The Baptism by the Spirit

Posted: Thu. Sep, 8 2016


The Baptism by the Spirit is another miraculous event that occurs the moment we believe  in Christ.

It is performed for every believer without exception.  It is performed once and never needs to be repeated.

This baptism by the Spirit is completely the work of God the Holy Spirit and we don’t do a thing to accomplish it.

It is not an experience.  Yet it establishes unity and equality between all the members of the church, which is the Body of Christ.


Three key passages

Let’s begin by looking at three scripture passages which describe this event, the Baptism by the Spirit.

Let’s simply drink in the wonder of it all.

And as we read and reflect on each of these New Testament passages, I want you to notice how  every time that the Baptism of the Spirit is mentioned, it is described as a fact concerning an event which has already occurred for the believer.  It is never spoken of as a potential future event that depends on any human action.

1 Co 12:12-13
12 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. 13 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.

First, let’s make sure we are clear on what the meaning of the word “baptize” is.

It’s a transliteration of the Greek word baptizo.   So it gets its meaning from the meaning of the Greek word.

And the Greek word baptizo in the passive voice (which we have here) means to be placed into or identified with something (or in this case Someone)  permanently.

For by one Spirit we were all placed into and identified with the body of Christ.

We will return to this definition when we get to the other two passages that directly speak of the baptism of the Spirit.

Notice that in 1CO 12:13 it says we WERE  baptized.  In other words it is a fact, something that happened once in the past and does not need to be repeated ever again.

Notice also that this was entirely the work of the Spirit.

Notice also that the unity of all believers was forged in  the baptism by the Spirit.  The many are now ONE body.

This lines up perfectly with what Paul tells us in Ephesians 4 about the unity that the Spirit as produced for the church:

EPH 4:1-6
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is  one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5  one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

The one baptism for Christians is the baptism by the Spirit.

And it was done for each and every believer.  ALL were baptized.

Finally, we were ALL also made to drink of one Spirit. Again notice that we were not the actors here. We were passive and  made to drink of the one Spirit. This is speaking of the indwelling of the Spirit. This is another miracle which happened to us at the moment we became believers in Christ.

Our second passage comes from the book of Galatians:

GAL 3:26-28
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

All of you were placed into and identified with Christ permanently.

At the risk of sounding repetitive, notice once again here we have the word all in several places.

We are all sons of God.

All of us were placed into and identified with Christ permanently.

All of us have clothed ourselves with Christ.

We are all one in Christ Jesus.

It is all on the basis of faith.

And the baptism by the Spirit produces unity among all believers. We are all ONE in Christ Jesus.

Finally, and this was also stated in 1Co 12, there are no distinctions in the body based on race, social or economic status, or gender.

There is equality as well as unity in the body of Christ for every member.


All right, here now is our third key passage on the Baptism by the Spirit:

ROM 6:3-7
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin.

Let’s take that definition of baptizo once again to enlighten our understanding of this passage as well.

All of us who have been placed into Christ permanently have been  placed into and identified with His death.

Through this placement into Christ, we have also been buried with Him.

Finally ,  as Christ was raised from the dead, so too we who are in Christ would walk in newness of life.

Since we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection.

To be in Christ is to have died in His death, to have been buried in His burial, to have been raised in His resurrection, and have been  seated with Him at the right Hand of the Father.

EPH 2:4-7
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ ( by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

These are facts which apply to each and every born-again believer in Christ.


A complete definition

Now that we have studied the three major Bible passages on the baptism by the Spirit, it is time to assemble a complete definition that you can refer back to whenever you need to be refreshed about what the baptism by the Spirit is all about.


The Baptism by the Spirit:  At the moment of salvation, the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit places the Church Age believer into an eternal living union with Christ.  The believer shares with Christ in His death, burial, resurrection and session.  The Baptism by the Spirit makes the believer a permanent member of the Body of Christ.  The new believer is a new creation and is eternally secure.


Blessings and Benefits

There are many blessings and benefits that result from our being placed in this living union with our Lord Jesus Christ.

You can find one every time you find the expression “in Christ” or “in Christ Jesus” or “in Him” (referring to Christ).

We will only be able to hit the highlights this time.

There is no condemnation for those who have been baptized by the Holy Spirit.

ROM 8:1
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

We have been set free by the governing power of the Spirit of Life, and that life is in Christ.

ROM 8:2
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Christ has become for us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption:

1 Cor 1:30-31
30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD

And note here once again it’s all by God’s doing, not ours.

If we have been baptized by the Spirit, we have been made a brand new creation.’

2 Co 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is  a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

And then there are the overflowing blessings that have been poured out for us in Christ as described in Ephesians 1:

EPH 1:3-14
3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5  He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6  to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is,  the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11  also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.


Breathtaking, isn’t it?

Let’s enjoy a few more here.

In the ages to come God is going to show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us because we are in Christ Jesus.

EPH 2:7
so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

And we have a double portion of righteousness in our life, one declared by God the Father - God’s righteousness, and one that we share in by virtue being in Christ - Christ’s righteousness.

2 Co 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be  sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Finally, we have been granted eternal life by God the Father, and we find that life now in His Son.  And we are in His Son.

1JO 5:11-12
11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12  He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.


Let’s Listen to Jesus

So as we wrap up today,  we go to be with Christ in the Upper Room with His disciples, where He prophesied about the things to come in the Church Age, including the Baptism by the Spirit.

JOH 14:16-20
16 "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;  17 that is  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you [the indwelling of the Holy Spirit].

18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  19 " After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.  20 " In that day you will know that I am in My Father[the deity of Christ], and you in Me [the Baptism by the Spirit], and I in you [the indwelling of Christ] .  2

And we hear him praying to the Father about the most amazing riches of the unity we share in Him:

John 17:20-23
20 "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;  21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

22 "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;  23  I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 


Until the next time, we’re all ….

In His grip,

Pastor John

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