What Does Baptism of the Holy Spirit Really Mean?
Everyone has their own personal view of baptism, which is in itself a pretty broad topic. I don’t know what you believe in or what you are expecting but personally, I believe baptism is like a request and the affirmation of being saved (Mark 16:16: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”). Unlike the beliefs of some, unfortunately baptism is not a free pass to heaven – every one of us has to go through Judgement Day.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Baptism is a kind of official declaration that you have made your choice; the choice of turning your life over to God; the choice of accepting Jesus Christ as your king and savior; and finally, the choice of walking on the narrow road that leads to eternal life. Water baptism is like showing your decision to follow Jesus but to experience the spiritual bath, i.e. to be born again, you need to be baptized by the Holy Spirit.
There is a fundamental misunderstanding about the difference between being saved and baptized by the Holy Spirit. And, I finally understood the real meaning when I heard one of the sermons of Pastor Joseph Prince.
When you confess your sins to the Lord and ask Christ to be your King, you are justified through your faith in Christ and are saved. When you are saved, God pours His Holy Spirit on you. But, that is still completely different from being baptized by the Holy Spirit.
The difference can be understood by a simple example – for instance, there is a difference between drinking a glass of water and jumping into a pool of water and being submerged by the water. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is pretty similar to this example. When you are baptized by the Holy Spirit, you are submerged and completely immersed by His divine presence and power.
Speak in Tongues
I’ve once heard about a Christian talking about his understanding of “speaking in tongues.” According to him, if you are a native English-speaking person and you’ve never learned Chinese language before, speaking in tongue would mean that you can now speak Chinese. There are so many examples like this that make me think that there is indeed a huge misinformation doctrine that has been spreading about speaking in tongues.
As per my parents, I started speaking in tongues when I was around 3-4 years old, but of course, I don’t remember my first experience at all. However, today I can tell you that speaking in tongues is something that should be experienced to be better understood.
Speaking in tongue is not about the speaker, but about the Holy Spirit manifesting through the speaker. Speaking in tongue is not just about speaking a language, but speaking a language that only God can understand. It’s not the ability to speak a foreign language that some other people might understand; instead it’s a language that no one can understand. It is a very special and powerful language that God gifts you and that only Him can understand.
You see, when you are speaking in tongue, you’ll be communicating directly to God and this can make you spiritually stronger. And, you know what the bonus part is? To satan, speaking in tongue sounds like some sort of gibberish.
However, you need to remember that you can only speak in tongues when you have been baptized by the Holy Spirit.
There are many Christians who have been baptized by water and have been walking with God for years, but they have still not being able to speak in tongues because they have not been baptized by the Holy Spirit. And, there are also those who have completely received the Holy Spirit but who’ve never spoken in tongues because they suppress that spiritual ability.