Empowered by the Holy Spirit: The Baptism In The Holy Spirit

7 March 2014 by Jason Law CM –


Besides sharing about the role and relevance of the Holy Spirit, Pr Calvin also shared about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. He explained that there are three kinds of baptism in the lives of Christians.




Firstly, there is the baptism in water. The agent for this is the minister or pastor, and the element used is water. Water baptism takes place after conversion and is primarily a symbolic sign of commitment to the reality of the Salvation message in our lives. It signifies a death to self, a new birth through Christ, and that we are made alive to God and dead to sin.




Secondly, there is the baptism by the Holy Spirit. The agent for this is the Holy Spirit, and the purpose for this baptism is to bring us into the Body of Christ. This baptism takes place at conversion, and brings us into a saving relationship with Christ. All elements of faith and ministry (Justification, the Word, prayer and fasting, community/church, sanctification, divinely-ordained trials and test, ministry) comes in after these two baptism and many effective servants of God have operated under just these two baptism.




But there is another level of baptism, and that is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The agent for this baptism is Jesus Christ Himself, and the element is the Holy Spirit. While the baptism by the Holy Spirit takes place at conversion, the baptism in the Holy Spirit takes place after conversion.  It is an experience subsequent to salvation where more power for ministry, more gifts, more miracle-working ability, and many other added dimensions of spiritual power are given. This experience includes the ability to have noncognitive communication with God by means of speaking in tongues. In addition, more passion and emotion for ministry are conveyed.  (http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/200501/200501_071_baptismhs.cfm)


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Pr Calvin also pointed out that there is a pattern for the practice of being baptized in the Holy Spirit in the Bible and that it is not a recent phenomenon. In the Book of Acts itself, there are four examples within the first 10 chapters; the 120 at the upper room/first Pentecost (Acts 2:4), the Samaritans (Acts 8:14-18), Paul (Acts 9:17), Cornelius and his family (Acts 10:44-46). In Ephesians 5:18, the Ephesian Church was exhorted to be filled with the Spirit.     


Ephesians 5:18

New International Version (NIV)

18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,


An initial physical evidence for the baptism in the Holy Spirit is the gift of tongues. The practical term for the gift of tongues comes from the Greek word ‘glossolalia’ meaning tongue (glosso) and speech (lalia). Pr Calvin cleared up misconceptions about the gift of tongues. Glossolalia is not “ecstatic utterances”. The word “ecstasy” in its original Greek meaning has the connotation of “out of being”. People speaking in tongues are not out of control and they do not have to be in a subconscious state. The Holy Spirit is in control but He does not take over control of our faculties. Glossolalia is not a trance-like state. 




In order to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, there are certain guidelines we must follow. First, we have to ask for it. In Luke 11:11-13, it is written that if our earthly father knows how to give good gifts, how much more so will our Heavenly Father.


Luke 11:11-13

11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”


One of the most important aspects for the baptism in the Holy Spirit is the examination of our lives. This does not mean that those who are not baptized in the Holy Spirit or don’t speak in tongues are unclean people. The Bible does, however, make it very clear that the Holy Spirit wants to dwell in a holy temple (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). In the Old Testament, only the High Priest could approach the Spirit of God in the Holy of Holies. How much more so for us if we want the Holy Spirit to dwell in us.


1 Corinthians 3:16-17

16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

New International Version (NIV)

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.


We also need to learn to yield ourselves to the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 warns us about quenching the Spirit. There is great restraint in the way the Spirit admonishes us and He often does it in the most gentle of ways. We quench the Spirit when we resist His ministry to us and insist on a self-directed life. The Spirit is there to guide us, and we must be willing to go where the Father might choose to lead, be anything that the Father might choose for us to be, and do whatever the Father might choose for us to do. Above all, we must walk in the Will of God. That is the purpose of the baptism in the Spirit, to empower us to do God’s work, and not for personal power or a self-agenda. We should seek the Giver and not the gift.  (http://www.brandonweb.com/sermons/sermonpages/1thessalonians6.htm)




Once we receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we must rekindle it everyday through our fellowship with the Spirit and with God. Our devotional life is important. Build each other up, keep ourselves alert through the Word of God, have daily communion with God through prayer. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is only one aspect but it is not the end. It is the start of a deeper relationship with God and His Spirit.




The larger Body of Christ can help those who are newly baptized in the Holy Spirit or who seek for the baptism through intercession, standing together with them as brothers and sisters in Christ, and discipling and praising the Lord along with them. When doors are open, great work is done by the Spirit.   


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