Summary: This sermon examines Holy Spirit baptism from a Baptist's perspective, asking, "Is it really a second work of grace?" and "Must it be evidenced by speaking in tongues?" Also, "Is being filled with the Spirit the same thing?"
This morning, I’m going to have us look at something called “Holy Spirit baptism.” This is a subject that when mishandled can lead to a lot of confusion; not to mention, feelings of condemnation. The very first time I encountered this term was when I was in college and I attended an Assemblies of God church. I attended there on occasion because I enjoyed the lively and uplifting worship, and because my neighbor was the pastor and he invited me. Well, one day I was approached by a member of the church who asked me if I spoke in tongues. When I told him “No,” he said that I was not filled with the Holy Spirit; and therefore, I was not saved. Needless to say, I stopped attending there. In today’s message I’m going to share what I believe about Holy Spirit baptism based on my own study of the Scripture, and you could call this a Baptist’s perspective on Holy Spirit baptism. So, we’re going to get started by reading Acts 1:4-5 and verse 8; and also Acts 2:1-4.
Viewed as a Second Work of Grace (Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-4)
4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now . . . 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Right here, in Acts 1:5, we see where Jesus declared, “You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit,” and then in Acts 2:4, we are told how on the Day of Pentecost “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist prophesied, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” What we see mentioned here in the book of Acts, and proclaimed by John the Baptist, is something referred to as “the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Like I said in the introduction to this message, there can be a lot of confusion on this subject; so, I want to share some misconceptions and then look for the truth.
Some denominations believe that Holy Spirit baptism is a second work of grace occurring at a later moment. Listen as I share from a book entitled A Handbook of Holy Spirit Baptism. Don Basham says there are two experiences with God. He tells us, “The first is conversion; the sinner’s acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior which brings salvation . . . But the Lord is not satisfied with our conversion alone . . . So, a second time we are confronted with the power of God; this time in the baptism in the Holy Spirit through which the Christian is brought into a deeper relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit for the purpose of making him – not an object – but an instrument of redemption.”(1) He also states that, “The New Testament makes it plain that baptism in the Holy Spirit is a second work of grace which follows conversion.”(2) Allow me to take a moment and discuss how Holy Spirit baptism is not a second work of grace.
In Acts 1:4, Jesus told His followers “to wait for the Promise of the Father which you have heard from Me.” That promise is seen in John 7:37-39, which says this: “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would be given to those who believed in Him, but the time and place in which the Spirit would be given had to occur later on, as Jesus had not yet been “glorified,” meaning that He had not yet ascended to be with His Father in heaven.