Equipped for Service

gifts of spirit 3The baptism with the Holy Spirit is primarily for equipping of the believer for service in carrying forth God’s Kingdom.

When Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, He declared that the water He would give would be a well or spring of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14 NKJV)  Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, {14} “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

I believe that this spring represents the new birth experience in the life of every believer. However, it has always been God’s intention that this well or spring which develops our character, and enables us to grow the fruit of the Spirit, begin to flow from our lives to the world around us.

Upon further examination of the experience of the early church, it is clear that there is a subsequent working of the Holy Spirit that is intended to equip the believer for service in the kingdom of God. This working is called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

While it is quite clear that this experience brings significant benefit to the life of those who receive this working of the Holy Spirit, it is also evident that this is an equipping for service in the Kingdom.

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit: (Matthew 3:11 NKJV) “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

You shall receive power, ability, when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. (Acts 1:4-8 NKJV)… {8} “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The Greek word that is translated power here is dunamis. This word means ‘miraculous power, ability, abundance, might, miracle or strength.’ Through the baptism with the Holy Spirit, God endues the believer with ability to carry forth His will.

(Acts 2:1-20 NKJV)  When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. {2} And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. {3} Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. {4} And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance….

The new birth is primarily for our personal relationship with God, the baptism in the Holy Spirit equips us for service in the kingdom of God. While every believer has the Holy Spirit or he/she could not be a child of God, it has always been God’s intention to equip all with a subsequent working of His Spirit for the purpose of ability to serve in His Kingdom.

(Mark 16:15-18 KJV)  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. {16} He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. {17} And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; {18} They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

The disciples began to do the works of Jesus as soon as they were baptized with the Holy Spirit.

(Mark 16:19-20 KJV) So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. {20} And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

You will notice that the same works that Jesus did during His earthly ministry began to be manifest through His disciples, confirming what He had told them in Acts 1:8. Nothing has changed since that day. These same signs are the result of the power of God, through the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and are available to every believer today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Equipped for Service

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    1. Thanks for the comment.

      But we Catholics understand that the Sacrament of Confirmation “in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church”; that it is “the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost” (CCC 1288–1288,1302–1303). We believe that it, among other graces, “increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us.” This sounds in every way like the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” I grew up with.

      While Catholics may consider Confirmation to be the same as the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, I would not go so far as to call it the same thing as this experience. Calling it the Baptism, and it being the baptsm are two different things. Interesting though.

      1. “Catholics” don’t consider it such. Catholics don’t talk about the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” I, in my Pentecostal background, see the parallel. The verses that proponents of the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” claim for support are the same ones that the historic Church has understood as referring to Confirmation.

        Upon further examination of the experience of the early church, it is clear that there is a subsequent working of the Holy Spirit that is intended to equip the believer for service in the kingdom of God.

        The Catholic Church agrees, and calls it Confirmation — and has from the beginning.

        Why, now, would Christ institute two different moves of he Holy Spirit that do the same thing, for the same purpose?

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