What sign proves the baptism with the Holy Spirit?

11 feb 2009 | ora 10.16 Doctrine | Vasile Filat

Question:

At the baptism with the Holy Spirit what is the exact sign that proves this work? The existence of faith and repentance? The manifestation of a spiritual gift (especially speaking with other tongues) or anything else?

Be a witness of Jesus Christ

Before the ascension of the Savior to heaven

Gathering them together, He commanded them (the disciples) not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:4–8)(NASB)

This was the main sign about which Jesus said it will be shown in the life of the one who is baptized with the Holy Spirit. He will be the witness of Jesus Christ everywhere, because he will live like Lord Jesus and he will tell people about the salvation we can have only by faith in Jesus Christ.

Since the Holy Spirit descended in the day of Pentecost, all those who were baptized with the Holy Spirit were living witnesses, who wanted to know God’s Word, lived according to this Word and share with others about the salvation by faith in Christ Jesus. All these certainly include repentance, i.e returning to Jesus Christ with all your heart.

The obedience to Lord Jesus is the proof of the presence of the Holy Spirit in us

In chapter 12 of the first Epistle to Corinthians, Apostle Paul approaches the subject of spiritual gifts. But, before he explains the subject, he specifies and clarifies so that everyone may understand that the presence of the Holy Spirit is not according to the spiritual gifts, but according to the obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is what the Apostle says:

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. )You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:1–3)(NASB)

Speaking with other tongues is not a condition or a necesarry proof of the baptism with the Holy Spirit

The Bible relates us three cases when the baptism with the Holy Spirit was accompanied by speaking with other tongues and these were tongues understood by those who were there. So, in the day of Pentecost, the disciples spoke the wonderful deeds of God in the tongues of those who came together in Jerusalem to celebrate that day. That was the first case in history, that marked the descent of the Holy Spirit. Speaking with other tongues was a sign for the unbelievers and so, they came to God.

Another case took place in the house of Cornelius, when for the first time the Gospel was spoken, at God’s commandment, to one of the Gentiles, the centurion Cornelius. Together with Apostle Peter came some Christians from Judea, they were circumcised. God marked this first event when the representatives of the Gentiles were baptized with the Holy Spirit, through speaking with tongues, as it is written:

All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. (Acts 10:45–46)(NASB)

It is evident that the Gentiles who were baptized with the Holy Spirit spoke with a tongue that was known by Jews, because Jews understood that God was exalted and so, they understood the message spoken with other tongues.

Speaking with other tongues is one of the spiritual gifts

In the same chapter 12 from the first Epistle to Corinthians, it is written:

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:7–11)(NASB)

The presence of the Holy Spirit will be manifested in the life of each Christian according to the spiritual gifts he has received from the Holy Spirit and that don’t depend on him, it is not the Christian’s choice, because the Holy Spirit is the One who is “distributing to each one individually just as He wills”.

By faith in the Lord Jesus, by repentance and entering the new covenant with Him we are baptized with the Holy Spirit, the proof is the full obedience to Him and testifying His Name, that is the Gospel. Speaking with other tongues is one of the spiritual gifts, given to some Christians and it is not the necessary proof of the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Translated by Felicia Djugostran

This article has been translated into the following languages​​:
  1. Ce semn dovedeşte botezul cu Duhul Sfânt? (ROMÂNĂ)
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I am the pastor of the ”Good News” Church in Chisinau, Moldova, I teach God's Word at the Inductive Bible Study Institute of Eurasia, and I also lead the "Precept Ministries in Moldova” Association. With God's help I founded the Taekwon-Do club " Stolas Leukas ""English for a New Life" School, the Computer School "ScripTehInfo", the International Sports Coaching School and the International Media School. I am married to Anastasia, and we have three children. Since April 2007 we have provided answers from the Bible on this website to 1194 questions submitted by readers. To learn more about me, please read here.
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