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Spiritual Warfare (SW-07)

The Baptism IN the Spirit

Acts 8:12-17

If you had to ask me what the most underutilized resources was in the Church in the West both collectively as the Body of Christ and individually believers, I would say ‘power’, the supernatural, miraculous power of God that is available to each one of us. This available power that is taught consistently throughout Scripture, is demonstrated effectively in other cultures, is observed occasionally in the church in the West, is very often the missing ingredient in the life of the Christian.

In Acts 1:8 we read these profound words, "but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."

We are busy with a series on Spiritual Warfare. This morning I want to talk with you about this event that the Bible writers call ‘The Baptism in the Spirit.’ The Holy Spirit was given in order to release power of God into the life of the believer.

power for ministry (1 Cor. 12)

power for witnessing (Acts 1:8)

power for prayer (Romans 8:26-27)

power for understanding the truth (john 14:26) and

power for overcome sin (Gal. 5:7).

Acts 9:17-19 "So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; and he took food and was strengthened."

Jesus said in Luke 11:13 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

We have got to understand the Biblical difference between Baptism BY the Spirit and Baptism IN the Spirit.

1. The Two Main Baptisms in the Bible

The Baptism BY the Spirit Into Christ

This is the act whereby the Holy Spirit baptizes a person into the Body of Christ and this occurs at salvation. The purpose of this baptism is to cleanse from sin and position ‘In Christ.’

1 Corinthians 12:13

Romans 6:3

The Baptism INTO the Spirit by Christ

This is the act whereby the Christ baptizes a person into the Holy Spirit and while this may sometimes occur at the same time as salvation, it is a separate experience. The purpose of this baptism is to enable Christlikeness and empower ministry.

Luke 3:16

Acts 1:4-5

2. A Separate Experience

I have heard some people say that Baptism in the Spirit occurs at salvation. While I think it may sometimes happen at the same time as salvation, the fact that there are numerous instances in Scripture where it occurs at a different time to salvation leads me to believe that it is a separate experience to salvation.

Acts 8:12-17

Let me tell you what is happening at this point in our passage. The church is entirely Jewish. The Gospel was preached only to the Jews. As a matter of fact, if a Gentile wanted to be saved he had to first become Jewish - circumcised, ceremonial law, the whole deal.

In Acts 8 Philip is preaching the Word of God - and the Samaritans hear it - and they the power of God is manifest through Phillip and they are saved. Now the church headquarters back in Jerusalem hear about his - and immediately they send Peter and John to check it out. Now remember, these are the arch enemies of the Jews - the Samaritans. The Samaritans were the most despised of the Gentiles. The Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. As a matter of fact, when they wanted to really insult Jesus they called Him a Samaritan (John 8:48) The Jews despised Samaritans - did not trust them - they were Gentiles heretics from Babylon that mixed a bit of Jewish faith into their Babylonian practices and set themselves up in opposition to the Jews. (After the return from the Captivity, the Jews in Jerusalem refused to allow them to help rebuild the temple, and hence sprang up an open enmity between them. They erected a rival temple on Mount Gerizim, which was, however, destroyed by a Jewish king (B.C. 130). They then built another at Shechem.

Well these Samaritans hear the gospel and are saved. Was it a genuine gospel?

Phillip preaching

The good news

About the kingdom of God

And the name of Jesus Christ

They were baptized

Signs and great miracles took place

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