Many people struggle to understand the role of the Holy Spirit today and are confused by the biblical texts about the Spirit. What does it mean to be baptized in the Spirit? Pastor Lutzer explains vital implications for individuals and for churches of being in the Spirit. The Spirit of God is for all believers.
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us again today as we continue our study on the Holy Spirit, becoming comfortable with the Spirit, enjoying the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God. If you were with us last time you know that we spoke about how to be filled with the Spirit and we pointed out that filling is a repeated experience. But today we’re speaking about the baptism of the Spirit. And by the way, next time we’re going to be dealing with the issue of tongues. Is it necessary to speak in tongues to prove that you’ve been baptized with the Holy Spirit? That’s next time. That’s why I encourage you to subscribe, to follow, and to share, but today the baptism of the Spirit.
There is a Biblical principle of interpretation that says this: When you come to a doctrine, it is always best to take the clearest verse of scripture and use that clear verse as a basis for interpreting other verses that might not be quite as clear. And when it comes to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, there is no verse in all the Bible that is as clear as 1 Corinthians 12:13. I’m going to quote it by memory. “For by one Spirit have we all been baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Greek, slave or free, and have been made to all drink of one Spirit.” What do we learn from this verse of Scripture?
First of all, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is universal among all Christians. “For by one Spirit have we all been baptized into one body.” Paul didn’t say, “Now, there are plenty of you carnal Christians there in Corinth and you haven’t been baptized in the Spirit and I suggest that you seek the baptism.” No, the baptism of the Spirit is universal among all Christians. If you’ve received Jesus Christ as Savior, it is universal. You have been baptized by the Spirit. The word “baptism” means “to dip” “to become a part of.” I’ll comment on that in just a moment.
Furthermore, it is the baptism of the Holy Spirit that gives us unity. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized, whether we be Jews or Greek, bond or free.” Oftentimes in the New Testament, hundreds of times, we find that believers are “in Christ.” “All those who are in Christ.” How did you get in Christ? You got in Christ by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Because we are baptized into His body and we speak about the unity of the races, we speak about racial unity, and the unity that goes right across the board when it comes to believers. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” It is the Spirit of God that makes us one body.
Now, what this means is because we now are taken out of the old Adam with all of its sinful influences and we have been translated into Christ and now are in Christ, there are many implications. One of them is we don’t have to obey the old Adam anymore because we are in Christ. We have a new identity. We have a new family. We have new relationships. And that is true of every single believer.
Don’t you wish that we often…that we would be more consistent in living that out in our experiences? That’s why the Bible says, very clearly, that there are those who die in their sins, if you die in Adam, and those who die in Christ. Nowhere in the New Testament does it ever say that we should be baptized by the Holy Spirit or that we should seek the baptism. It’s once for all. It’s done by God. It’s for all believers.
You say, “Well, Pastor Lutzer, what about speaking in tongues? Isn’t that a sign of the baptism? What’s going on there in Acts 2?” So glad you asked that question, because that’s exactly what we’re going to deal with next time. Today, rejoice in the fact, if you’re a believer, that you are in Christ. Thanks to the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you so much for joining us and as for today you just go with God.