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Chaplain-in-Chief's September Sermon

We continue our study of the Holy Spirit

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Read Acts 1:1-5


            A young lad asked his mother, “Mom, who made the moon?” His mother replied, “God.” He then asked, “Who made the stars?” Again the mother answered, “God.” The lad continued his inquire, “Who made the trees?” The mother said, “God.” The young boy looked somewhat puzzled and finally asked, “Well, Mom, does Jesus ever do anything?”


            Ah, the reasoning of childhood. We know of course that each member of the Godhead is busy. This morning we note a specific ministry of the Holy Spirit.


            There are historic spiritual realities that happen only once but the accomplishments of those realities reach through the ages. Consider, for example, the death of Christ at Calvary. Christ died once, but the results of that death impact believers in every age (Rom. 6:10). In-other-words, we do not need another Calvary.


            We come to Christ for forgiveness and salvation. At the moment of faith we are cleansed from sin, born into the family of God, and given eternal life (John 3:16; I John 5:11-13).


            Christ does not die again; all of this becomes a finished reality because of the historicity of His substitutionary atonement 2000 years ago. Because of that one-time, historic event we are impacted by spiritual reality today and yes even into eternity. That one-time even is enough.


            The same reality is found to be true in the exploration of our topic today, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. There is, of course, much contemporary discussion regarding the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and thus it is vital to have this study.


            Our basis thesis is:




I. Spirit Baptism was prophesized in the Old Testament by Joel (Joel 2:28-32).


God told Joel, In the last days I will pour out my Spirit” (Acts 2:17). God amplified further, On my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days my Spirit (vs. 18). The end result of this great Spirit moving is whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved (vs. 21). The Apostle Peter quoted this Joel passage as fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost (vss. 14-16).


II. Spirit Baptism was predicted at the initiation of Christ’s ministry.


            In all four Gospels John the Baptist preach of Christ, He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit (Mt. 3:11; Mk. 1:18; Lk. 3:16; John 1:33). Following the ministry of John the Baptist, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as such is not mentioned again until just before the ascension of Christ following His resurrection. At that time Jesus told His disciples, You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now (Acts 1:5).


III. Jesus discussed with His disciples a new relationship with the Holy Spirit on the night He was betrayed.


            In summary here is what He promised.

  1. Jesus said He would ask the Father to send the Comforter to His followers. The Comforter would abide with them forever (John 14:16).
  2. This Comforter Jesus identified as the Spirit of truth (vs. 17).
  3. The Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit would be sent from the Father to Jesus followers (vs. 26).
  4. Jesus stated that the Comforter would come when He (Jesus) departed (16:7).
  5. The Comforter will convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (vss. 8-11).
  6. The Spirit of Truth will guide the followers of Christ into all truth (vs. 13).
  7. The Comforter will glorify Christ (vs. 14).


Thus Jesus described to His first century followers a new age that was coming and a new relationship with the Holy Spirit the new age would bring. Just before Jesus ascended back to Heaven, He promised His disciples that this new age and new relationship with the Spirit would happen in just a few days (Acts 1:5). They were to wait in the city of Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came in this special, unique, historic way.


IV. The Holy Spirit came in all of His New Covenant power and authority on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).


            He came with miraculous, never before seen manifestations. There was the sound of a rushing mighty wind (Acts 2:2) that filled the house. There were cloven tongues of fire (vs. 3) that came upon each of the disciples. The disciples began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability (vs. 4).


            In these events Peter declared that the prophecy of Joel was fulfilled regarding the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:14-16). The predictive words of John the Baptist also find reality here. Jesus baptized His disciples in or with the Holy Spirit. All that Jesus promised His disciples about the Holy Spirit on the night before Calvary can now find fulfillment.


            The Pentecostal Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the historic reality from which all the ministries of the Holy Spirit are available to us today. The Holy Spirit has come and He will abide with us forever. We need not pray for the Holy Spirit to come; He is here. We need not plead for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit; that baptism is a historic reality. We can now benefit from all that the Spirit has as it flows from that historic, Pentecostal happening.


            Because of the historicity of Spirit Baptism at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit can indwell us at the moment of salvation (I Cor. 6:19; I Pet. 1:11; Gal. 4:6); the Holy Spirit can place us in the Body of Christ (I Cor. 12:13); the Holy Spirit can empower us for successful Christian living (Acts 1:8); the Holy Spirit can teach us the truths of God and actually lead us into all truth (John 16:13); the Holy Spirit can give us spiritual gifts to use in the building up of the church (I Cor. 12:7); the Holy Spirit can be our prayer partner (Rom. 8:26-27); the Holy Spirit can defeat the spiritual giants that seek to rob us of our spiritual joy and victory (Zech. 4:5-7; Gal. 3:2-3); the Holy Spirit can produce His fruit in us – love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).


            We do not need another Pentecost in the same why that we do not need another Calvary. What happened at Calvary is unique and is enough. What happened at Pentecost is unique and is enough. We benefit from the achievements of these historic happenings. Thus we have salvation through the shed blood of Jesus and we have spiritual victory daily through the reality of God’s Spirit who came at Pentecost never to depart.