What is the purpose of the baptism of the Spirit?
First, it is to give us power. Jesus told His disciples, “Wait in Jerusalem until you are endued with power from heaven.” Then He told them, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and you shall receive power” (see Acts 1:4–8). The Greek word that we translate power is dunamis, from which we derive our English words “dynamic” and “dynamite.” Jesus was telling the disciples, “You are going to receive dynamic power.”
In the same conversation, Jesus told the disciples not to go anywhere until they received that dynamic power. The Lord knew that the disciples could not take the gospel into the world without the power of the Holy Spirit to assist them.
We, like the disciples, have the task of bringing the gospel to our lost world. We cannot do this in our own strength; He never intended for us to do it in our own strength. The task can only be accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s why Jesus said, Go into all the world, but before you go, wait until you are endued with power.
Our Place in the Body of Christ
The second purpose of the baptism of the Spirit is it shows us our place in the body of Christ. The body is made up of many members, each member having a function to help the body perform as it is intended to. The baptism with the Spirit places us in the body exactly as God ordained so we can fulfill the function He planned for us. A person who has been baptized in the Spirit will recognize his place in the body.
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Finally, the baptism of the Spirit imparts to us the gifts of the Spirit. As the Holy Spirit gives us our place in the body, He equips us with gifts so we can perform the tasks He calls us to. When Paul laid hands on the 12 believers in Ephesus and they received the Holy Spirit, these men spoke with tongues and prophesied. Gifts were given to them, and they begin to exercise those gifts to fulfill God’s will and purpose.
There Are No Spectators in the Church of Jesus Christ
There is no such thing as a spectator in the church of Jesus Christ—every one of us has a part to play. But many churches today are filled with people who have no idea of their place in the body, no sense of what their function is. What is the problem? Perhaps it is that these believers have not been baptized with the Spirit.
Now more than ever, the world needs Spirit-filled believers who have this kind of power. Today, may we seek Him that we might be baptized afresh with His Spirit.