Spiritual Gifts part 88. The Spirit uses metaphors to explain spiritual things

John Farley
February 24, 2011

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Spiritual Gifts Part 88: The Holy Spirit uses metaphors to help us to understand spiritual things

The Doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The Doctrine of Spiritual Gifts

Point 2. The Giver of the Gifts: The Person and Work of God the Holy Spirit

1. Efficacious Grace
2. Indwelling of the Spirit
3. Regeneration
4. the Baptism by the Spirit 5. the Sealing with the Spirit 6. the Distribution of Spiritual Gifts.

C. The Baptism of the Spirit is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in placing every new believer into permanent union with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Body the Church.

The Holy Spirit is the personal divine agent who does the baptizing. He is not the substance or result.

The result of the baptism by the Spirit is our position in Christ.

We are in union with Christ forever.

This baptism by the Holy Spirit is unique to the Church Age believer.

The Baptism by the Holy Spirit, placing the believer in permanent union with the Lord Jesus Christ, is the ONLY baptism that matters in the Church Age.

Point 1. Defining our terms.

The English word “baptize” is not native to the English language, and thus carries with it no innate meaning of its own.

The English word “baptize” is simply a transliteration of the Greek word βαπτίζω . Therefore it derives its meaning from the Greek word.

Baptizo had a primary (more down to earth and concrete) usage and a secondary (more figurative and conceptual) usage.

The primary usage of baptizo meant a literal envelopment within an element and so to become subject to that element.

In secular documents written around the time the New Testament was written, baptizo is used to refer to a boat that is submerged in the water.

The secondary meaning of baptizo had to do with an object being brought under the influence of another quite apart from any physical envelopment.

Secular documents from the Koine Greek period show baptizo being used to describe a person who is overwhelmed in calamities.

This secondary meaning - to be placed into and brought under the influence of another, thus undergoing a permanent change - is by far the more frequent meaning when baptizo is used in the Greek New Testament.

A good simple translation for this Greek verb baptizo is “to place into” or “to introduce into”.

Paul took the secondary figurative usage of baptizo and developed yet another usage for the spiritual realm, which is identification and union.




Paul uses baptizo in relation to the Baptism by the Spirit, as he does in Rom 6:3, 1Co 12:13 and Gal 3:27.

Here he uses baptizo in the sense of “the act of identifying and uniting one thing with another resulting in a permanent change of position and condition”.

This baptism is universal - all believers in the Church Age. So it is not a second blessing received by a few.

This baptism is into Christ, not into water.

One result is unity among all members of the body of Christ. There is one body, one Spirit, one Lord Jesus Christ.

baptizo in relation to the Baptism by the Spirit means the following:

“to be placed in eternal union with Christ by the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation resulting in a permanent change of position.”

The Holy Spirit often uses metaphor in the New Testament to describe spiritual things.


the blood of Christ
slave of Christ
Lamb of God

The parables

anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms

God’s hands.
the Spirit being grieved.
the human body illustrating the church.

God brings things down to our level so we can understand them.

The Greek word baptizo is used in the New Testament in two ways.

When man does the baptizing, a ceremony is in view.
When God does the baptizing, what is in view is the exertion of God’s power.

Point 2. The two kinds of baptisms in the New Testament.

There are two kinds of baptisms or identifications in the New Testament:
(1) ritual, and (2) real.

Ritual identification or baptism is the act of immersing or submerging oneself in water as in as Pre-Canon Christian water baptism, the baptism of Jesus, and the baptism of John.

Real identification or baptism is God’s act of identifying one thing with another as in the Baptism by the Spirit, the Baptism of Moses, the Baptism of Fire, and the Baptism of the Cross.

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 vital union with Christ,

thus identifying the believer with Christ and making them a permanent member of the Body of Christ- the Royal Family of God, a new spiritual species, and eternally secure.


Mar 16:16; Joh 7:37-39; Joh 14:20; Act 1:5; Act 2:1-4; Rom 6:3-5; 1Co 12:13; Gal 3:26-28; Col 2:11-13; 1Pe 3:21).

Point 3. The prophecy of the Baptism of the Spirit.

The Indwelling of God the Holy Spirit refers to the act of God the Father sending the Spirit to take up His permanent residence in the Church Age believer, and this in answer to the prayer of God the Son, Joh 14:16.

For the disciples, “In that day” was Pentecost. That was the day that the Holy Spirit indwelt believers for the first time, and the disciples were placed in union with Christ.

More broadly, “in that day” refers to the dispensation of the Church Age, the age in which all believers will be indwelt by the Trinity and placed in union with Christ.

“I am in My Father” refers to the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“you in Me” refers to our subject, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, permanent vital union with the Lord Jesus Christ.

“I in you” refers to the indwelling of Christ in the believer.

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