His own ministry started.  He is an example for us.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not the same thing as the New Birth.  We know this because Jesus told them to wait for this.  They had already received the Holy Spirit in John 20, which was the new birth, when Jesus breathed on them.

“Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you!  As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”-John 20:21-23

Jesus would not tell them to wait for something He had already given them, unless it was something different.  No, what was coming was the power of God to do what He had called them to do.  Being baptized or immersed in the Holy Spirit would make them like Him.

In Acts 2, on the day of the Jewish festival of Pentecost, the disciples who were all waiting received.

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”-Acts 2:1-4

This was different than what happened to them in John 20.  Jesus had gone back into Heaven, and the Holy Spirit had come in His place, to equip every Believer to do what He has called them to do.

In my next post, we will look at other examples of other Believers in the book of Acts being baptized in the Holy Spirit.  We will also learn more about the differences in the experiences of the new birth, baptism in the Holy Spirit, and water baptism.

All posts in this series include:

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