Introduction: What does it mean to be “baptized” with the Holy
Spirit? When I was baptized, the pastor said “I baptize you in the
name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Does that accomplish the
task? What makes me wonder about this is that a lot of people are
baptized with the same words, yet they don’t seem very Spirit-filled
in their religious experience. Let’s jump into our study of the Bible
and find out more!

  1. Baptized Without the Holy Spirit

    1. Read Luke 1:41-44. Elizabeth is the mother of John the
      Baptist. Mary is the mother of Jesus. What does this say
      about Elizabeth and the Holy Spirit? (The Holy Spirit
      filled Elizabeth, and seems to have filled the unborn John
      the Baptist because he “leaped for joy” at the sound of
      the voice of Jesus’ mother.)

    2. Read Mark 1:4-8. Why did John the Baptist not baptize with
      the Holy Spirit? His mother was filled with the Holy
      Spirit, and it seems so was John even before he was born.

      1. Who did John the Baptist say would baptize people
        with the Holy Spirit? (Jesus.)

      2. Look again at Mark 1:8. Could John have baptized with
        water and the Holy Spirit at the same time?

    3. Read John 4:1-2. Did Jesus baptize people in the Holy
      Spirit? (This suggests that Jesus did not directly baptize
      anyone. But, more importantly, it says nothing about the
      disciples, under Jesus’ direction, baptizing in the name
      of the Holy Spirit.)

    4. Read Acts 1:4-5. What does this teach us about the
      disciples baptizing in the Holy Spirit or having been
      baptized in the Holy Spirit? (This text plainly says that
      the disciples were not yet baptized with the Holy Spirit.
      Since Jesus refers to a future event, it seems clear that
      neither the disciples nor those they baptized were
      baptized with the Holy Spirit.)

      1. Is John the Baptist a false prophet on this point?
        Or, is John referring to something else when he says
        that Jesus “will baptize you with the Holy Spirit”
        ( Mark 1:8)?

      2. Read Luke 24:49. When Jesus promises His disciples in
        Acts 1:4-5 that He will “send” the baptism of the
        Holy Spirit, did that fulfill the prophecy of John
        the Baptist?

      3. Now the important point for us today – what does this
        say about whether baptism with water is also baptism
        with the Holy Spirit? (It tells us that they are not
        necessarily the same. They apparently were not during
        Jesus’ life here on earth.)

    5. We don’t actually know the words used by Jesus’ disciples
      to baptize when Jesus was here on earth. If they used the
      words “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,”
      then it would be crystal clear that was something
      different than being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Let’s
      read John 3:3-8. Was Jesus aware, during the time of His
      ministry, that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was
      necessary? (Yes!)

      1. If Jesus thought that, would it be logical that He
        would instruct His disciples to baptize in the name
        of the Holy Spirit while He was still here on earth?

    6. Read Matthew 28:18-20. Study these verses carefully. What
      do they suggest about whether Jesus’ disciples had been
      previously baptizing in the name of the Holy Spirit?
      (Jesus’ statement, made after His resurrection, is very
      persuasive on this point. Jesus’ says that “all authority
      in heaven and earth has been given to Me, therefore go.”
      It was not until Jesus had won the battle over sin that He
      was able to claim “all authority.” The use of the phrase,
      “therefore go” suggests that it was only from this point
      in time that baptism in the name of the Holy Spirit was
      authorized. This shows that John the Baptist accurately
      predicted this event, and it shows that baptism in the
      Holy Spirit did not begin until after Jesus left for
      heaven. This, of course, helps us understand Acts 1:4-5.)

      1. Is there any logic to this timing? (Read Romans 6:3-4. Baptism did not fulfill its true meaning until
        Jesus died and was resurrected. When we are baptized
        in water, we participate in the death and
        resurrection of Jesus. We die with Him for our sins.
        This lays the groundwork for us to be filled with the
        Holy Spirit. See Romans 8:3-4. This is part of the
        “authority” which Jesus was given after His

  2. Philip and Baptism in the Holy Spirit

    1. Read Acts 8:5-8. Is Philip filled with the power of the
      Holy Spirit?

    2. Let’s move down a few verses. Read Acts 8:12-13. What do
      you think: are the people baptized with the Holy Spirit by

    3. Read Acts 8:14-17. How do you explain this? Philip is
      obviously filled with the Holy Spirit, yet he does not
      baptize in the name of the Holy Spirit?

      1. How were these people “baptized” with the Holy
        Spirit? (It was not a baptism at all. Instead, Peter
        and John first “prayed for them that they might
        receive the Holy Spirit” and then placed their “hands
        on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”)

    4. Let’s revisit the nature of the problem. Re-read Acts
      8:15-16. What does this suggest did not go right? (The way
      the problem is stated makes it appear that baptism with
      the Holy Spirit should take place at the same time as
      water baptism. That is the ideal.)

      1. Notice that the crowd could tell that the Holy Spirit
        had not yet come upon them at the time of baptism.
        How could they tell? When you see a baptism today,
        can you tell?

  3. Evidence of Baptism in the Holy Spirit?

    1. Read Ephesians 5:17-20. Doesn’t it strike you as odd that
      Paul would compare being drunk with being filled with the
      Holy Spirit? Why not compare, murder, envy, adultery, or
      theft with being filled with the Holy Spirit?

    2. Read Acts 2:14-17. Why is Peter explaining at Pentecost
      that the disciples are not drunk? Why this consistent
      comparison with being drunk and being filled with the Holy

      1. How do you know when a person is drunk? (It affects
        their speech and all of their actions. The same is
        true with being filled with the Holy Spirit!)

    3. Read Acts 19:1-4. Here is a parallel story. Is the nature
      of their baptism clear? (Yes. It is John the Baptist’s
      baptism of repentance. They do not even know about the
      Holy Spirit.)

    4. Read Acts 19:5-7. Were these men re-baptized, or did Paul
      simply place his hands on them?

      1. What proof do we have that they were filled with the
        Holy Spirit? (They “spoke in tongues and

    5. Read Acts 7:55, Luke 1:67, Acts 2:4, Acts 4:31 and Acts
      13:52. What proof of being filled with the Holy Spirit do
      we find in these texts? (We find a vision, a prophecy,
      speaking in foreign tongues, sharing the gospel with
      boldness, and being filled with joy.)

    6. Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-7. What is given for the “common
      good?” (“The manifestation of the Holy Spirit.)

      1. Is “manifesting” the Holy Spirit the same as being
        “filled” with the Holy Spirit? (I think so. If it is
        not exactly the same, it seems close enough. If you
        are “filled” you should “manifest” it.)

    7. Read 1 Corinthians 12:8-11. How can we know that we have
      been properly baptized with the Holy Spirit? How can we
      know that we are filled with the Holy Spirit? (We will
      manifest one or more of these spiritual gifts.)

      1. I won’t have you read the texts right now, but there
        is an argument based on New Testament texts that
        proof of being filled with the Holy Spirit is
        speaking in tongues. Tongues is listed among the
        gifts we just read. What does 1 Corinthians 12:11
        teach us about this argument? (It says that spiritual
        gifts, such as the gift of tongues, are given by the
        Holy Spirit, “just as He determines.” That means we
        are not all going to have the same gift.)

      2. Now the tough question: have you manifested any of
        these spiritual gifts? Consider the list carefully
        before you answer.

    8. Friend, if you are not certain that you are filled with
      the Holy Spirit, why not ask a Spirit-filled person to lay
      hands on you to cure the problem? If you are not yet
      baptized, why not ask that you be baptized in the name of
      the “Father, Son and Holy Spirit?”

  4. Next week: The Holy Spirit and Living a Holy Life.