The Baptism with the Holy Spirit as a separate event from conversion is a commandment in the book of Acts.
Which makes it anything but an optional thing.
Jesus commanded a number of things to His followers among which are the baptism in water, communion with bread and fruit of the vine in His remembrance, and baptism with the Holy Spirit.
Here is the command given to His disciples before His ascension:
“4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
These verses contain an emphatic statement: “he ordered them.” When the Creator of the universe gives an order there is no room for debate. The same order applies to Christians today, in addition to the other commandments that Jesus gave His disciples.
The reason for this commandment is obvious throughout the book of Acts as the Holy Spirit’s supernatural work is critical for effective evangelism, power over demonic forces, and sanctification of the believer.
One cannot be an effective witness for God without the filling with the Holy Spirit:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
The born again believer must pursue the filling with the Holy Spirit, must earnestly desire the gifts of the Spirit, and must effectively use this empowerment for spreading the Gospel.
You asked a question that is theologically incomplete. Your question begs the following question: is baptism with the holy spirit optional for what? Optional for ( fill in the blank). One can ask: is it required for salvation? Then you know what direction to take the conversation. If one says it’s a requirement for salvation, one is preaching a false gospel. It’s definitly not what Jesus preached.
Then you’re confusing the baptism and the indwelling of the holy spirit. You can be a powerful witness to nonbelievers with any kind of baptism but you can not be a witness without the empowering of the spirit.
And the spirit doesnt empower you just cause on some calendar date who knows when you spoke in tongues.
If everyone who speaks in tongues is assumed to be empowered to do the supernatural, then why are there so many sick on the lists of prayer in Romanian Pentecostal churches? All these baptized Pentecostals sitting around and not having to much power to heal the sick in their own churches. Obviously it’s not people who heal. But God uses people to perform these miracles. Sadly many Pentecostals just boast with their tongue speaking credentials but do nothing more for the kingdom than warm the seat they sit on in church.
Sounds like you did not disagree with any of the statements I made in the article, but I sense quite a bit of animosity and angst on your part with respect to either Pentecostalism in general or Romanian churches.
At the same time, you are putting words in my mouth, things that I do not claim nor have I ever claimed.
Salvation is by grace through faith. Period. Speaking in tongues does not buy or ensure salvation in any way. The baptism in the Spirit is given to those who are ALREADY saved.
The purpose for baptism in the Spirit is described in Acts 1:8- empowering for evangelism.
Now… Should you not subscribe to Pentecostal pneumatology (sounds like you do, correct me if I’m wrong) then this discussion is moot, because in that case one believes that the believer is baptized and filled with the Spirit at the point of conversion.
I stand by my statement that the baptism in the Spirit is not an optional event for the believer. Period. If it was optional, then Jesus would not have commanded it.
Delight, I must admit your statements are bold and welcomed. The truth has a way of sobering people’s thoughts. Thank you for a clear understanding on the Command to be Baptised in the Holy Spirit.
One has to wonder if the command had been obeyed in broader circles what might have been the outcome world wide. Would we who are Baptised be as many as the people of Islam?
It is about obedience to the Word of God free from the limits of denominational fences and old dudes with pointy hats and long beards claiming it is not of God. The order is a blessed one, conversion, receiving salvation from the Person of the Holy Spirit, followed by Baptism of the Holy Sprit with evidence of speaking in tongues.
Spirit speaks to spirit.
Manny, denominational fences aside, that is what I see in the book of Acts. I keep coming back to the baptisms in the Spirit we observe there (all 5), and in all of those scenarios we see the Baptism with/in the Holy Spirit as an event for those how are already born-again/converted.
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