Two Baptisims - Part II
Acts 1:8 — “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
In our previous article, we attempted to describe the event we entitled “baptism into Christ.” This event is experienced by every believing sinner at the moment of salvation. A careful biblical study of the Holy Spirit’s work at salvation needs to be performed by every member of the body of Christ. We need to understand that at salvation the Holy Spirit creates anew the heart (soul and spirit) of the new convert. At salvation, the Holy Spirit moves permanently into the heart of the new Christian. He immediately begins His office work as the believer’s sanctifier, teacher, comforter, and unfailing guide. The only legitimate power source for righteousness and holiness is the indwelling Spirit of God who funnels the power of God to the sanctifying needs of the saint. Therefore, a believer does not need the second baptism (baptism with the Holy Spirit) in order to live victoriously over sin. He need only be baptized into Christ.
Some might then foolishly and incorrectly believe that the baptism with the Holy Spirit, as we are about to describe it, is unnecessary. But I declare to you that the rejection of any portion of God’s clearly defined biblical plan will always result in extremely negative consequences.
A SECOND SUBSEQUENT WORK
The fact of a second, subsequent work performed by the Holy Spirit in the heart of the new covenant believer is evidenced for us throughout the book of Acts. Acts is not just a history of the Christian church; it also serves as the model for every believer and every New Testament church. There are five examples given in the book of Acts which reveal details surrounding the initial infilling of this second experience, which I will refer to as “the baptism with the Holy Spirit.” These examples prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that there truly is a second, subsequent work available to believers. These examples can be found and Acts 2, Acts 8, Acts 9, Acts 10, and Acts 19:
These five examples of believers being baptized with the Holy Spirit reveal that the baptism with the Holy Spirit was a normal new covenant experience. The book of Acts reveals and displays a sense of urgency on the part of mature disciples for all new converts to experience this second subsequent event. And in Acts 8, Acts 9, and Acts 19 there can be no valid argument made to refute that the baptism with the Holy Spirit was an event that followed the initial salvation experience of being baptized into Christ. Acts 2, Acts 10, and acts 19 offer irrefutable proof that this second, subsequent work is evidenced by speaking in other tongues. In the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established.
- In Acts 2, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is poured out to accomplish His promised new covenant work and, for the first time, baptizes believers into Christ, as well as immediately after, baptizes them with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with tongues.
- In Acts 8, the Samaritan converts are seen - first baptized into Christ and later baptized with the Holy Spirit.
- In Acts 9, the apostle Paul was saved on the road to Damascus and three days later was both healed and baptized with the Holy Spirit.
- In Acts 10, the house of Cornelius was first baptized into Christ as a result of the preaching of Peter, and then, instantly and without delay, they were baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues.
- In Acts 19, we find believers (no matter when you believe they were first saved) who experienced salvation and then after a period of time were baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues.
POWER FOR SERVICE
Jesus told His disciples that the baptism with the Holy Spirit would bring them power to be witnesses to the truth of His being Messiah, Saviour, and Lord. This power would be manifested in two major activities of the early church as it proclaimed Jesus as the Christ.
The first area of function that we will discuss is the Holy Spirit’s help in proclamation. Once baptized with the Holy Spirit, men spoke under a powerful anointing that was so strong it was able to break through the hardened unbelieving heart of men. This anointing to speak the truth helped the disciples to move past the elementary sensory perceptions of men and drove a dagger deep into the heart of the listener bringing conviction of wrongdoing. As well, this same special touch of the Spirit for this specific task provided a revelation to the sinner that Jesus Christ alone could save the soul. In Luke 4:18-19 we find a description of what the Holy Spirit alone can do as a believer proclaims the truth to both saint and sinner. If we expect our preaching or proclamation of God’s redemption plan to have these same effects on those who hear us, we must have an enduement of power; we must have the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
The second function that occurred consistently in the ministry of the early church was the performance of signs and wonders, diverse miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 2:4 gives commentary to the power exhibited in the early church to those who were witnesses of Christ. These are to be accomplished as a confirmation to the word regarding Christ. These miracles and gifts will only consistently follow those who have been baptized with the Holy Spirit.
When a believer rejects any portion of God’s revealed truth, he quenches, grieves, and cuts himself off from the effectual working of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is here to save and sanctify the believer. In addition, He is to provide the believer with supernatural power to declare the truths of Jesus Christ. Both the baptism into Christ and the baptism with the Holy Spirit are necessary introductory events. The Spirit’s flow of consistent power for sanctification and service will be evidenced in the lives of those who have both experienced these two events and who maintain proper faith in Christ and Him crucified.