Pastor David B. Curtis

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Spirit Baptism

Acts 2:3-4

Delivered 05/04/2008

In our last study we looked at the subject of Pentecost. Could you explain Pentecost and its significance to someone? When the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and the other believers on the Day of Pentecost, those who heard them speaking in tongues were perplexed and asked:

And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" (Acts 2:12 NASB)

"What does this mean?" This question persists in our day. How would you answer this question? What is the meaning of Pentecost? Some answers may be: It's the fulfillment of prophecy given to Israel­this fits the theme of this book, "The Restoration of Israel"; or it was the birth of the Church; It was the inauguration of the New Covenant; It was God indwelling His new temple­His people. All these are true.

But there are many today who believe that Pentecost is a normal Christian experience and that all believers should seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit and to speak in tongues. You have probably had other Christians ask you, as I have, "Have you received the baptism with the Holy Spirit?" If you have not spoken in tongues, they are eager to help you have this experience for yourself. What is the meaning of Pentecost? We all need to answer this question Biblically, in light of the context:

And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. (Acts 2:1 NASB)

Pentecost is the Greek name for the Jewish feast day of Shavuot. Pentecost is called the season of the giving of the Torah in Hebrew, because this is the literal day that God revealed Himself to the people of Israel as they stood at the base of Mount Sinai. Fifty-three days after the first Passover in Egypt, the Law was given to the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai, written upon tables of stone. This was Shavuot or Pentecost. On this day God entered into a covenant with Israel after the flesh. God married Israel.

So on the first Pentecost, the Old Covenant was given to Israel­this was a type. Then almost 1600 years later on the last Pentecost, the New Covenant was given to the new Israel­this is the anti-type. When the New Covenant arrived, what happened to the Old Covenant? Did it end that day? No, it was transitioned out over the next forty years.

Fifty-three days after the final Passover was sacrificed, the Law was given to the "Israel of God," written upon their hearts by the Spirit of God (2 Cor. 3:3), thus fulfilling God's promise to Israel:

And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." (Acts 1:4-5 NASB)

The promised Spirit had arrived. And notice what happened:

And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 and there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. (Acts 2:2-3 NASB)

Pentecost was an audiovisual experience. Notice that there was no wind, but "a noise" like wind­this would get their attention. The Greek word used here for wind is pnoe. It is most often translated "breath of life." Luke uses this particular word here to stress the life-giving breath of God, as symbolized by the sound of wind. God was breathing into His Church the breath of life. The New Covenant was inaugurated.

Notice also that there are tongues of fire. What is the significance of this? Throughout the Scriptures, fire is always a sign of God's presence among His people. Note how at Pentecost the manifestation of the flaming presence of God is not positioned over a tent as it was in the Old Covenant. This time it is over PEOPLE. Why? Because they are the new tabernacle­the dwelling place of God. God is descending in fire on the new temple of His people by His Spirit. This is the promise of the New Covenant:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. . (Revelation 21:1 NASB)

Most Christians see this as heaven or what they call the eternal state, but this is speaking of the New Covenant. Hang on, and I'll attempt to prove this:

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2 NASB)

The New Heaven and Earth is the New Jerusalem, and according to Scripture, the New Jerusalem is the New Covenant:

This is allegorically speaking: for these women are two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. (Galatians 4:24-26 NASB)

Paul speaks here of two Covenants­the old and new. The old is Mount Sinai and the new is the Jerusalem above. The New Jerusalem is the New Covenant.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2 NASB)

Now watch the next verse:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, (Revelation 21:3 NASB)

In the New Jerusalem God dwells among His people. Paul told the Corinthians that they were God's dwelling place:

Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. (2 Corinthians 6:16 NASB)

When you compare what Paul says here with what John say in Revelation 21:3 you see that they are talking about the same thing. Believers, the Church is God's temple and it has been ever since Pentecost. Our God is not "up there, out there, some where"; He is "with us, He dwells in us, we are His people."

This is the significance of Pentecost. I said last week that this is the immersion in the Holy Spirit, which had been promised by Jesus, and for which the apostles had been waiting since His ascension.

This audible coming of the Spirit is said to have "filled the whole house where they were sitting." That is, the people in the house were totally "immersed" in the Spirit. This, people, is the baptism of the Spirit. In His initial coming the Spirit descended from heaven in a unique way, but the result of what He does is the same today. He baptizes us into the Body of Christ; He makes us a partaker of Christ; He places us firmly and securely in Christ; He joins us together, in the same Spirit, to all of the redeemed.

I want us to spend the rest of our time this morning looking at the subject of the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit." As with any Biblical subject, there are many conflicting viewpoints as to what the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" consists of, when it happens, and why it happens. As I said at the beginning of this message, If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you most likely have been asked this question at one time or another, "Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit?" What do you say when somebody asks you that question? How do you know if you have been? Can you answer them Biblically?

This is a very significant subject; it is something that all believers should understand and be able to articulate as part of their Pneumatology. Many in the Church have been taught a dichotomy as to the believers salvation and baptism by the Spirit. In other words, you are saved and then some time after that (if you do the right things) you are baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Let's look at a little history that may help us in understanding the various teachings on the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Some Catholic theologians have taught that when an infant is baptized, he receives salvation. Years later when he is confirmed, he receives the Holy Spirit. So, the dichotomy has its roots in Roman Catholicism.

It also has its roots in John Wesley, Charles Finney, R. A. Torrey, and others. In fact, Torrey has been one of the greatest contributors to the modern Pentecostal movement despite the fact that he himself was not a Pentecostal. When he taught that the baptism of the Spirit was a later work, they quoted him because he was such a well-known evangelical, mainline theologian.

John Wesley taught that you were saved first and then later on there was a second work of grace subsequent to salvation. John Wesley's biographers say that he died never having attained that second work.

In 1906 at the Azusa street mission in Los Angels California Pentecostalism was born; this is commonly referred to as classical Pentecostalism. In 1960 the Pentecostal movement spilled over into mainline denominations of Protestantism; that extension is called Neo-Pentecostalism. And Neo-Pentecostalism has rapidly spread through all of the major denominations in Protestantism. The basic doctrine of Neo-Pentecostalism is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. So central is this doctrine that if you were to remove it .what you had left would not be Neo-Pentecostalism.

Here is what Neo-Pentecostalism teaches on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (See if you agree with these statements):

1. Spirit Baptism is an experience that is distinct from and usually subsequent to salvation. (dichotomy)
2. Spirit Baptism is an experience whereby the totality of the Spirit is possessed by an individual.
3. Spirit Baptism is an experience which empowers a believer for his witness and Christian service.
4. Spirit Baptism is an experience which believers are urged to seek.
5. Spirit Baptism is an experience which results in the full bestowal of the gifts of the Spirit and the initial historical evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is that the individual speaks in tongues.

Those are the five theses of Spirit baptism as taught by Neo-Pentecostalism today.

In 1967 Neo-Pentecostalism struck out in two new directions, the Roman Catholic movement and the Charismatic movement. One of the cardinal doctrines held by Charismatics is the necessity for a "second work of grace," commonly called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Many Charismatic writers suggest that there are requirements to receiving the gift. They talk much about the cost of the gift. (Oxymoron)

Charismatic writer, Robert Dalton, expressed the element of effort when he said, "This experience is not for a select few, but for all who desire it and are willing to pay the price."

Donald Gee ,a leading Pentecostal, has written, "What is the unique thing that makes the Pentecostal movement a definite separate entity? It is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the initial evidence of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives us utterance."

Much of the confusion can be cleared up if we would simply go to the Scriptures. If you were to sit down with your Bible and a concordance and begin to study the baptism with the Holy Spirit (most people don't study­they believe what others have told them), some things might surprise you. The first thing that may surprise you is that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is never mentioned in the First Testament. The Spirit was active in the First Testament, but the baptism with the Holy Spirit is never mentioned.

The second thing that may surprise you is that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is mentioned only 9 times in the Second Testament. From these 9 passages, four major aspects of the doctrine are presented.

A. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is promised: five of the nine passages deal with the promise of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is first mentioned in:

"As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 "And His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (Matthew 3:11-12 NASB)

Who does the baptizing? Jesus. Who is the agent? The Holy Spirit. It is not the baptism "of" the Holy Spirit, but the baptism with/by the Holy Spirit. When does it take place? At a future time of this writing. It did not take place until after the Lord ascended into heaven and took his seat on the right hand of the Father. This future aspect is mentioned in all four Gospels, and in Acts 1:

"I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." (Mark 1:8 NASB)
John answered and said to them all, "As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Luke 3:16 NASB)
"And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.' (John 1:33 NASB)
for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." (Acts 1:5 NASB)

These five verses are promises that show the baptism of the Holy Spirit had not existed previously and did not occur until after Acts 1:5. So five of the nine references are prophecies of its future coming.

B. When did the baptism of the Holy Spirit occur? Historically­according to Acts 1:5 it was "not many days from now," which refers to Pentecost:

And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. (Acts 2:1-3 NASB)

I said that this is the baptism of the Spirit, but you'll notice that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not mentioned in these verses. But look with me at:

"And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as He did upon us at the beginning. 16 "And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' (Acts 11:15-16 NASB)

Peter identifies the date of the baptizing with the Holy Spirit at its inception as Pentecost. This is the first time that the baptism with the Holy Spirit took place. In Acts 11 the same thing happened to them as had happened to the 120 in the temple. The original band of disciples were baptized on the day of Pentecost.

The disciples were not baptized with the Holy Spirit because they were of one accord, or because they waited, or prayed, or asked for it, or studied the Scriptures. Those who say we must "wait" today are 2,000 years too late and 10,000 miles off.

The creed of Pentecostal Evangel magazine, an Assemblies of God publication, says, "We believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:4 is given to believers who ask for it." That reveals a misunderstanding of why the Holy Spirit came.

The Spirit came because it was the beginning of the New Covenant age. Pentecost will never happen again, anymore then Calvary will happen again. Pentecost was a historical prophesied event. It happened according to God's will, not because of man's actions. If the disciples were having donkey races, they still would have been baptized with the Holy Spirit. Look at:

but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 17 'AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,' God says, 'THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT UPON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; (Acts 2:16-17 NASB)

Pentecost was not only the fulfillment of our Lord's prophecy in Acts 1:5 and of John the Baptist's prophecy in Matthew 3, but also of the First Testament prophets.

So the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurred historically at Pentecost. Since we were not there at Pentecost, when are you and I baptized with the Holy Spirit? We have seen that there are many positions on this issue, but what do the Scriptures say? Let's go back to:

"And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as He did upon us at the beginning. 16 "And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' 17 "If God therefore gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?" (Acts 11:15-17 NASB)

Peter is preaching the Gospel to Cornelius. As he preaches, Cornelius believes and the Holy Spirit descends upon him as he had upon the 120 at the beginning. The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the 120 at the beginning was the fulfillment of the promised baptism of the Spirit. I conclude, then, that what is happening to Cornelius here is also the baptism with the Holy Spirit. So I think it is safe to say that a believer is baptized with the Holy Spirit at the moment of his conversion. It is not a second experience, it is not subsequent to salvation. The moment we are saved, we are baptized with the Holy Spirit, we don't do anything to receive it except believe the Gospel.

Paul teaches this same thing in 1 Corinthians. In chapter 12, verse 12 Paul begins to deal with the concept of the church being the body of Christ:

For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12 NASB)

We are the body of Christ, and within that body there is unity and great diversity:

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 NASB)

Here Paul answers the question, "How did we get into that body?" We were not born into it as infants; the Body of Christ does not consist of everybody in the world, only certain individuals are in it. So how do we get into the Body of Christ? His answer is clear, "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body." That is the "baptism with the Holy Spirit"

This passage is the only place in the entire Bible where the baptism of the Holy Spirit, what it consists of, and when it occurs is explained to us.

Some one might be thinking, "What about Acts 8?" Doesn't that teach that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is a second work of grace? They received the baptism after their salvation:

But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house; and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. 4 Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. 5 And Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. (Acts 8:3-5 NASB)

Philip is preaching the Gospel in Samaria. Why is this a big deal? The Samaritans were greatly despised by the Jews because of their impure blood lines and their religious deviations from orthodox Judaism. According to John 4:9, the Jews had "no dealings with the Samaritans" (John 4:9), and the feeling were reciprocated. Thus for Philip to share his faith with Samaritans was a most uncommon act:

But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. (Acts 8:12 NASB)
Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17 NASB)

Why is there a gap between their believing and their baptism with the Holy Spirit? Is this a second work of grace? No! This is a providential work of God. The Samaritans needed to be shown the truth of John 4:22 "Salvation is of the Jews." This act connected them with Jerusalem so the schism would not be carried over into the church. The Jews and Samaritans are one in Christ, this preserved the unity of the body.

Keep in mind that the book of Acts is a transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant era. This is the only place where you'll find a gap between salvation and the baptism with the Holy Spirit, other than at Pentecost.

What about Acts 19:1-6?

And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found some disciples, 2 and he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." 3 And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism." 4 And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. (Acts 19:1-6 NASB)

These were Old Covenant believers, they were John's disciples. John's baptism was a baptism of waiting for the Messiah. There is no gap here; they were not Christians yet. They believed and were baptized with the Spirit at the same time.

C. What is the extent of the baptism with the Holy Spirit?

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 NASB)

There are no requirements to receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit. "All" is mentioned twice, all believers have received the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Paul's point here is unity; the baptism with the Holy Spirit makes us members of the body of Christ. To not be baptized with the Holy Spirit is to not be a Christian.

"We were all baptized"­past tense. It happened at salvation. That is why there is no command in Scripture to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. There is no exhortation to receive the Holy Spirit­you already have Him.

Definition- the baptism with the Holy Spirit is the work of Jesus Christ in putting us into the church through the agency of the Holy Spirit. It happens at salvation. The fact that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is universal is explicitly taught in 1 Corinthians 12:13 (we were all baptized), and implicitly taught in:

one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Ephesians 4:5 NASB)

Speaking of unity, one Lord­every believer has the same Lord. We all have the same faith­this is a common basis for unity. One baptism­this is the Spirit baptism; it is a basis for unity. Not all Christians have been baptized in water, but they have all been baptized by the Spirit. There are not two types of Christians, some with the baptism with the Holy Spirit and some without it. Those who have not been baptized with the Holy Spirit are not Christians.

In the nine verses that speak of the baptism with the Holy Spirit none of them ever command us to seek it. What is the inference here? All believes have it. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is positional work of God; at salvation we are placed into the body of Christ and we can never loose that status. We are exhorted to be filled with the Spirit but never to be baptized. It is the filling of the Spirit that leads to power in our Christian lives. Filling has the idea of control.

D. What is the result of the baptism with the Holy Spirit?
It is not power for victorious Christian living. According to 1 Corinthians 12:13 the Corinthians had been baptized with the Holy Spirit, but they were not living victorious Christian lives. They were a mess. Paul writes to straighten out their sinful lives. In 1:10 he talks about their divisions; in 1:12-17, their personality cliques; in 3:3, their carnality; in 5:1, their sexual sin, in 8 ,their abuse of Christian liberty; and in 11, their abuse of the Lord's Supper. They had received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, but they were not living the victorious Christian life.

All Christians have been baptized with the Holy Spirit, but not all Christians live victoriously. The power is available, but one must submit to the Spirit's control in order to achieve it:

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:4 NASB)

Here we see that the Spirit also "filled" the disciples. The filling differs from the baptism. The baptism is common to every believer. We are never told in Scripture to seek the baptism with the Spirit nor to pray for the baptism with the Spirit. The baptism with the Spirit is simultaneous with our justification. But the filling of the Spirit is another matter. We are commanded to be continually filled with the Spirit:

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, (Ephesians 5:18 NASB)

He fills us to enable us for worship, service, and witness. The filling of the Spirit is repeatable, and commanded­so, therefore, something for which to seek, and necessary for an effective Christ-like life. The baptism of the Spirit is unrepeatable, sovereignly given at justification, and necessary for immersing you into Christ.

What is the result of the baptism with the Holy Spirit? We can understand this by understanding the meaning of the word "baptize." The primary meaning of the word "baptize" is: "to immerse or dip." But there is more than one meaning for the word "baptize." In any language there may be a literal and a metaphorical meaning of any one word. For example. we see this in our use of the word "bomb." Used literally it is an explosive device meant to destroy. But it is used metaphorically of something that is very good, attractive, and pleasing. The word "baptize" used metaphorically means: "a change of identity." It means: "identification with or united to." We see this secondary meaning in:

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; (1 Corinthians 10:1-2 NASB)

They were all identified with Moses. For years the children of Israel had been joined to Egypt, and identified with Pharaoh. But as they came out of Egypt in the exodus, the red sea and the pillar of the cloud broke that identification and identified them unto Moses. We also see this metaphorical use in:

But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking for. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" 39 And they said to Him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. (Mark 10:38-39 NASB)

What is he talking about? The word "baptizo" was used by the Greeks of overwhelming calamities. Jesus was thinking of being overwhelmed "baptized" by suffering.

The baptism with the Holy Spirit is identification with the body of Christ:

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:27 NASB)
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? (Romans 6:3 NASB)

The moment you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ, when God did that sovereign work of grace in your life and opened your heart, God, the Holy Spirit, united you, identified you with the body of Christ. That has tremendous practical applications. One of the greatest realities the Christian will ever understand about being united to Christ is that we stand complete in Him:

and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; (Colossians 2:10 NASB)

Dr. Ironside tells the story about a sheep ranch that he once visited. As he stood at the fence looking out over the sheep he said to the rancher, "That's an ugly lamb, what's wrong with it?" The rancher explained that if a lamb died the mother would usually die also, mourning the death of the lamb. If the mother died giving birth, the lamb was sure to die because no other mother would nurse the orphan. What we do is take the skin of a dead lamb and wrap it around the orphaned lamb. Then we bring that orphaned lamb in the skin of the dead lamb to the mother who lost the lamb. The mother smells the skin around the orphaned lamb and recognizes it as her lamb and accepts it as her own.

This is a good picture of what God does for us. God accepts us because we are in Christ Jesus:

to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:6 NASB)

God sees us in Christ Jesus. How did we get in Christ? By the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Our union with Christ grants us all that He is and has. We are complete in Him (Romans 6:1-10). It is because of our union with Christ that we are declared righteous. I am as righteous as Jesus Christ, because I am in Jesus Christ, and therefore I have His righteousness.

When the Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ He puts us into Christ. He joins our life with His; He becomes our source of existence and strength; we are part of Him.

That is what the church is. It is not just a group of religious people gathered together to enjoy certain mutually desired functions. It is a group of people who share the same life, who belong to the same Lord, who are filled with the same Spirit, and who are intended to function together to change the world by the life of God. That is the work of the church.

If someone asks you if you have received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, tell them, "Yes, and so has every other believer."

Let's review the teaching of Neo-Pentecostalism on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and see if any of your answers have changed:

1. Spirit Baptism is an experience that is distinct from and usually subsequent to salvation. (No, we are baptized at salvation)
2. Spirit Baptism is an experience whereby the totality of the Spirit is possessed by an individual. (Yes, the Holy Spirit is a person, therefore you can't have only part of Him.)
3. Spirit Baptism is an experience which empowers a believer for his witness and Christian service. (No, all Christians are not empowered­Corinthians? But it makes the power available to us.)
4. Spirit Baptism is an experience which believers are urged to seek. (Nowhere in Scripture are we told to seek it.)
5. Spirit Baptism is an experience which results in the full bestowal of the gifts of the Spirit and the initial historical evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is that the Individual speaks in tongues. (Spirit baptism is a non-experiential work of God, whereby the believer is placed into the body of Christ.)

We are united to Christ by the baptism with the Holy Spirit. We stand complete in Him, we share all that He is and has. The principle of identification with Christ is the basic foundation of the spiritual life. Understanding our position is the key to living victoriously. We are to live in practice what we are in position. We are to "be what we are!" We are commanded to allow the Spirit who indwells us to control us. Ephesians 5:18.

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