Defining Some Terms
Chances are you either have a strong opinion concerning the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” or know someone who does.
There are many different teachings out there, and you are probably familiar with some.
Rather than believe blindly what friends or teachers have to say, we need to study what God’s Word has to say about the topic—In other words, believe God rather than man.
This means that we do not search just one scripture but consult the entire counsel of God’s Word.
□ Read Luke 3:15-16. According to these two verses, how does John the Baptist describe the baptism that Jesus gives? In other words, baptism by water is also baptism of (blank)… you fill in the blank.
□ Read Acts 1:5 and 2:1-4. What is Jesus’ promise to the disciples just before He returns to the Father in heaven? So at what point in their faith-walk do those in the Upper Room receive the Holy Spirit?
□ Now read Ephesians 1:13-14. After careful examination of these verses, determine what must be done before receiving the Holy Spirit? Again, at what point in their faith-walk do people receive the Holy Spirit—before, at, or following their acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior?
What do You Think
What difference do you see in the timing of the baptisms in Acts 1:5 and 2:2-4 with the timing of the baptism in Ephesians 1:13-14? What conclusion might this lead you to? (Keep in mind all scripture is God-breathed and therefore truth (2 Timothy 3:16). If two teachings appear to conflict, we must consider if maybe we are interpreting one or both incorrectly.
Similar comparisons can be made with other details concerning baptisms in scripture: such as, the manifestation of tongues, for example. Use your Bible concordance to look up experiences of baptism and compare. Here are several to get you started (Keep your eyes open for whether tongues are mentioned or not, and when they manifest: (1) before or (2) after belief and/or baptism. ) Acts 10:44-48; Acts 9:1-9 and 17-19; Acts 8:26-40; Acts 2:1-4.
What can we conclude from the fact there are many different experiences? How does that conclusion apply to our understanding today? Happy Hunting!