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Baptism and the Fullness of the Holy Spirit

Today’s Scripture: Galatians 3:26-29, Ephesians 5:18

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We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him. – Acts 5:32

I was walking in downtown Colorado Springs when I saw a car going the wrong way on a one-way street. People on the sidewalk were waving and shouting; people in cars were honking their horns. But the most interesting sight of all was the look of wild panic and confusion on the driver’s face.

Many aspects of our walk as disciples can be confusing, especially if we’re heading the wrong way! For instance, there are two words relating to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. One is baptism, and the other is fullness. Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit the same as the fullness of the Holy Spirit? In 1 Corinthians 12:13, Paul writes, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body.” And to the Galatians, he wrote, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (3:26-27). The teaching is clear. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a once-for-all event and occurs when a person invites Christ into his or her heart and becomes part of the body of Christ.

The filling of the Holy Spirit is another matter entirely. Paul says in Ephesians 5:18, “Do not get drunk on wine… Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” When a person is drunk with wine, he is under the control of that wine. Paul says to be filled with the Spirit, so we can be controlled by the Spirit. As we walk in obedience to the Word of God–submitting ourselves to the Spirit’s control and yielding our will to Him day by day–we are walking by the Spirit’s power.


Lord, I want to honor You by walking in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

To Ponder

Today, are you walking under your own steam or by the power of the Holy Spirit?        

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