Posted by: excharisma | March 3, 2009

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-8)



The Baptism of the Holy Spirit(Acts 2:1-8)

This passage tells of the coming of the Holy Spirit as promised by our Lord Jesus. The Holy Spirit came and indwelt the 120 in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. This was the beginning of the Church and these were the first to be baptized by the Spirit. We will look at today what it means to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and when it happens.

I. The Promise (Acts 1:4,5- “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”)


Jesus proclaimed that He was going to die and rise again from the dead after 3 days from the grave and no one understood it. And in talking to His disciples that after all this He would ascend back to the Father to reassume His glory and enthronement at the right hand of the Father (John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.); they still didn’t understand until it happened.

We see in John 20 that the disciples were in hiding after Jesus’ death and this was just after He had just rose up from the dead; we see Jesus coming to them comforting and reassuring them, and they are finally understanding what He has done and truly who He is and it’s all coming together for them and they know He is their risen Lord and Savior. John 20:20,21- “20 And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you…”; but He does something in verse 22 to remind them of the one promise that is yet to come, “22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost”; He was telling them that the promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was yet to come.

II. Place (where and when) Acts 2:4

A. Where – Jesus right before He ascends tells them in Acts 1:4 to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the promise from the Father. It says in 1:12-14, that they obeyed Jesus and was in Jerusalem in an upper room, all the 11 disciples and others and they numbered 120 (v.15). They were there obedient to the command of Christ. Obedience is the highest form of faith.

They are there eagerly awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit, they were prayerful, fellowshipping together, and just waiting for that blessed promise.

B. When (Acts 2:1-4) – the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was not a coincidence; it was for a reason. “Pente”, “fifty”… 50 days after Passover, the feast of Pentecost, is celebrated for the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses at Mount Sinai, 50 days after the Passover and crossing of the Red Sea (birth and beginning of the nation of Israel) (Ex.19-20)… and it coincided with the days of the harvest of the wheat. Christians celebrate Pentecost as the coming of the Holy Spirit 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2)… when the Church was born officially… and God recorded the laws, not on stone, like at Sinai, but in the mind and heart of every Christian, the law of love of Christ. This is the ending of the Old Covenant with the New and Perfect Covenant purchased and enforced by the Perfect Lord. He was the fulfillment of the Law that sinful mankind could not keep and His blood and sacrifice cleansed our sins and forever keeps us in the covenant by faith. Before, the Spirit’s work was without, temporary, and exceptional; now after this point and time on, the indwelling baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit now works within the believer (John 7:37-39 – 37

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive…), indwelling is permanent (Romans 8:9- “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his”), and now it is normal, involving all the Body of Christ (1 Co. 12:12,13- “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…”).

Under the Old Covenant God’s work had been external, but under the New Covenant it is internal (Heb. 8:9,10- Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people). The Day of Pentecost is a one time event, just like the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ is a one time event, meaning once for all time.

III. Precedent (Acts 2:1-8)

A. When does Baptism happen?- I believe and teach according to God‘s Word, that we receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at the same time of salvation (The exact moment we are saved by faith in Christ, we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that means we are baptized into the Body of Christ by the Spirit and indwelled permanently by the Holy Spirit. But here we see that the disciples received it after salvation by Christ. We know that they were saved because Jesus said of the disciples in Luke 10:20 that, “…your names are written in heaven” and in John 15:3- “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you”. The Bible is not teaching that you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit after salvation (Pentecostals call it the doctrine of subsequence). This passage shows the transition of the Old Covenant into the New; and you are reading the birth of the Church. What happens here is because of this transition and it is also seen by the signs at Pentecost.

B. Signs- Sound of a rushing wind and appearance of fire and speaking in other languages was a unique wonder. God wanted to make known that something unusual was happening and this is why the signs. This was to let each in that upper room that they were part of a unique and dramatic event. God wanted the pilgrims in Jerusalem from different countries and surrounding regions to hear the message in their own dialects and languages. This was the birth of the Church, a new era and dispensation, and the New Covenant and a new people of God. This was an unique and unrepeatable event.

C. Peter’s Sermon and 3,000 saved. (Acts 2:14-26)- we see in these verse where cowardly Peter after He receives the indwelling Holy Spirit begins to preach Jesus and 3,000 people are saved (Acts 1:8-“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth”).

In verse 37, we read the convicting power of the Spirit, because it says they were pricked in their heart. And they begin to ask Peter and the 120 what are they to do and Peter tells them to repent and believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. And he tells them if they do, then they will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. When they were saved they were at the same time received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is the precedent that we see and are taught by the word of God. (Romans 8:9- “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his”; and 1 Co. 12:13- “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”).

These verses show that we are all at the time that we are saved, we are indwelt and baptized into the Body of Christ and that just means we all have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Just like the 3,000 when we have received the gift of the Spirit at salvation, there was no signs or wonders or supernatural gift of other languages like the unique upper room experience of the 120. The greatest work and wonder is the miracle of salvation performed in the heart and soul of sinful man by simple faith in Jesus Christ.

There are many places in the gospels where Jesus told the disciples that He would have to ascend for the Holy Spirit to come to indwell and empower them. This also reminds me of the promise to the disciples when He was comforting them with these words in John 14:16 – “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever”; you see the disciples had not yet received the Spirit. Jesus explaining to the disciples and them understanding what Jesus had said were two different things; they could not understand why Jesus was going to have to die, rise again from the dead, and ascend to the Father and leave there immediate presence (no longer physically with them like He had been). He told the disciples and showed them who He was (the Son of God, Messiah) and they did not completely understand what that meant (their own ideas of Messiah). Jesus told them He would have to die for their sins on the cross but they would not believe that because the unbiblical, popular belief was that the Messiah was going to set up His Kingdom by force and power, not die for lost humanity (they believed that they were spiritually fine, they didn’t see their sinfulness). Peter even tried to rebuke Jesus when He said He was going to die (Jesus told Him get behind me, Satan).

The wondrous experience of Pentecost that happened to the 120 was a unrepeatable event. But for those who have been saved by Jesus, all have received, been indwelt, and empowered to live for Jesus and testify of his great work of salvation.


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