Difference between “Born again by the Spirit and Baptism in the Spirit.
We are born of the Spirit; new life in God is a spiritual life and it needs a spiritual working to bring us from the natural into the spiritual. This is why Jesus stresses to Nicodemus in John 3 his natural birth cannot appropriate eternal life. He needs a new birth and only the Holy Spirit can cause this. Romans 8:9 states if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. If anyone has not had an experience of the Holy Spirit working salvation into his life then he does not belong to Christ and what he or she is experiencing is religion. Religion cannot save for it is the works of man. (Ephesians 2v9) There is a perfect example of the work of the Spirit of God in Creation, Gen 1v2. The earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Compare this verse with Acts 26v18; to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Before God spoke His word of creativity the Spirit moved upon. Before God brings us into a relationship with Him the Spirit must move upon our being which makes way for God to reveal Himself to us. This moving upon is the key as to God’s work in us as regards to salvation. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit moves the emphasis from merely being “with” us or “moving upon” to being “in” us, and our bodies become his temple. I Corinthians 3:16. God takes up residence within us. “Spirit dwelling in a natural body?” now that is wonderful. It is the Spirit within us that continually reassures us that we are God’s children. Romans 8:15-16. And also the Spirit living within us is God’s seal on our lives and his guarantee of what is to come. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, 5:5; Ephesians 4:30. Many have said that they have the indwelling of the Spirit of God at salvation but this is not true. I hope this simple study will make it clear to any that would doubt a secondary experience must take place.
The experience of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Matthew 3v11; Luke 3v16; John 1v33 narrates the story of John the Baptist and how he declares Jesus as the Messiah and the Baptiser of the Holy Spirit and in John’s account testifies that it was God who revealed that Jesus would baptise in the Holy Spirit. We then fast forward time to after the crucifixion and to one of the last visitations the resurrected Christ made to His disciples. Acts 1v4-5; And being assembled together with them(Jesus and His disciples) commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem but wait for the promise of the Father, which said he, (John the Baptist) you have heard of me. For John truly baptised with water but you shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Joel prophesies of a day when God would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, men and women, they will demonstrate spiritual gifts prophetic and by visions and dreams. In chapter 2 of Acts we have the historical account of men and women being filled with the Spirit and speaking in other languages. The critics say this day of Pentecost was the fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy. This is only partial right, we must ask the question, if this group alone experienced the fulfilment of prophecy why then does Peter in his sermon preach to the thousands gathered you shall receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost for the PROMISE is to YOU and your CHILDREN AND TO ALL THAT ARE AFAR OF, EVEN AS MANY AS THE Lord OUR GOD SHALL CALL. This baptism in the Spirit the followers of Jesus experienced is for you and me.
HAVE YOU RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT?
When the apostle Paul met believers in Ephesus (Acts 19:2), he asked them a question: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit…?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Paul prayed together with them and “the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied” the same thing which happened to the 120 people awaiting God’s promise of His Holy Spirit in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. They also spoke with tongues and prophesied. All this was spoken about by Jesus and should have been expected since Jesus was said to be the one who would baptize in the Holy Spirit and fire. It is as important today as it was in Paul’s day that we should be baptised in the Holy Spirit.
Next week I would like to continue in this theme and ask the question; what is the baptism in the Holy Spirit for?