9At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.
This account of Jesus being baptized in the Holy Spirit is “synoptic”, meaning it is in all four Gospels. The consensus is, if something is in all four Gospels God wants us to take note of these particular Scriptures.
I believe this event was given such prominence to remind us that Jesus the Son Of God, the second person of the Trinity, needed to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Why does God need to baptized into God? This fact reveals two truths, one: this establishes the Godhead of three separate persons in one God, two: the believer needs to be baptized into Christ , or born again, and then baptized into the Holy Spirit, two separate events.
Okay, the three person Godhead is readily accepted by orthodox people, but the two experiences of born again and then baptized into the Holy Spirit is a contentious teaching. I hope I can clear up this issue. One thing I noticed no matter how clear I explain this, most people dont or wont accept the clear teaching of Scripture if they have already made up their minds, but here it goes.
Scripture says in Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” We see here if we believe God raised Jesus from the dead we are saved or born again. Where in Scripture can we see this in action, when people believed Jesus rose from the dead, and then subsequently where filled with the Holy Spirit?
Paul, the Apostle, on the way to Damascus Acts 9; 1-16, 17, was confronted by the the risen Lord then he was blind for three days, and we see in vs. 17 Ananias says, Paul would be “filled with the Holy Spirit”. Notice the order of event, Paul met the risen Jesus on the road, and three days later was “filled with the Holy Spirit”, born again, and then filled with the Holy Spirit, two separate events.
We see, in Acts 1:1, that after first seeing Jesus risen from the dead our Lord gave the disciples instructions to go to Jerusalem, and to wait for the baptism in the Holy Spirit, then in Acts 2 we see the fulfillment of that promise with the disciples subsequently being baptized into the Holy Spirit, again born again and then filled with the Holy Spirit, two separate events.
The most common argument to this is teaching is, “that was then this is now.” How annoying is this to any one who loves Gods Word. These same people say, “we believe every jot and tittle”, but when confronted with something that requires faith in Scripture, and a present, living, active God they say, “that was then this is now”. Sad.
Another common objection is to get theological, “the greek nominative delcension in this verb form means, “I dont want to lose my sweet cushy denominational position, thank you very much.” One major denomination that agrees with this plain interpretation of Scripture is the Assemblies of God, however they dont “push it.” Why rock the boat by standing up for the truth?
Many people say, “Are you telling me I DONT have the Holy Spirit!” The short answer is NO, that is not what I am saying. The trinity is three persons in one, when you are born again, you are baptized into Christ,and you have , God the Word (Jesus), you have God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit, because God is One, but you need to be baptized, as Jesus was, in the separate third person of God the Holy Spirit.
This teaching affirms the Trinity, and explains why Jesus needed to be baptized in the Holy Spirit to be empowered for His ministry. It also confirms the dual deity, and humanity of Christ, because just as we humans need to “baptized” into the Holy Spirit so did Christ, BUT he is also God.
This is an important teaching and needs to be studied and applied to every Christian life. Are you born again and wondering that there must be more? This is your answer, the power from on high that empowered the early believers, and even our Lord himself, is available for us today, just ask. “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13