Spirit – Baptism-Filling by God’s Spirit
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Spirit – Baptism-Filling is how we get the Enabling-Power to be Witnesses:
“The promise” of the Holy Spirit isn’t just an unnoticeable, initial deposit you get when you are saved, which we have to simply take by trusting-relying-faith actually happened “because the bible tells me so,” as so many teach. Spirit-baptism, filling, outpouring, or the falling/coming-upon of the Holy Spirit’s “living water” is very obvious to you and all those around you! It results in supernatural manifestations or demonstrational-proofs of Christ’s Spirit in the form of imparted grace-gifts with confirming signs & wonders, along with dunamis enabling-power to witness or evangelize (a) and overwhelming “unconditional-love, peace, joy, and a “God-causing” controlling righteousness” (b). <Notes> a) Acts 1:8, b) Romans 14:17; Galatians 5:22-23.
None of this is gnosis info-knowledge creeds or doctrines of Church dogma but instead an experiential, relational ginosko knowledge and even the genuine ‘real-thing,’ experientially, relationally epiginosko knowledge! Throughout the bible, this intimate koinonia relationship-based experience is described as “springs or fountain of living water welling up from within your innermost being” (a). This isn’t theological or imaginary but practical experience! <Notes> a) John 4:10-14, 7:38; Revelation 7:17.
Paul makes it clear in Ephesians 4:5 that there is only “One Baptism.” First-century Church writings show that they believed the initial anointing or Spirit’s baptism-filling was expected to happen at the same time as a person’s water-baptism, making them “One Baptism.” However, we see the “filling of the Holy Spirit” can occur to the same Christians over and over after their initial water-baptism (a), and that this “agathos excellent-beneficial-salutary (b) grace-gift of the Holy Spirit” is simply received and thus limited only by our “routine asking, seeking, and knocking” (c). <Notes> a) Acts 4:31, 13:9, 13:52, b) agathos: inherent or intrinsic goodness, a unique quality or condition, excellent or distinguished in quality, respect, uprightness, honor, useful, beneficial, salutary, suitable, pleasant, kind, benevolent, agreeable, joyful, c) Luke 11:13, cf. “good things” of Matthew 7:11.
We are strongly urged to routinely be Filled with ALL the Fullness of God by-the-means-of the Spirit:
Therefore Paul strongly urges Christians to “be routinely pleroo filled-to-completion by-the-means-of the Spirit” (a) in order to “definitively/wholly be pleroo filled-to-completion WITH [the content of] ALL the pleroma abundant-fullness of God” (b). Many scholars see these two verses connected to together into one idea! Many have also noted that you can’t be filled with more or less of the Person of God, whether Father, Son, or Holy Spirit, so it’s inaccurate for someone to be routinely, habitually, or as a lifestyle with [the content of] the Holy Spirit, but you can be more or less filled with a characteristic-quality ‘flavor’ of the “[singular] fruit” (c) or enabling-power of the Spirit (d)! Nevertheless, all of God’s blessings have to start somewhere and sometime, and that was expected to be at water-baptism! <Notes> a) Ephesians 5:18, dative case of pneuma Spirit is always translated by the “dative of means/instrument,” b) Ephesians 3:19, the “genitive of content” translates “with an amount of,” c) Galatians 5:22, d) Acts 1:8, 10:38; Romans 15:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:5.
However, poor teaching on Spirit-Baptism, even in their day and certainly since, had left and still does, many only hearing about water-baptism (a), though some find out about “the Spirit’s Baptism-Filling” much later. For example, in Acts 8:15, Christians “who had already received the logos message of God,” which is “the preached ‘Great News’ gospel about the kingdom of God and/coupled the name/authority of Jesus Christ” (b), who were already subsequently “water-baptized in the name/authority of the Lord Jesus,” were much later proseuchomai conversationally-prayed (c) for by Peter and John “that they might definitively/wholly actively lambano ‘receive or take hold of for one-self’ the Holy Spirit for HE had not yet fallen-upon [with ongoing effects] any of them, having only been water-baptized in the name/authority of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they actively continually-repeatedly (c) lambano ‘received or grabbed hold of for one-self’ the Holy Spirit.” <Notes> a) if they even get this teaching, b) Acts 8:12, c) rare imperfect tense.
You can tell from the questioning of these believers how important it was to be taught to expect with trusting-relying-faith and thus grab for Spirit-Baptism! And this wasn’t an invisible “deposit you just have to passively ‘take by faith‘ at your conversion” that so many churches preach, especially since Simon, a previous sorcerer now converted, “SAW that the Spirit was given . . . he offered them money . . . for this dunamis enabling-power also” (a). However, God is gracious because He will give Spirit-Baptism to anybody who actively, routinely ‘asks, seek, and knocks’ for it – and He will give it to you again and again, just as in the early Church! The lambano ‘grabbing-hold’ of the Spirit was clearly visible, so expect it! <Notes> a) Acts 8:15-19.
One Baptism – Immersed in water for the Gift of Immersion or Filling by the Spirit:
In another case, Paul came across 12 disciples/followers of Jesus in Ephesus in Acts 19:1-7, and what was the first thing out of his mouth? What church do you go to? No! “Did you definitively/wholly actively lambano ‘receive or grab hold of for one-self’ the Holy Spirit when you had trusting-relying-faith?” Come on! When is the last time you heard someone ask you that when they just found out you were a Christian? Maybe if you met a Pentecostal or a Charismatic Christian! But when the 12 men said to Paul: “No, we haven’t heard of the Holy Spirit,” Paul immediately asked, “Then into what were you water-baptized?”
Can’t you see that the early Christians directly connected “grabbing-hold-of-for-oneself the Holy Spirit” with water-baptism? Pretty obvious! But when Paul found out it was John’s water-baptism of repentance instead, he explained further the New Covenant’s plan – being “water-baptized in the name/person/authority of the Lord Jesus,” and thus “on hearing this, they were water-baptized in the name/authority of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came UPON them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.” Are we doing the same to expect the same results?
This sounds just like what happened right before this incident in Acts 18:24-28, where Apollos had just come to Ephesus, who “only knew the water-baptism of John” (a), but when two Christians “Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the WAY of God more accurately.” It didn’t matter if Apollos was “an eloquent man, competent in the [OT] scriptures” (b), nor that “he had been instructed in the WAY of the Lord, or being fervent in [human] spirit, speaking/preaching and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus” (a). Most churches would hire that guy in a minute and that’s why so many churches are deader than a door nail! Clearly the “more accurate WAY” is a “full gospel” of “One Baptism” that is water-baptism and Spirit-Baptism together! <Notes> a) Acts 18:25, b) Acts 18:24.
You can see the two situations are directly related because the disciples Paul met in Ephesus were just like Apollos, “having only heard of John’s water-baptism.” Therefore, clearly “the WAY of God more accurately” is the “water-baptism in the name/person/authority of the Lord Jesus” in order “to lambano grab-hold-of-for-oneself the Holy Spirit when you had trusting-relying-faith.” And evidently, knowing that you have lambano ‘grabbed hold of for oneself’ the Holy Spirit was no guess work – it was obvious to everybody because of the grace-gifts and sign & wonders everybody could see!
Our obedient-response to the Church Age’s Gospel is Water-Baptism for Spirit-Baptism:
That was Peter’s first sermon of the entire Church Age in Acts 2:38-39: “Repent and be water-baptized every one of you in the name/person/authority of Jesus Christ eis ‘toward & reaching the goal of’ the forgiveness of your sins, kai and/thus you will lambano ‘grab hold of for yourself’ the dorea ‘free, unmerited (like grace) gift‘ of the Holy Spirit. For this promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off.” Again, this “promise of the Father” in Acts 1:4, the “promise of the Holy Spirit they lambano ‘grabbed hold of for themselves’ from the Father” was “poured out so that you (the unbelieving Jews) yourselves are seeing [Acts 2:3 “tongues as-if fire sitting on each” of the 120] and hearing.” What were they hearing?
The 120 disciples in Acts 2:4 “were all filled by-the-means-of the Holy Spirit kai and/subsequently began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance . . . [at least 3000 souls from Acts 2:41] heard these 120 telling them in their own tongues [from at least 15 nations] the mighty works of God” in Acts 2:5-11. Peter says in Acts 2:16-18 that this was “prophesying” as his response to some other Jews (likely the scribes & Pharisees) who were “mocking saying, ‘They are mestos filled-full-with gleukos sweet wine,” which is “used of the more saccharine sweet, fresh-juice, fermented wine that is highly inebriating.” There shouldn’t be any guess work if you have lambano ‘grabbed hold of for yourself’ the promise of the Father through Spirit-Baptism!
As Christian musicians, do we want to perpetuate a false theology that you just have take “the indwelling, filling, outpouring, falling/coming-upon, anointing, or baptism of the Holy Spirit” simply ‘by faith’ as if it were just a dogma creed or didache doctrine to agree with? Instead, shouldn’t we be expecting to see “supernatural manifestations or demonstrational-proofs” that it actually has occurred and that the genuine “knowledge of God” has nothing to do with information gathered from the bible but actual relational experience?
Will we return to expecting ALL of this to start at a Christian’s water-baptism so that there need only be “One Baptism,” and that it should continue repeating itself throughout a Christian’s life every time they routinely ask, seek, and knock whole-heartedly and relentlessly to actively ‘grab-hold-of-for-oneself’ this “excellent-beneficial-salutary grace-gift of the Holy Spirit?” Let us not “tear asunder what God has joined!” Let us be like Paul, Priscilla, and Aquila that “explain the WAY of God more accurately” – that the Holy Spirit’s Baptism-Filling accompanied with grace-gifts and powerful manifestations by signs & wonders indeed is expected when a person is water-baptized for salvation. The New Testament and Church history certainly bear this out! Without this enabling-power for zoe genuine-life and witness, all we have is “fervent, doctrinal, eloquent preaching” that only has a “form of godliness but denies/quenches the enabling-power” of it! And that’s exactly why so many so-called Christians and churches are deader than door nails!
Lord, we cry out, ask, seek, and knock relentlessly like a little child to You over and over that we desperately need and want MORE of YOU. Fill us up with your abundant-fullness by the means of Your Spirit of holiness. Fall upon us, well or gush up from within us, pour out upon us, rain down on us, anoint us! We will grab-hold-of-for-ourselves YOU when YOU come. We want more than dogma creeds, didache doctrine and theology – we want to experience ‘the real thing.’ We want your zoe genuine-life and dunamis enabling-power to demonstrably-prove YOU to the world. How else can they be saved – the gospel message, even with our fervency and eloquence, without YOUR proof is powerless, which explains the state of many Christians and churches. We yearn and pant for YOUR solution – “the excellent-beneficial-salutary grace-gift of the Holy Spirit.”
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