Summary: Act 1:8 is the book of Acts in a nutshell. It establishes both the theme and the outline of the whole book. Listen again to this awesome promise Jesus makes to His followers in that verse.

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Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Series: Book of Acts #5

Acts 1:4-8[1]



Act 1:8 is the book of Acts in a nutshell. It establishes both the theme and the outline of the whole book. Listen again to this awesome promise Jesus makes to His followers in that verse. Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” That is a declaration of God’s purpose for every person in this room. The purpose is witness. The means for fulfilling that purpose is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. That’s why Jesus’ command in verse 4, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Our subject his morning is the baptism of the Holy Spirit as we find it in the book of Acts. What does Luke mean when he talks about being baptized in the Holy Spirit? As a foundation for understanding Acts we will explore that question and talk some about how we can receive this wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father.

Our English word “baptize” is essentially a transliteration directly from the Greek word “baptizo”. Its root meaning is “to dip” or immerse into fluid and then take it out again.[2] I. There are at least four different baptisms in the New Testament. So when we see the term in Scripture it is not always referring to the same thing.

First, there is the baptism of John the Baptist in water. Mark 1:4 says “And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Or the Greek preposition “eis” might also be translated “into” which would make it read “baptism of repentance into the forgiveness of sins.” John’s baptism was a preparation for the coming of Messiah. It was different from Christian baptism. We know that by Paul’s actions in Acts 19:1-5 “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ They answered, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ So Paul asked, ‘Then what baptism did you receive?’ ‘John’s baptism,’ they replied. 4 Paul said, ‘John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.” What did Paul do when he learned that they had only been baptized with John’s baptism? He had them re-baptized in Christian baptism.

Second is Christian baptism in water. Jesus provided the example for this in His baptism. The purpose is “to fulfill all righteousness.” Christian baptism in water is an outward act of obedience as a confession of the inward righteousness received in Christ. We don’t have time to expound on that right now. But Jesus authorized this baptism in the Great Commission found in Matt 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Unlike John’s baptism it is in the name of the Triune God. John’s baptism was in anticipation of the coming Messiah. Christian baptism is in recognition of our union with the resurrected Christ who has come and died for our sins.

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