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Doctrines of Christ 5

Doctrines of Christ 5 

In our last post, we gave multiple scriptural examples of water baptism, and how the early church followed the command of the Lord to baptize His followers in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Now we will discuss the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which is promised to all believers. 

When a person is born again (see John 3:3-7) they become new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and their spirit is regenerated. “…not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit….” Titus 3:5 

After the New Birth, there is an empowerment we can receive through the baptism in the Holy Spirit. We are immersed in His power, His grace, His anointing, and His love. He then can flow through us as we yield to Him in ways unattainable prior to this energizing encounter. 

Some teach we are filled with the Holy Spirit immediately when we are born-again by the Spirit. They teach being born-again is synonymous with being filled with the Holy Spirit. This was not the case with the early disciples nor most examples in scripture. Jesus made a clear distinction between the new wineskin and the new wine. The wineskin speaks of the new birth and regeneration of the human spirit. The wine speaks of the baptism in the Holy Spirit or fullness of the Holy Spirit which is available to all believers.  And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins." Mark 2:22

The wineskin is prepared before the wine is poured in. God promised to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh in the Old Testament (see Joel 2:28-29), but up until that time only kings, priests and prophets were anointed or filled with the Spirit of God to accomplish certain tasks or callings. 

Jesus said this blessing of the Holy Spirit was for all believers, and told His disciples, just prior to His ascension, to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father (Acts 1:4-5). He had breathed upon them in John 20:22 and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.” However, was not the fulfillment of what Joel prophesied or Jesus spoke of in John 7:37-39. 

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came as a rushing mighty wind and rested upon 120 new believers in the upper room in Jerusalem. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:1-4). Peter immediately said, “this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel….” (Acts 2:16-18) This was the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church.  

To lay a foundation, we must go through the book of Acts to the pattern of how the Holy Spirit empowered and revolutionized the early church. In Acts 1:8 Jesus told the disciples they would receive POWER after the Holy Spirit came UPON them. That happened on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). When this took place, Peter declared to the crowd of onlookers; “This is that spoken by the prophet Joel.” (Acts 2:16) And… “the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39) Approximately a year later, Philip went down to Samaria and preached Christ and demonstrated the power of the Kingdom of God, with signs, wonders, and miracles (Acts 8:5-8). When the multitude in Samaria received the message of Christ, they were baptized in water. At that time, they were born-again. When the Apostles at Jerusalem heard the Samaritans had received the gospel message and believed on Christ, they sent Peter and John to them. When Peter and John arrived, they prayed for the new believers to receive the Holy Spirit, through the laying on of their hands. (Acts 8:15-17) This is another scriptural example of the infilling of the Holy Spirit being a separate experience after the New Birth. 

Around four years after the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Saul of Tarsus was converted on the Damascus Road. Jesus appeared to him in dazzling light that left him blind. He was led by the hand to Damascus, where he fasted and prayed for three days. He was then healed of his blindness and filled with the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands of a disciple named Ananias. (Acts 9:1-18) A few years after Saul’s conversion, Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, was converted when Peter preached the message of Christ. He and his household were open to Peter’s message of Christ and were saved, instantly filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other tongues. This was like the experience of disciples in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. Acts 10:1-46 

Many years later, the Apostle Paul travelled through Ephesus and found certain disciples. He asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit SINCE they believed. They acknowledged their ignorance on the subject, so he explained their need to believe the full message of Christ and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He baptized them with water in the name of the Lord Jesus, then laid his hands upon them and they received the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues, and prophesied. Act 19:1-6 

Through these many scriptural proofs, we see there was not just one isolated incident where believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking with tongues after they were converted. And as it was in the early church, so it is today. It is estimated there are over 700 million people on the face of the earth who are filled with the Holy Spirit and speak with other tongues. This number will only increase in the days ahead. There is so much more we could share about this wonderful blessing of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is not just an experience but a doorway into the greater things Jesus spoke of in John 14:12. 

Next time we will look at the doctrine of laying on of hands. Until then, may God our Father richly bless and keep you! 

James Brown 

CST 04/06/2022

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