Eternity Daily Bible Study
(A ministry of Eternity Christian Fellowship)

Walking In The Spirit - 16


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Topic: The Baptism In The Holy Spirit Part 1

Date:   7th August 2009


In yesterday's study we looked at the spiritually overflowing Christian life. A life so drenched with God that the dry ground became a 'spiritual wetland'. Now the Greek word for immersed is 'baptizo' from which we get our word baptized. When we are drenched with God and immersed in Jesus we are baptized with the Holy Ghost.  The next few studies will look at this baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Mark 1:8 MKJV    I indeed have baptized you in water, but He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 3:11-12 MKJV  I indeed baptize you with water to repentance. But He who comes after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire;  

Here John the Baptist is telling us that the baptism Jesus would administer would be different in nature and in kind from his baptism. John's baptism was 'with water unto repentance” while Jesus would be the one who would baptize with 'the Holy Spirit and fire'. Jesus Himself makes the difference plain at His Ascension:


Acts 1:4-5 MKJV  And having met with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to await the promise of the Father which you heard from Me.  (5)  For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.


A few verses later Jesus states the effect of this baptism in the Holy Spirit:


Acts 1:8 MKJV  But you shall receive power, the Holy Spirit coming upon you. And you shall be witnesses to Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.


Here we see that the baptism in the Holy Spirit in verse 5 is identical with 'the Holy Spirit coming upon you' in verse 8.  This will prove a key observation later as we examine the difference between the Holy Spirit 'in' the believer and the Holy Spirit 'upon'  us.


Now the disciples had already received the Holy Spirit within them after the resurrection:

John 20:22 ISV  When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.


So the Holy Spirit coming upon them, to baptize them in power was another blessing in addition to the Holy Spirit within then and  they were to wait for it in Jerusalem.


Just to make things really confusing there seems to have been THREE 'baptisms' (Hebrews 6:2)  in New Testament times: John's baptism, baptism in water in the name of Jesus, and baptism in the Holy Spirit. [Today we do not have John's baptism except for for a group in Iraq called the Mandeans that still follow John the Baptist]


First the distinction between baptism in water and baptism in the Holy Spirit:

Acts 8:14-17 ISV  Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them.  (15)  They went down and prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit.  (16)  Before this he had not come on any of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  (17)  Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.


Up to the arrival of the apostles the Holy Spirit had not 'come upon' (baptized) any of them (v.16).  The Samaritans who had accepted the gospel (v.14) had only been baptized in the name of Jesus (that is in water) (v.16).  The Samaritans had believed and were baptized in water the name of Jesus but they were still missing something!  So the apostles in Jerusalem sent Peter and John to them and they laid hands on the Samaritans and they received the Holy Spirit.

When Peter preaches the gospel the house of the Gentile centurion Ananias things happen in the opposite order with the baptism in the Holy Spirit coming first:


Acts 10:44-48 ISV  While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all the people who were listening to his message.  (45)  Then the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the gentiles, too.  (46)  For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said,  (47)  "No one can stop us from using water to baptize these people who have received the Holy Spirit in the same way that we did, can he?"  (48)  So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for several days.


The Holy Spirit falls upon them (V.44), they speak in tongues and praise God (v.46),  and all the Jewish believers present acknowledge that the gentiles had received the 'gift of the Holy Spirit' (v.45, 47).  The Gentiles have already been baptized in the Spirit and Peter recognizes this and uses water (v.47) to baptize them 'in the name of Jesus Christ' (v.48).

So we see three separate related things: believing in Jesus,  being baptized in water in Jesus' name, and having the Holy Spirit come upon the believer in power.  A possible analogy is that it is similar to falling in love (believing),  the marriage ceremony (baptism in water), and the consummation of the marriage (the Holy Spirit coming upon us, power to witness and to produce spiritual children).


The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a baptism in the love of God where we praise and glorify His Name and receive the power to witness to Him  among the nations of the world.  Thus it is often accompanied by the verbal spiritual gifts such as tongues and prophecy.


Before I finish this study I would like to clear up any alarm and confusion and outline the difference between the Holy Spirit 'in' the believer (which happens at conversion) and the Holy Spirit 'upon' us (which may be a subsequent event).


The Holy Spirit within us is the internal work of God in our lives. It is our new nature and is received at conversion.  The Holy Spirit within us produces the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience as well as imparting wisdom, revelation and a spirit of excellence and holiness.  This is NOT a second experience. If you are a believer you have the Holy Spirit within you.


The Holy Spirit upon us is the external anointing for works of power, witness and ministry (Acts 1:8). It is the enabling work of God that imparts boldness (Acts 4:31) and spiritual gifts as the Holy Spirit Himself decides (1 Corinthians 12:1-11).


Of course these are not entirely separate!  They meet in the person of the Holy Spirit and the 'hinge' that connects the Holy Spirit within us and the Holy Spirit upon us is the filling of the Holy Spirit. This is where an external outpouring of the Holy Spirit also enters into us and fills us:


Acts 4:31 ISV  When they had prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken, and all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.


Ephesians 5:18-20 ISV  Stop getting drunk with wine, which leads to wild living, but keep on being filled with the Spirit.  (19)  Then you will recite to one another psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. You will sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts.  (20)  You will always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


The Holy Spirit within is is primary and is essential for salvation.  We need a new nature, holiness, love and the fruit of the Spirit. The baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit upon us, is essential for courage, joy and power in ministry. Together they join up as the  daily filling with the Holy Spirit and the abundant Christian life.




John Edmiston (
Pastor – Eternity Christian Fellowship
Chairman/ CEO Cybermissions


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