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Baptized With The Holy Ghost and Fire
As I sit down this morning to share with you my thoughts on what is the baptism of the Holy Spirit I am reminded by the still small voice of Jesus to once again make sure that everyone understands that this subject is not a subject that we want to allow the enemy of our souls to cause division or strife about.
That although I believe that this subject is important for every believer, it is not something that is important enough to break fellowship with one another. It is not an issue pertaining to salvation thus it is not an essential, it is in nonessential.
Because it is not essential it falls under the category of giving one another liberty.
So with that in mind, I will do my best to explain to you to the best of my knowledge what is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Confusing Terms Surrounding The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
The baptism of the Holy Spirit has been something that has brought a lot of confusion to many people. I believe that this confusion, at least in part, is due to the fact of mixed up semantics.
That both in our modern vernacular and in the Biblical text certain phrases and idioms were used interchangeably.
That just as we will use the term love to mean many different things, so too we and the Biblical writers used the term filled with the Spirit and Spirit filled to mean different things at times.
So allow me to try to give some definitions to the terms surrounding the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit also called receiving the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Christ.
This is what happens at the time when a person accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior and becomes born again.
Let me make this clear. Every born again believer in Jesus Christ has received the Holy Spirit! And I do not want there to be any confusion about this.
This is been of bone of contention between charismatic/Pentecostal believers and non-charismatic/Pentecostal believers. And this contention has all been caused due to semantics.
No charismatic/Pentecostal believer or theologian, who is a serious student of the word of God at all, believes that just because a person has not experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit means that they have not received the Holy Spirit.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not receiving the spirit or having the spirit indwelling you but is having the Holy Spirit come upon you and empowering you with supernatural gifts to accomplish the works of Christ in this world.
Some people have a problem with this because it would indicate that there may be more than one work of grace in a believer’s life.
In all honesty, I think that this issue is really splitting hairs.
I do not believe that there is just one work of grace that happens in a believer’s life but the continual work of grace from the time that they receive Christ until they meet him face to face.
So whether there is one work of grace, two works of grace, three worse of grace, or a 1000 works of grace that does not matter.
Being filled with the Spirit
The term being filled with the Spirit or Spirit filled is the term that is most confusing of all.
It is the one that is used for both the indwelling of the spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit depending on the context in which it is used.
Sometimes both modern day believer’s and the Biblical authors use this term to describe either event.
This has caused a lot of confusion and in some cases offense because both the person using the term and the person hearing the term misunderstood the context in which it was being used.