The Baptism of The Holy Spirit
Confusion Concerning The Baptism of The Spirit
Confusion on this subject is hard to overcome because of our experience, our church doctrine and views taught by our respective Pastors. We can't say that what one experience is wrong or right because it is real to them regardless of Bible doctrine. People have a tendency to place church doctrine above Bible doctrine for fear of being called a heretic. Then there is the fact that many believers want to experience the the power of God so much that they push aside any academic discussion on the subject.
If you believe that the church began with Abraham or John the Baptist then it would be difficult to understand the baptism of the Spirit today. Then we have those that believe water baptism brings about salvation; this can obscure the doctrine of Spirit baptism. Some how or another Spirit Baptism is just a symbol of water baptism in their minds.
I was raised as a child to believe that baptism of the Spirit was associated with the gift of tongues. It was believed that speaking in tongues was the evidence of the baptism of the spirit as opposed to teaching and preaching which Paul says are the best gifts. Some to justify the association of baptism with tongues, attempt to make a distinction between the baptism by the Spirit of I Corinthians 12:13, which places one into the Body of Christ, and the baptism with the Spirit of Acts 1:5, which brings tongues. In both of these verses the baptism is described as en pneumati, and so one would seem to build two separate doctrines on exactly the same phrase.
The filling of the Spirit is sometimes confused with the baptism of the Spirit. At this juncture in this teaching I'd like to point out that the the word baptism (baptisma) consist of the processes of immersion, submersion and emergence. To place into or dip. Example:The baptism of the Spirit places us into the Body of Christ. (I Corinthians 12:13) "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body,. . .). Another point of confusion is stated by saying that the baptism does not come at the time of regeneration but is a subsequent work of grace. This view was held by widely respected leaders, apparently influenced by nineteenth-century holiness Penticostal theology with its lack of doctrinal precision. Foremost among these conservatives were F. B. Meyer, A.J. Gordon, A. B. Simpson, Andrew Murry, and R. A. Torry.
Torry may be said to be the one non-Pentecostal leader who, after Wesley and Finney, was the most influential in the prehistory of Pentecostalism. He gave the greatest impetus to the establishment of the movement as doctrinally respectable and exponentially sound. It is ironical, however, that what Pentecostal writers quote most frequently from Torrey represents an otherwise sound and incisive thinker and Bible teacher at his worst and not at his best -at his weakest and not at his strongest point. Torry taught that a person could or could not be baptised with the Spirit at the moment of regeneration. Such confusion results in misunderstanding and divisions among Christians.
The baptism of the Spirit is limited to this age. The baptising work is never mentioned as being experienced in the Old Testament or in the days of Christ's earthly ministry. It is universal among all believers in this age and is repeated each time a person is converted but is experienced only once by each person. The once and for all baptizing of the Spirit places one into the Body of Christ. The baptism of the Spirit happens whether or not the believer is conscious of it. So it is nonexperiential work of the Spirit.