Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Some people confuse the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the indwelling of God’s Spirit that occurs when we get saved. But they are as different from each other as a glass of water and a swimming pool. When you drink a glass of water, the water dwells in you. But when you jump in a swimming pool, you dwell in the water–you are baptized in it. To think that you are baptized in the Holy Spirit automatically when you get saved is as absurd as thinking that you can swim just because you drank a glass of water! In John 7:38, the Christ described the “rivers of living water” flowing out of the heart of His believers; and the next verse specifically says that this was in reference to the Holy Spirit which “was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified.” This is significant because Luke 1:15,41,67 describes the family of John the Baptist being “filled with the Holy Spirit.” How could they be filled if the Spirit was not yet given? The answer is simple: they were filled with the Spirit, but they were not baptized in the Spirit with the evidence of tongues. In other words, the family of John the Baptist had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (always manifested in the form of prophecy), but tongues were not given until Christ’s believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Christ Himself described in Acts 1:5 that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a distinctly different experience than salvation. (“You will be baptized” means “you’re not yet baptized,” and was a prophecy that was fulfilled in Acts 2:1-4.) Therefore, we would be calling Christ a liar if we were to say otherwise. (Also see Acts 10:46 and Acts 19:7, which are two more examples of the scripture describing people who were saved but not yet baptized with the Holy Spirit with evidence of tongues.)

In Acts 2:1-4, when Christ’s prophecy about the baptism of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled, the disciples began to speak in tongues. This was the fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy in Mark 16:17, where He said that His followers would speak with new tongues. In other words, it would be a new language, not merelyanother human language. In 1 Corinthians 14:2, Paul expounds on this as he explains, “he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men.” In Romans 8:26, Paul describes praying in the Holy Spirit as “groanings that cannot be uttered,” or as another translation says, “groanings too deep for words.” The Greek word for “groanings” is stenagmos (G4726) which comes from stenazo (G4727), and is listed by Strong’s (entry 5804) as being synonymous with the Greek word alalazo (G214), which means “to repeat frequently the cry ‘alala’ as soldiers used to do on entering into battle.” If you “frequently repeat “‘alala,’” it would sound like “alala-alala-alala-alala”! So it is that a simple study of the word “groanings” that describes tongues in Romans 8:26 reveals how Holy Spirit tongues often sound!

According to Paul, the Holy Spirit baptism is an experience that all Christian believers should pursue (1 Corinthians 14:1,5). And according to Peter, it is available for all, even those “afar off,” which would beyou and I here and now! Therefore, if you are a new Christian and have not yet been baptized with the Holy Spirit with evidence of tongues, you should actively seek it, and speak to your local pastor!

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