The Baptism of Regeneration
The baptism by the Spirit into Christ is also called the baptism of regeneration.
It is the same experience spoken of by Paul in the book of Titus 3:5 as the washing of regeneration.
Titus: Chapter 3
- Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost.
These words are absolutely powerful; they describe the very avenue of salvation. Yes! The works of righteousness are extremely important, in that they provide a worthy vessel for the entity known as the Holy Spirit. But having a clean cup, which is empty, is ultimately of little or no value in the long run.
It is more valuable to have the cup “Full”, for this quenches the tongue of the soul.
The very, “Mercy of God”, cannot even begin to be applied to our lives without the “washing of regeneration”, which could only be enacted by the Renewing, or Activation, of Prophetic Manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
The Water Baptism simply washes our outer-core, which is our physical body; this cleansing process begins with knowing, studying, and understanding the scriptures, the law, and the commandments. These are the elements that create our visible acts of righteousness. Again! A nice clean glass with which to hold the Living Holy Spirit!
The word washing in Titus 3:5 has nothing to do with water baptism, except in a figurative sense. In as much as, baptism with water illustrates what the Spirit has already accomplished in the aspect of regeneration. Thus, Paul concludes that the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit into the believer are separate steps needed to accomplish what is known as Salvation.
In summary, the new-birth by the Spirit regenerates the believer and places the believer into the Body of Christ. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit subsequently sanctifies the believer and is an endowment of power equipping the believer for service in order to fulfill the great commission.
There is One Baptism with the Holy Spirit
In Ephesians 4:5 Paul writes that there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. What does this mean?
In the matter of the Spirit, there is only one baptism with the Spirit. However, there are many times when you shall be filled, and re-filled by the Spirit. Paul writes, “Be not drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit”, it is an imperative to all believers to live continually under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit, which is essence, is as intoxicating as being under the alcohol.
This truth is also born out in another interesting account found in Acts: Chapter 8, where the Samaritans came to faith in Christ, were even baptized in water, but did not receive the Baptism with the Holy Spirit until the apostles, Peter and John came and laid their hands upon them.
These two accounts as well as others in Acts, prove that there is a baptism with the Holy Spirit that is a separate and distinct experience from the birth of the Spirit.
These Signs Shall Follow Them That Believe
There is an important and necessary correlation between faith and any operation of the Spirit; whether it is related to salvation, healing, or miracles. This is also true of the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
Many believers can believe in Christ for salvation, but cannot believe in him for other things such as divine healing or in this case the Baptism with the Spirit.
There are many reasons for this. Lack of proper teaching and understanding in this area leads to a lack of faith. A lack of faith and unbelief will prevent a person who is in the process of being saved, from receiving the Holy Spirit Baptism. And because of this, will never be truly saved!
We are told many times in the scriptures, that faith in Christ is a prerequisite for receiving the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Christ himself spoke, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”.
In other words, the proof that you believe in Christ in complete honesty and truth, is that the Manifest Prophetic Gifts of the Holy Spirit will be alive and active within you.
It is understood, that when speaking about those who are unbelievers, is not only a reference to those who do not believe in Christ; but includes those who are of such little faith, that none of the Gifts of the Spirit are alive within them.
Those who believe not, also refers to any person (saved or not) who is unlearned and does not believe in the Power of God to cast out devils, speak with new tongues, heal the sick, perform miracles, receive visions, have parabolic dreams, will prophecy, to become entranced in spirit, etc…
When Christ said, these signs shall follow them that believe, he was also declaring that supernatural manifestations of the power of God, through signs, and wonders, which will follow those who have faith. However, if they do not have faith these signs will not follow them.
Seek these gifts, for through them, your own salvation will be wrought within you.