“The water does not do anything except get you wet,” says Matt, 8.
“When you get baptised in the Holy Spirit, you get cleansed by God, and He will come into our hearts. Getting baptised means you are telling the whole world that God has come into your heart.”
On the baptism in the Holy Spirit, Bible scholar JC Ryle wrote: “It consists of the implanting of grace into the inward man. It is the same thing with the new birth. It is baptism, not of the body, but of the heart. It is well to be baptised into the visible Church; but it is far better to be baptised into that Church which is made up of true believers.”
“The difference is when you get baptised in water; it is a symbol of being purified by God. When you get baptised by the Holy Spirit, God has brought you into His Kingdom.”
As one who received baptism by immersion as a professing Christian who was trying to work his way to heaven, I can affirm that being baptised by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ is far better. At my first water baptism, I mistakenly thought that salvation was Christ plus my dedication. I thought that salvation was a joint venture. Christ would do part, and I would do part.
As I stood in the Church, wet from water baptism but confused from the mixed message, a girl sensed my bewilderment. She invited me to another meeting where a pastor showed me from the Bible that salvation is a free gift that can only be received by faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).
In Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit came upon a few believers for special tasks. Prophet Joel foresaw a time when God would pour out his Spirit on all believers (Joel 2:28-29). Jesus predicted that his disciples would receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit “not many days from now” (Acts 1:5).
When the disciples received the Spirit’s baptism, they began to praise God in foreign languages they had not learned. Jews from foreign countries who had gathered at Jerusalem for the Pentecost feast understood the disciples in their own languages.
In his sermon, the Apostle Peter said this was the fulfilment of what Prophet Joel predicted. The time had come when God would pour out his Holy Spirit upon all believers. About 3000 Jews trusted Christ as their Saviour that day and were baptised in water (Acts 2).
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a historic event that ushered in a new age. It occurred for the Jews on the day of Pentecost, but came later for Gentiles (non-Jews). Apostle Peter took the gospel to the house of a Gentile named Cornelius. Like the Jews at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon them. They spoke in foreign languages and were baptised in water (Acts 10-11:18).
Think about this: Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not an experience to be sought, but a truth to be believed. Even though every Christian has been baptised by the Holy Spirit into union with Christ, not all enjoy the fellowship with Christ that comes from being filled with the Spirit.
Memorise this truth: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).
Ask this question: Have you been filled or controlled by God’s Spirit today?
Kids Talk About God is distributed by Creators Syndicate. To access free, online ‘Kids Color Me Bible’ books, ‘Mission Explorers’ videos and all columns in a Bible Lesson Archive, visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. To read journey-of-faith feature stories written by Carey Kinsolving, visit www.FaithProfiles.org; ©2014 Carey Kinsolving