The Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Pt. 2

Luke 3:16 says, “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire”.

Now, you do not have to speak in tongues to be saved. There is a difference between the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. There is water you drink and water you shower in. The water you drink is the infilling of the Holy Spirit because when you try that water, you will never thirst again (John 4:14). It gives you a good conscience towards God as that sin is being purged. The baptism of the Holy Ghost reflects the water you bathe in because there is an outward manifestation of an inward transformation. When someone operates and functions in the Holy Spirit, people know it! We must be filled with the Holy Spirit to be saved, for without His Spirit, we are none of His (Romans 8:9). The infilling of the Holy Spirit truly happens when someone is baptized in repentance, where they confess with their mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in their hearts that God raised His Son from the dead (Romans 10:9). Just as when the Holy Ghost descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove, the Holy Spirit will come within us and operate in this bodily temple! It comes through and begins with repentance.

The best example to illustrate the difference between the infilling and baptism of the Holy Spirit is Christmas. For most children, Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, spend time with family and opening presents. Each year, they have their family, but also a wish list of things that they would really like to have. Their parents do their best to get that for them, and their children always open them with excited anticipation, just hoping that Santa Claus comes through again, as usual. Nothing could make a parent much happier than giving what their children solely desires the most. Spiritually, it is the same way. We always have God with us through His Spirit, but that does not mean that we have all of the gifts. We just have to want them and ask for them, so at the appointed time we can receive them. Matthew 7:11 says, “If ye then, being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” James 1:17 teaches that “every good gift and ever perfect gift is from above.” If one wants the baptism of the Holy Ghost, they must ask and seek for it!

We are still the church of the Book of Acts because God is still in the business of healing and saving souls. Never will you read in scripture where the gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased from the early church. Most people centralize their focus solely on the gifts of speaking and interpreting tongues, but the Bible teaches concerning seven other available charismata gifts, along with seven motivational gifts, that will build a greater church and provide more complete functions for the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:8-11; Romans 12:4-8). They are all to be in operation today. Acts 2:38, 39 says, “38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” The baptism of repentance is key before receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit. If we are called, then it is for us, even our generation. These gifts were not only for the Jewish people, but also for those Gentiles who were, and are still, hungry to receive, and it can only come through Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:13-14 says, “13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” We can receive what the early church had through faith in Jesus Christ, for the racial line has been washed int he blood of the Lamb. It is the reason why the Italian centurion, Cornelius, who was a devout, God-fearing man, would be baptized in the Holy Ghost, along with those with him, who was listening to Peter’s message. He himself was amazed that the gift fell upon the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-48). The Apostle Paul even explains us, the Gentile people, as being engrafted as a wild olive tree in this Abrahamic covenant (Romans 11:17-21). We are part of it, and it is for us!

You may not have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but it is available for you. Acts 19:1-7 says, “1And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7And all the men were about twelve.” The Apostle Paul had come to Ephesus and came across some Baptist believers. They had underwent the baptism of water unto repentance, but they had not even heard of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. They were converted to John’s baptism, but they needed to experience the conversion to Christ’s baptism! But after Paul ministered to them, laid hands upon them, and prayed for them, these twelve individuals were baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire, speaking in tongues and prophesying! You may have not heard of this baptism, but if you want it, you can have it! His good gifts are laid up for you. All you have to do is pray, ask, and seek for it with all of your might. It begins with repentance, and then it must be followed up with hunger. We should not be afraid of the gifts, but we should want everything that God has in store for us!