When a believer is baptized in water, it is the minister who does the baptizing. It is the believer who is baptized, and the element into which he is baptized is water.
When a person receives Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, he becomes a member of the Body of Christ. The Apostle Paul makes this clear in 1 Corinthians 12:12, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”
Every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is a member of the Body of Christ. No church, denomination, or group has exclusive rights to this privilege. Every person, regardless of color, age, or culture, can be a member of the Lord’s Body. The moment a person receives Christ as his Saviour, the Holy Spirit baptizes them into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13-14).
Without this baptism, no one is a member of the Body. EVERYONE who comes to Christ is made a member of the Body of Christ by this baptism [once again, we’re not talking about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit here]. At that moment, we are set into the Body of Christ and become “members in particular” (1 Corinthians 12:27).
It is important that all Christians understand that this baptism places all of us into Christ. Christ has only one Body. He is the Head of one church. There are hundreds of denominations but only one church. There are millions of believers, but only one Body (1 Corinthians 12:12).
It is time that everyone who names Jesus Christ as Savior recognizes that we are brothers and sisters and members of the same family. If we would walk in the light of this truth, there would be a unity among believers. The things that separate and divide us would be minimized and we could fellowship together as one in Christ. We may differ in many doctrinal insights, but it is time that God’s people recognize one another as “partakers of divine nature.”
There is a baptism into water, and there is baptism in the Body of Christ. When John spoke concerning baptism, he said that there was one coming who would have a different baptism, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: ‘Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-12.
John was speaking of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost, several things happened simultaneously to those believers:
1) The Person of the Holy Spirit came to indwell every believer and to draw people to Christ.
2) Every person that was in the upper room was FILLED with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4).
3) They were BLESSED by the Holy Spirit.
4) They were ANOINTED to speak forth the wonderful news of God.
5) Peter was ANOINTED to stand and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
6) They all were BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.
This is made clear because evidence of the experience was that each believer spoke with “tongues.” This special “evidence” was present at the household of Cornelius. (Acts 10:45-46). Under the Apostle Paul’s ministry, they spoke “with tongues” when the Holy Spirit came on them. (Acts 19:6).
In water baptism, our bodies are placed in the water. [This is the really good part coming up . . .]
In the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it is the human spirit that is baptized. In salvation, the first physical evidence of the experience is “confession with the mouth.” A person can believe in their heart that Jesus is the Saviour but they must bear witness with their mouth and declare Christ to be Lord and Savior. Then, the believer is filled with joy and possesses a blessed assurance.
When the believer’s spirit is baptized, the human spirit will speak forth a witness to this baptism. An English speaking person, when speaking in English, speaks with the mind and the understanding. But when the spirit of a believer speaks, the mouth will speak words that the mind does not comprehend or understand. The Apostle Paul declares, “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (1 Corinthians 14:14-15). [I have also heard the idea that the evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit could be another one of the spirituals (i.e. prophecy or healing) and not just speaking in tongues. That hasn’t been my experience. It apparently wasn’t Dr. Paino’s experience either (and he saw a lot). But I don’t see why that couldn’t be the case. Bottom line: your spirit will speak forth a witness when it is baptized (the baptism in the Holy Spirit).]
He makes a distinction between speaking with the understanding and speaking with the spirit. Only a baptized spirit can speak in tongues. The speaking with tongues is not the only evidence of a spiritual baptism, but it is the first physical evidence! In each case where the Holy Spirit came upon believers, it was evidenced by their speaking with tongues.
There is a distinction made in being baptized into the Body of Christ and being baptized “in the Holy Spirit.” Jesus brings the believer into this experience. Jesus is the Savior, the Baptizer, the Healer, and He is the soon-coming King.
[This entry is part of a series of blogs which are direct quotations from Dr. Paul E. Paino’s book, “Is the Holy Spirit Real?” In any other book study, a group would not discuss a topic until the end of a chapter. This section will be like that. For the sake of consecutive learning in the manner in which the book was intended (all in one chapter), comments to this post have been turned off. Discussion will open on Part 7.]