Healing Line

Healing Line

The Baptism with The Holy Spirit

by Rev. Tommy Tyson
Summer 1997

What does it mean to be baptized with the Holy Spirit? The first disciples were commanded by Jesus to remain in Jerusalem until they received baptism with the Holy Spirit. Following the fulfillment of this promise on the day of Pentecost, the early Christian disciples offered this same privilege to all who would believe in Jesus. I would like to point out some of the basic features related to the common witness of Christians in describing the Spirit–filled relationship.

Personal Union With Jesus Christ

The Holy Spirit, moving in sovereign power, brings a person into a fixed inward awareness of the resurrected power, presence and person of the Lord Jesus Christ. On and following the day of Pentecost, the first century disciples gave evidence of knowing the resurrected Lord in an intimate and vital union. They were conscious of His presence and power. They knew Jesus, the Resurrected Lord, in the power of holy affection. They experienced the fulfillment of His promise to them as recorded in John 14:19–20.

lmbuement With Power

Jesus said, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1 :8). Dynamite has the power to blow up stumps. It does not have the power to rock babies to sleep. The power of the Holy Spirit is not vague and undisciplined energy. The Holy Spirit gives us the power — the ability — to fulfill the purpose for which we were made.

Power to Be Ourselves

In the security of Holy Love, there is the power for the removal of masks and the revealing of the true self. The restoration to true selfhood is a gift of God through the power of His Spirit. This is the meaning of Christian confession. Confession is agreeing with God concerning the revelation He makes of you. The same writer who said, "I am the chief of sinners" is also the one who said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." This double confession is evidence of the real work of the Holy Spirit. In the power of the Spirit, we stop pretending about and promoting the self.

Power to Worship

To witness the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is to see all human history consummated in the light of redemptive purposes. It is to see our needs in the light of God's grace. This insight within the human heart brings power for real worship. The glory of the presence of the resurrected Lord enables the Christian to sing the wondrous song of the soul.

Power to Witness

The words, "Enter to Worship, Depart to Serve" often appear on church bulletins. The New Testament genus is that we enter to worship in order to keep on worshiping as we move the altar from the Upper Room to the marketplace. Our work becomes our worship, and our worship becomes our work. The baptism of the Holy Spirit enables the believer to stay aware of the presence of the Lord in such a way that all of life becomes an act of worship.

Power to Be Like Jesus

One of the most valid witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus is that there is very little difference in the ministry of Jesus before the crucifixion and the lives of the disciples after the resurrection. You catch the same courage, the same love, the same concern for human involvement. You see the same abandonment of self to the call of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my Father'' (John 14: 12). The validity of Christian experience is made manifest in the ability to produce the works of the glorified Lord. The gifts and fruits of the Spirit in the life of the believer are to glorify Jesus Christ among His people.

Power to Integrate Spirit and Body

Another factor related to the baptism with the Holy Spirit is the relationship of the baptized person to both the Christian and non–Christian worlds. There is evidence of dissension among the Twelve as they lived in union with Jesus before the crucifixion. There is further evidence of differences and problems in the life of the Early Church as they were filled with and led by the Holy Spirit.

Nowhere is the cross made more evident as a way of life than in the Christian's ability to die to the body of Christ in order to reconcile the tension between individual and corporate experience. This is the challenge of the Spirit–filled walk.

This reconciliation means neither a denial of personal convictions nor a cheap imitation of the experiences of other people. It means a realization that people are more important than ideas. Differences are to be used as avenues of growth and not as opportunities to divide.

The baptized person accepts his oneness with the body of Christ. This oneness transcends geographical, cultural, racial and political boundaries. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is a relationship with Jesus Christ that causes a deep desire to see this same love made manifest throughout the total body of Christ.

The Spirit–filled Christian is baptized by one Spirit into the body of Christ. His or her life becomes a deposit of grace and makes that person know that his or her body is the temple of the living God.

Every circumstance of the Spirit–filled Christian becomes an occasion to manifest the inward relationship with the life of Jesus in thought, word and deed. Even in the midst of apparent defeat, we know that we are destined to be a part of the answer to the prayer: "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven."

Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?

*This article is comprised of excerpts from 'The Baptism With the Holy Spirit" printed in the Streams of Life newsletter (Fall 1996) by New Life, lnc./Rev. Tommy Tyson, Aqueduct Conference Center, Chapel Hill, N.C.

headshot tommy Rev. Tyson is a founding member of CHM's National Advisory Board. Summer 1997 Issue