Reports on what God is doing through Bible believing evangelical Christians in Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, India and Ecuador. Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
Key Word Bible Doctrine Studies
BAPTISM BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
Baptism by the Holy Spirit is
experienced by all who believe on Jesus Christ as
their Savior at the moment of salvation, and it is
not to be repeated (Romans 8:9). In that baptism
believers are identified with Christ as the Head of
the Body, and are indwelt by the Spirit (John 4:14;
The baptism by the Spirit
occurs at conversion when the Holy Spirit enters the
believing sinner and gives him new life, and makes
his body the temple of the Spirit (1 Corinthians
6:19-20). All believers have experienced this
once-for-all baptism at the moment of salvation
The presence of the Holy Spirit
and His availability for all believers is the norm
in the New Testament. All of the commands and
exhortations of the epistles are based on the
assumption that the baptism of the Spirit has
already taken place in the believer's life. The Holy
Spirit "abides" with the believer forever from the
moment he believes on Christ as his Savior (John
Therefore, we should be careful
not to confuse other forms of expressions found in
the New Testament with the baptism of the Holy
Spirit. For example, when Christians are commanded
to "walk by the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16) and to "be
filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18), we are not
to understand these as commands to be "baptized" of
the Holy Spirit. Similarly the "anointing" of the
Spirit (1 John 2:20-27) and the "pledge (down
payment) of our inheritance" (Eph. 1:14) and other
expressions are not referring to the baptism. These
references indicate various other aspects of the
Spirit's work in believers and their appropriation
of the gifts and blessings of the Holy Spirit in the
Christian's life rather than the historical baptism
of the Spirit.
We affirm the teachings of the
New Testament that Christians receive one baptism,
and must yield to the constant control of the Holy
Spirit. We received one baptism which took place at
moment of our spiritual regeneration, and we will
receive many fillings during the rest of our
Christian life. "For by one Spirit we were all
baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks,
whether slaves or free, and we were all made to
drink of one Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:13).
The baptism of the Holy Spirit
places us in the Body of Christ. The filling of the
Spirit brings us under the control of the Spirit.
The phrase "baptized with the
Spirit" defines what baptism is being referred to;
it is a baptism with reference to the Spirit, not
water. A baptism with reference to the Spirit is a
baptism in which the Holy Spirit is the sole Agent.
God is the one who does the baptizing by His Spirit.
The baptism by the Holy Spirit
on Cornelius and his family (Acts 10:44-48) is
directly linked to the first outpouring of the Holy
Spirit at Pentecost, and it is the formal
recognition of the gospel being preached to the
non-Jews. Gentiles as well as the Jews have all of
the blessings and privileges of the dwelling
presence of the Holy Spirit (Acts 11:15-18). They
were both placed in the Body of Christ by the same
Jesus predicted a definite and
specific event called the baptism of the Spirit in
Acts 1:5. "For John baptized with water, but you
will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days
from now" (Acts 1:5).
The events on the day of
Pentecost were the definite fulfillment of the
prophecy of Joel (Acts 2:17-21). Only one other
event in the New Testament is described as the
baptism of the Holy Spirit and it may be regarded as
the completion of the Pentecostal baptism
First Corinthians 12:13 reads,
"By one Spirit we are all baptized into one body."
The "body" here is the mystical body of Christ of
which our Lord is the Head. The personal agent who
does the baptizing into the body of Christ is the
Holy Spirit. He places the believing sinner into the
Body of which our Lord Jesus Christ is the living
Head. The tense of the verb refers to a once-for-all
event in past time. Therefore, potentially this took
place at Pentecost and affects all believers in
Christ. It is the fulfillment of our Lord's words;
"You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many
days hence" (Acts 1:5).
The Holy Spirit places or
introduces the believing sinner into the Body of
Christ. The same operation of the Holy Spirit is
referred to in Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:17, but the
apostle is relating it to our vital union with the
Head of the Body.
The baptism by the Holy Spirit
does not bring the Spirit to us in the sense that
God places the Spirit upon or in us. The baptism by
the Holy Spirit places the believer in a vital union
with Christ whereby he becomes a member of the
mystical Body of Christ.
Therefore, the baptism by the
Holy Spirit is not for power, because in this
baptism there is nothing applied to or given the
believer. The believer is placed into the Body of
Christ and therefore has an eternal unchanging
position with Him.
The Holy Spirit is not an
ingredient into which the believer is baptized. The
Holy Spirit is not applied to the believer as when
the believer is immersed in water. Nor is water
baptism a requirement for receiving the Holy Spirit.
The believer does not simultaneously receive the
baptism by the Holy Spirit at the time he is
immersed in water.
The “anointing” with the Holy
Spirit refers to the act of God the Father causing
the Sprit to take up His permanent residence in the
Therefore, nowhere in the
Scriptures are believers commanded to seek the
baptism by the Spirit. There is no power imparted in
the act of baptizing with the Holy Spirit. We have
already experienced it, and it never has to be
repeated because the believer already has Him living
within. It is a matter of yielding to the control of
We are, however, commanded to
be "filled" with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). The
"filling" has to do with the control of our lives by
the Holy Spirit. To be "filled" by something in the
Scriptures means to be "controlled" by it. It is a
matter of being available to the Holy Spirit and
yielding control of our lives to Him.
1 Corinthians 12:13; Acts 1:5;
Romans 8:9, 14-16; John 4:14; 7:38-39; Ephesians
5:18; Galatians 5:16; 1 John 2:20-27; Acts
10:1-11:18; 1 Corinthians 6:17-20; 3:16-17; 2
Abiding Principles and
1. How can you know the Holy
Spirit has baptized you? The evidence will be the
witness of the Spirit within the believer (Romans
8:14-16). It does not consist of having all or
certain spiritual gifts. It is the inner witness of
the Holy Spirit bearing "witness with our spirit
that we are the children of God" (Rom. 8:16).
2. When you put your trust in
Jesus Christ as your Savior you were baptized by the
Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ (Gal. 3:28; 1
3. Because all believers have
already experienced the once-for-all baptism of the
Holy Spirit at conversion, we are not commanded to
seek this baptism.
4. Because our bodies already
belong to the Holy Spirit we are to live our lives
under His constant control (1 Cor. 6:18-20).
5. If we are "baptized" by the
Holy Spirit we belong to Christ's Body, and if we
are "filled" with the Holy Spirit our bodies belong
6. In the
context of every passage in the book of Acts where
it is said the believers were “filled with the
Spirit” they are seen witnessing.
For Further Study
Fellowship of the Holy Spirit
Anointed Biblical Preaching
You in Me and I in You
Exodus 17:1-7 The Rock is Christ
Baptized into Christ
Romans 3:21-26 Our Perfect Union with Christ
Galatians 2:20 Our Vital Union in Christ's Death
Who Am I in Christ?
Galatians 2:20 Our Vital Union in Christ's Resurrection
Romans 6:1-14 Free at Last
Romans 6 The Christian's Identity with Christ
The Exchanged Life
Romans What Must I Do to be Saved
Imputed Righteousness of God
John 3:1-16 You Must be Born Again
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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.""Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.
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