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THE BAPTISM OF SPIRIT THRU THE COVERING OF BLOOD

 

 

TRENTON C. RINDOKS

BIBL 364

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

MARCH 11, 2016

 

Introduction

The accounts of Baptism in Acts clearly depict three inseparable forms of Baptism the Baptism of Water, The Covering of Blood, and the Baptism of the Spirit, although the indwelling is seen as the keys to which faith is established and maintained in the believer evident by the emphasis of the accounts in Acts. Another suitable title for this Book could be the Acts of the Spirit as the book portrays how the Holy Spirit was essential in the role of establishing the Early Church, serving as protector and comforter to the disciples and the cornerstone of faith. One could even draw a correlation between the indwelling of the Spirit to the keys of the Kingdom as fore told by Jesus as being essential to the works of salvation in the lives, hearts and minds of the followers of the Way.

Many traditions, doctrines and dogmas exists with the Body of Christ surrounding Baptism. However, there are three distinct forms of Baptism mentioned in the Bible and in Acts. The First is the Baptism of John, or Water Baptism, which is the repentance of sin and commitment of Faith and to the Body of Christ.  The Second is the Covering of Blood, or the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This gift of grace is the actual removal of all sins past, present and future that was fully accomplished and hyper-exalted during the resurrection and ascension of The Son of Man and is available to all people through the profession of faith in Jesus Christ.  The Third is The Baptism of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit provides the Keys to the Kingdom necessary to establish, build and maintain the Faith necessary to walk through the Door of Heaven. Salvation is received once one professes believe in Jesus as the Lord, Savior and the only way of Eternal Life and Redemption of Sin. The grace given by the Covering of Blood is available to all people regardless of customs, culture, nationality or ethnicity. God does not discriminate.

A Variety Views on Spirit Baptism

The Wesleyan Position on Spirit Baptism is that is process and result of the conversion of the believer.  The terms and accounts, used in the various verses of Acts such as  the filling of the Spirit ,the pouring out of the Spirit, the receiving of the Spirit by the action of water Baptism, or through  the ability of disciple to lay hands upon another can be associated with the Resurrection, and should be viewed  as “interchangeable”.[1] The covering of Blood or the atoning sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ for all sins past, present and future is all that is required foe salvation.  By repentance or a commitment to die from the sinful nature of self, followed by a profession of faith one receives the gift of salvation and begins the journey of sanctification, which comes only by the grace of God and through Christ commandment of Love for God and others. Sanctification is equivocal to spiritual maturation and is an expression of growing love through the indwelling and gifting of the Spirit.[2]

The Pentecostal View hold one receives an initial Baptism or service, sanctification, and the Gifting of the Spirit maintain indwelling of the Spirit by obedience in Christ. The initial indwelling is a pledge for one who does not have the Holy Spirit within is Not of Christ ( Romans 8:9), Furthermore, it is a seal or down payment for the removal of sins and a sense of ownership or a belonging to the inheritance of the Kingdom of God. This serves as a promise of protection and care from the Holy Spirit. Finally, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit serves a duality of function representing the role of the temple residing in the hearts of man and a belonging in the unified Body of Christ or church. Additionally, after the initial indwelling stage the process of sanctification aided by the Holy Spirit and the provision of gifts along with the individual dying from the nature of flesh leads to spiritual maturation. The premise is justification and judgement befalls the nonbeliever but unto the believer, the indwelling of the Spirit is a promise but the Spirit may become blocked when one sins[3]. “Pentecostal usage turns Luke’s argument on its head by claiming that some Christians are not baptized in the Holy Spirit. Luke made the case, to those who might question it that all who call upon the Lord have the prophetic Spirit available to them and can no longer be denied equal status within the Kingdom.[4]

The Reformed view emphasizes, upon receives Christ the Holy Spirit is also received. In Paul’s words: ‘Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong.to him (Rom. 8:9).’One cannot declare Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 12:3). The Baptism into the Body of Christ occurs in conjunction with the baptism of the Spirit[5].” Salvation, sanctification, and justification both are actions of faith and form the duality of Salvation.  Sanctification is process throughout the life of the believer. Baptism is a sign and seal accomplished by Water and Spirit Baptism. This does not account for a multitude of blessings from the Spirit in the act of salvation such as receiving of the Spirit before regeneration, the ability to pray for and seek salvation or the works of the Spirit after conversion. It also understates the need to be activated or filled with Spirit by placing an overemphasis on the process of baptism.[6]

An Anglican view on Baptism of the Spirit holds that Lukan philosophy does not guarantee Spiritual Gifts or Spirit Baptism to All believers but that Water Baptism is the initial act of dedication and a desire to repent from Sin. In addition, Luke viewed the Water –Baptism as a symbolic action or commitment to the Church itself. Spirit Baptism was reserved for the Apostles and those with a direct connection to the Apostles and was the source for the Gifts necessary for the Proclamation of the Gospel and the fulfillment of Kingdom Calling to All People of All Groups as Stated in The Great Commission. Holy Spirit Baptism can be transferred from an Apostle to a believer by the laying of Hands, or be received during Water Baptism. Furthermore, it may come upon a believer any time before or after conversion based on the desire of the Holy Spirit and at the precedence of God. Additionally, Spirit Baptism is also symbolic of judgement in the End of Days. Thus, what is paramount is the development of faith and the desire to serve the will and glory of God by caring out the Great Commission. In doing so, “One will find their way in the Kingdom of God[7].”

A final view holds that Spirit Baptism is relative to the accounts in Acts to a becoming in oneness of Spirit and a unity of heart and mind for both the Church and the believer. Bruce Terry writes a perspective on the accounts of the Holy Spirits in Acts, from the Speaking and Hearing of Tongues at Pentecost through the various conversion to Christ and the procession of Gifts as Follows. “There are not some in the church who have been baptized in the Spirit and some who have only been saved but are seeking to be baptized in the Spirit. All who are in the body of Christ were baptized in one Spirit into it.[8]” A complementary view presented by Walvoord states “All reference to Holy Spirit Baptism can be as prove of a universal Baptism of Spirit among all Christian. Secondly, Baptism of the Spirit joins the believer to the Body of Christ without distinction of any cultural or worldview prejudice.  Next, Baptism also places the believer with a direct connection to our Lord Jesus Chris himself. ‘His justification, sanctification, deliverance, access to God, inheritance, and glorification are actual and possible because of the believer’s position in Christ.’ Final considerations include that although Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit Acts on his own enabling the believer to fulfill the Will of God. In addition, although one can experience the Holy Spirit indwelling, sealing, and baptism, while the ground for the filling of the Spirit and all subsequent experience, is not experimental in itself.  ‘As no one ever experienced a process in regeneration, so no one ever experienced a process in the baptism of the Spirit.’ As the entire process is universal to all Christians[9].”

A Defense on Lukan Theology Today

The Eleven Apostles are commanded, “Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John Baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5 NIV).”  This implies although the Apostles repented and professed believe in in Jesus they had not received the Holy Spirit, because they had only received Water Baptism, repentance and instruction and thus were not yet fully ready or commissioned into the Body of Christ.

During Pentecost, not only did the Apostles receive The Spirit and begin Speaking in tongues. Jews from every nation were filled with the Spirit and were able to hear the Spirit in their own native language. Some rejected this and as a result, Peter preached on the need of repentance.  Those who had faith and received the gift immediately. Others accepted the Gospel repented and received water Baptism. In this instance, The Baptism of the Spirit proceeds Water Baptism and is the prerequisite needed to lead many to faith in Christ and Salvation (Acts 2).

During the Account of Phillip’s mission to Samaria, we are told of the use of the Proclamation of the Gospel, which resulted in signs, and miracles the crowds paid close attention to Philip. Healing acts and exorcism were performed resulting in enthusiasm.  Most importantly, as Philip preached about the inclusive nature of the Kingdom of God in the Name and Authority of Jesus Christ men and women repented and received water baptism. John and Peter were sent to approve of the new sister church but were astonished that the believers in Samaria had not received the Spirit! The Apostles then laid hands on the new congregation so they may be baptized in the Spirit (Acts 8: 4-25). Polhill comments, “That although baptism and receipt of the Spirit are normally closely joined during conversion and commitment to Christ, it is not always the case. The account of John in Ephesus in Acts (19-5-6) is a result of the laying of hands. Additionally, the Spirit Baptism proceeds water Baptism as the Holy Spirit cannot be controlled to any human Schema.[10]” Luke most likely is not indicating that each individuals did not receive the Holy Spirit internally but that the Laying of Hands is a Pentecost like experience of an external communal nature. “The purpose of such is to designate the providence and supremacy of God and the authority of Christ over any of man’s design. This is contrasted by the story of Simon the magician and his attempts to manipulate the Spirit by his own will.”[11]

After his Mission to Samaria Phillip is commanded by an angel to go south along the Road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza and along the way he encounters an Ethiopian royal eunuch that had just returned from Jerusalem to worship and was reading from the Servants psalm in Isiah and struggling to understand the meaning. Polhill explains many significance of the Eunuch. First, he was a God-fearing Gentile, and like Cornelius was not a full convert in to Judaism. As such, he would most likely have faced discrimination and access to the temple.[12]  One verse that may have caused the Ethiopian confusing is Isiah 56:3-8. The use of “will not be cut off” may have confused him.  As a Eunuch, he would have been castrated and thus not able to be circumcised as required to be a converted to Judaism. However, there is also a promise in these verses. “For this is what the Lord says: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant , to them I will give within my temple and its wall  a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; will give them an everlasting name.  That will endure forever. (Isa 56:  4-5)” The promise can be seen as inclusion into the kingdom of God without restriction but How is this to be so. God answers this as follows, “And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants. To all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant. To these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices (Baptism) will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations (Isa. 56: 6-7).” This is a prophecy of the coming of Phillip the Proclaim the Gospel so the Eunuch and later people of all ethnicity can be included in the Kingdom of God.  Thus, this is a prophecy of the beginning of the Gentile inclusion into the Kingdom of God.  After the Ethiopian receives the Gospel he is Baptized and accepted into the fellowship of believers. One can assume the Holy Spirit was received after the water baptism in this case, as he was unaware of Resurrection and Ascension of Christ and unable to deduce the Messianic Prophecy in the Servants Psalm.

In Acts 10: 44-48 as Peter is preaching the Gospel to Cornelius, his close friends the Holy Spirit descends upon the audience and the receive the Spirit and begin speaking in tongues similar to the Account of day of Pentecost. This Gentile Pentecost illustrates that the Holy Spirit can in Spirit preceding the believer baptism or profession of faith. However, Peter, orders all present to be baptized in water as a symbol of the commitment of the Body of believers. Also, of importance he himself does not performs the baptism himself but leaves the act to another disciple showing any believer has the ability to baptize another into the church and start one’s walk with Christ.

A final point like the Samaritan Pentecost and Pentecost itself this was a communal receiving of the spirit of both indwelling and filling of the Spirit illustrating Gods unstoppable nature, providence and like with the Eunuch shows all restriction against culture, nationality or custom have been broken down by the providence of God. From here on the Gift of Salvation or the Covering of Blood for all sins, past present and future and the promise of the restoration of humanity to the image of God as well as the establishment of Jesus Christ as the Authority over all the Earth has been established.

Redemption, reconciliation, Sanctification, justification, and judgement of those who are against the Kingdom of God are now in the Hands of the Savior Ruler-Advocate and King of Heaven. Available for all people of every people group should the chose to accept it. This Baptism of Blood, available by a commitment of faith via repentance and Baptism will be aided by the Baptism of the Spirit, which will impart the necessary gifts for ministry, inspiration, unity, sanctification, healing, and service.

Much more importantly, the expression of love Christ-minded and acceptance of all that will lead to the expansion and fulfillment of Kingdom Calling breaking down the barriers of discrimination and culture except when such are against the very nature of God himself.

The conversion of Saul the Persecutor of the Church to Paul the persecuted-bondservant of Christ is a unique illustration of the interworking of The Lord Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit.  First, Lord Jesus Christ physically appears to Saul and resulting in a brilliant light that engulfed him knocking him off his feet followed by a loud thunderous voice asking him “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?” Saul answers in a reverent tone “Who are you Lord?” Jesus responds “ I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, Get up continue to Damascus and wait for further orders on What you are to do. “ The three traveling companions of Saul hear the sound but do not see anyone and are as a result speechless. The blinded distressed and awe struck Saul is led by his companions to Damascus as commanded as evident by the fact he did not eat or drink anything for three days ( Acts 9: 1-9).  In a vision, a disciple named Ananias receives a vision of Christ through the Holy Spirit to go to the house of Judas on Straight Street for Saul of Tarsus of is coming and has been praying and you will restore his sight. Ananias questions this request, as Saul is a viscous persecutor of the Church. However, the Lord comforts him stating  “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name Saul is my Chosen Instrument to carry my name to the Gentiles, kings and the people of Israel.( Acts 10-10-16).” When Saul arrives, he is welcomed as a fellow brother, Ananias tells Saul of his personal encounters with the Christ and that he will heal him and fill him with The Spirit.  Immediately, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit heals Saul. After the Spirit Baptism, Saul is baptized and Paul the Apostle is born. Depression and distress lifts and he is able to eat regaining his strength and a new vigor for life.  Paul spends a few days among the believers of Damascus and then begins proclaiming the Gospel and proofing Jesus is the Christ with great power and vigor. However, many Jews do not receive it seek to kill him (Acts 10: 17-22). Thus, the persecutor of the Church becomes the persecuted by those who deny the faith, however the providence of God and global inclusive missionary moment is expanded in the conversion of Paul as promised to Ananias (Acts 10:15).

When Paul arrived in Ephesus, He found some of the Disciples and asked, “Did You receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” The believers replied “No, that they have not even heard of a Holy Spirit before.” Paul asked, probably somewhat puzzled, “What sort of Baptism did you receive?” The Ephesians replied “John’s Baptism.” Paul then informs them “John’s Baptism was a Baptism of repentance. He told them to believe in one coming after him, Jesus. One Hearing this they were baptized in the Name of Jesus receiving the Baptism of the Spirit as Paul placed his hands upon them. The twelve men present began speaking in tongues and prophesying upon the indwelling and filling of the Spirit 9 (Acts 19: 1 -7)

The Lukan Prospective of Baptism of the Early Church

Luke first introduces in the book of Acts the need to freely repent from sin and receive the Baptism of John. The believer’s baptism serves the function of establishing a relationship with the body of the believer as well as symbolizes entering into a covenant with God by showing the individual is aware of a life lived in the ways of flesh or out of the sinful nature is futile. However, Luke stresses Jesus Chris provided a superior form of baptism that of the spirit. This indwelling of the Holy Spirit which may occur before the believers baptism out of one’s deeds and works of faith as a blessing by God, or may result as a result of water baptism. It may occur anytime during one’s Christian’s journey and provides the necessary cornerstone of faith to receive and proclaim the gospel. Additionally it allows one, to perform miracles, signs and wonders and protects the believer. The Spirit inspires, comforts, and works to sanctify or restore the believer to the image of Christ. Finally, when Christ died on the cross all sins for all people were forgiven and forgotten. This atoning sacrifice of blood, which was foretold by all the prophets, is the gate in to which one enters Heaven, the means of eternal life, and is affirmed by the resurrection by Jesus who now sits as the Authoritative King of Heaven and Earth, and will judge both the righteous and wicked. The only hope is provided in him through faith and the gracious gift of salvation, and in repentance and by receiving the Holy Spirit who will provide the keys of faith and tools for evangelism and sanctification.

Luke also illustrates those who do not receive the Spirit will not receive eternal life, First, telling how Simon the magician was a believer, was baptized, witnessed many signs and wonders but yet out of his desire to purchase the gift  of the Spirit and not openly receive it by grace had placed his salvation in jeopardy( Acts 8:9-24). Additionally, out of concern for the Elders of Ephesus Paul lays hands upon them and baptizes them with the Holy Spirit when he learns they have not received or heard of such a thing ( Acts 19: 1-7).  Peter and John also laid hands on the believers in Samaria so they receive the Holy Spirit when they learned they received only the Believer’s Baptism (Acts 8: 17).

Conclusion

The accounts of Baptism in Acts clearly depict three inseparable forms of Baptism the Baptism of Water, The Covering of Blood, and the Baptism of the Spirit. Although many traditions, doctrines and dogmas exists with the Body of Christ surrounding Baptism. However, there are three distinct forms of Baptism mentioned in the Bible and in Acts. The First is the Baptism of John, or Water Baptism, which is the repentance of sin and commitment of Faith and to the Body of Christ.  The Second is the Covering of Blood. This is the actual removal of all sins past, present and future that was fully accomplished on the cross and hyper-exalted during the resurrection and ascension of The Son of Man and is available to all people through the profession of faith in Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ the Authority of Heaven and Earth, the redeemer, and restorer of man to the image of God,  the judge of all humanity and the only gateway into Heaven which one must enter in faith and grace . The Final is the Baptism of The Spirit, the keys to the kingdom, the provider of Spiritual Gifts, The giver of the Fruit, inspiration and the unifying force of the mind and heart of the individual and the Church. Most significantly, The Holy Spirit through the indwelling is the foundation of for the profession of faith and the aid of sanctification which works and faith are inseparable in the unified mind, heart and life, which leads to the restoration of the image of God itself.

However, whether one receives the Spirit, before the Baptism of John, during or after is entirely up to the will of the Spirit. Additionally the manner in which the Spirit is received is at the discretion of Christ and the Spirit.  For the Wind blows as it Pleases (John 3:8).”

Bibliography

Arrington, French. “The Indwelling, Baptism, and Infilling with the Holy Spirit: A Differentiation of Terms.” Pneuma 3, no. 2 (Fall 1981): 1-10.

Bloesch, Donald G. “The Wind of Spirit: Thoughts on a Doctrinal Controversy.” Reformed Journal 23, no. 8 (1973): 11-16.

Brown, Schyler. “Water-baptism and Spirit-baptism in Luke-Acts.” Anglican Theological Review 59, no. 2 (April 1977): 135-151.

Lee, Mark. “An Evangelical Dialogue on Luke, Salvation, and Spirit Baptism.” PNEUMA 26, no. 1 (Spring 2004).

Lyon, Robert W. “Baptism and Spirit-Baptism in the New Testament.” Wesleyan Theological Journal 14, no. 1 (Spring 1979): 14-26.

Polhill, John B. The New American Commentary. Vol. 26. Nashville: BroadmenPress, B&H Publishing Group, 1992,2003.

Terry, Bruce. “Baptized in One Spirit.” Restoration Quarterly 21, no. 4 (1978): 193-200.

Walvoord, John F. “The Person Of the Holy Spirit Part 7 The Work of the Holy Spirit in Salvation.” Biblotheca Sacra 98, no. 392 (October 1941): 422-446.

 

 

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[1] Robert W.  Lyon,  “Baptism and Spirit-Baptism in the New Testament.” Wesleyan Theological Journal 14, no. 1 (Spring 1979): 14-26.

 

[2] [2]Robert W.  Lyon,  “Baptism and Spirit-Baptism in the New Testament.” Wesleyan Theological Journal 14, no. 1 (Spring 1979): 14-26.

 

[3] French Arrington, “The Indwelling, Baptism, and Infilling with the Holy Spirit: A Differentiation of Terms.” Pneuma 3, no. 2 (Fall 1981): 1-10.

 

[4] Mark Lee, “An Evangelical Dialogue on Luke, Salvation, and Spirit Baptism.” PNEUMA 26, no. 1 (Spring 2004).

 

[5] Donald G. Bloesch, “The Wind of Spirit: Thoughts on a Doctrinal Controversy.” Reformed Journal 23, no. 8 (1973): 11-16.

 

[6] Donald G. Bloesch, “The Wind of Spirit: Thoughts on a Doctrinal Controversy.” Reformed Journal 23, no. 8 (1973): 11-16.

 

 

[7]  Schyler Brown, “Water-baptism and Spirit-baptism in Luke-Acts.” Anglican Theolgical Review 59, no. 2 (April 1977): 135-151.

 

[8] Bruce Terry, “Baptized in One Spirit.” Restoration Quarterly 21, no. 4 (1978): 193-200.

 

[9] John F. Walvoord, “The Person Of the Holy Spirit Part 7 The Work of the Holy Spirit in Salvation.” Biblotheca Sacra 98, no. 392 (October 1941): 422-446.

 

[10] Polhill, John B. The New American Commentary. Vol. 26. Nashville: BroadmenPress, B&H Publishing Group, 1992,2003.

 

[11] John B. Polhill,  The New American Commentary. Vol. 26. (Nashville: BroadmenPress, B&H Publishing Group), 1992,2003.

 

[12] John B. Polhill, The New American Commentary. Vol. 26. (Nashville: BroadmenPress, B&H Publishing Group), 1992,2003.

 

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