This past Sunday, I preached a message on Acts 10:44-11:18, entitled “Do We Really Want Revival?” Unfortunately we had a problem with our audio recording, thus this sermon will not be posted online.
The first part of this text outlines a “Spirit Baptism,” as the Gentiles first hear and respond to the gospel. The other spirit baptisms in Acts occur in Acts 2 (The Jerusalem Church), Acts 8 (The Samaritans receive the gospel), Acts 10 (The Gentiles—household of Cornelius) and then in Acts 19 (Followers of John the Baptist). I have been arguing throughout the book of Acts that these Spirit Baptisms represent special moments in salvation history in which God sovereignly chose to pour out his Spirit in order to authenticate the message of the Apostles. They are not meant to be repeated…they represent the moving of salvation history forward.
Clarification on Monday: When I say that Spirit Baptisms are not to be repeated, I am referring to these specific events in salvation history (Acts 2, 8, 10 and 19). I say this because it seems that God is authenticating the movement of the gospel across racial, cultural and religious lines with each of these groups. So, you might say, what about 1 Corinthians 12:13? Paul writes: “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” So does this mean that spirit baptisms (i.e. Acts 2, 8, 10 and 19) must occur for one to be saved?
My answer is that in the Spirit Baptisms in Acts, the entire church is representatively baptized into the Spirit. In other words, now, at conversion a person is baptized in the Spirit of Jesus (I think without the visible manifestations of flaming tongues of fire [Acts 2] or speaking in tongues). The Spirit Baptisms in Acts were non-repeatable, special events occurring at significant stages in the gospel’s journey to the ends of the earth.
So, if that was confusing to you, I apologize and I hope that God will continue to prosper His word at Redeemer and beyond.
Other questions or feedback from the sermon?