John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5) “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)

One baptism; many fillings – The promise of the Father came- the Holy Spirit; both 1) to baptize all believers into the body of Christ (i.e., unite all believers with Jesus the head and to all other believers) and 2) to fill the disciples with power to carry out Jesus’ commission. 1) “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.” 1 Cor. 12:12-14) 2) “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

[The following bracketed material is taken from Conformed to His Image by Dr. Kenneth Boa: “The Scriptures use a variety of images to convey the manifold riches of the Holy Spirit’s work.  Here are twelve ministries of the Spirit:

1.  Convicting.  The Spirit convicts unbelievers of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11).  Apart from this ministry, people would never realize their sinful condition and desperate need for the saving grace of God.

2.  Regenerating.  The Spirit imparts eternal life through the new birth, and this in turn implants the divine nature in the child of God (Titus 3:5; 2 Peter 1:4).  We who were formerly dead (Ephesians 2:1-3) have become new creatures who are alive to God (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:3-11; Ephesians 2:4-6).

3.  Baptizing.  By the Spirit, all believers in Christ have been “baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13), and in this way we have been adopted by the Holy Spirit into the family of God (Romans 8:9, 15; Ephesians 1:5).  Since there are differing views of Spirit baptism, we will return to this later.

4.  Sealing.  The Holy Spirit of promise is the pledge of our inheritance, and He seals all who trust in Christ for the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 2 Corinthians 1:22).  The Father gives us the Spirit as a pledge, a “down payment” that guarantees the fulfillment of His promises.

5.  Indwelling.  The Spirit of God permanently indwells all believers in Christ (John 14:16-17; Romans 8:9), so that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who is in us (1 Corinthians 6:19).

6.  Filling.  When we are filled by the Holy Spirit, we are under His control (Ephesians 5:18).  The filling of the Spirit produces the fruit of Christian character and maturity (Acts 6:3, 5; Galatians 5:22-23).

7.  Empowering.  This is another aspect of the filling of the Spirit, and it relates to His sovereign and surprising power for ministry in word and deed (Acts 4:8, 31; 13:9-10).

8.  Assuring. The Spirit testifies to the truth of our life in Christ and bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God (Romans 8:16; 1 John 3:24; 5:7-8).

9.  Illuminating.  The Spirit of God who inspired the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:21) also illuminates the Scriptures “so that we may know the things freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:10-16).  Since the things of the Spirit are spiritually discerned, the Spirit gives believers insight into the meaning and application of God’s Word.

10.  Teaching.  Jesus promised His disciples that the Spirit of truth would “guide you into all the truth” and “disclose to you what is to come” (John 16:13).  The divine anointing teaches us (1 John 2:27), and the Spirit glorifies the Son by making Jesus’ words known to us (John 16:14).

11.  Praying.  Because we do not know how to pray as we should, “the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).  The Holy Spirit searches our hearts and speaks to the Father through us (Romans 8:27).  When we pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18), we have access through Christ to the Father (Ephesians 2:18).

12.  Gifting.  As we will see, the manifold gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to the community of faith for the mutual edification of all the members of the body.  These gifts are energized and directed by the Spirit as they are exercised in other-centered love (1 Corinthians 13).”]

[“There has been a wide range of interpretations of the meaning of Spirit baptism.  In the late nineteenth century, the Wesleyan-Holiness movement associated it with a “second blessing” after conversion that produces the holiness of “entire sanctification.”  Evangelical leaders like Dwight L. Moody and Reuben A. Torrey also viewed Spirit baptism as a post-conversion experience, but related it to a divine bestowal of power for ministry.  It was not until the Pentecostal movement that Spirit baptism was associated with an experience of tongues.  Many in the charismatic movement adopted a neo-Pentecostal view of tongues as the initial sign of Spirit baptism, but an increasing number of charismatic Christians have concluded that tongues is one of many possible charisms (gifts of the Spirit) that could accompany Spirit baptism.  Others in charismatic renewal have turned to a sacramental model of Spirit baptism as a “release” of the Spirit, since the grace of the Spirit was already received in Christian initiation.  “Third Wave” Christians speak more in terms of filling with the Spirit or of openness to the power and gifts of the Spirit, and this may involve “breakthrough” experiences of personal and corporate spiritual renewal. There are seven New Testament references to Spirit baptism (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; 11:16; 1 Corinthians 12:13), and the first six were fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.  Some distinguish the 1 Corinthians passage from the others by translating it as baptism “by” the Spirit (into the body of Christ) as opposed to baptism “in” the Spirit (into the power of the Spirit).  But all of these verses use the same Greek preposition (en) which can be translated “with,” “in,” or “by.”  There is no biblical basis for distinguishing two kinds of Spirit baptism.  The experiences of the disciples at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), the Samaritans (Acts 8:14-17), the Gentile household of Cornelius (Acts 10:44-47), and the Ephesian disciples of John the Baptist (Acts 19:1-7) all relate to the initial arrival of the Holy Spirit into a person’s life that Paul later associates with becoming a member of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13).  It is therefore better not to equate post-conversion experiences of the Spirit’s filling, empowering, or manifestations with the word baptism, but with God’s wonderful works of renewal through the power of the indwelling Spirit.  Since the time of Pentecost, the Spirit’s New Covenant ministry of baptizing, indwelling, and sealing is given to every believer at the time of regeneration.  But subsequent experiences of the Spirit’s filling, outpouring, and clothing with power are given to many believers in accordance with the sovereign purposes of God.  There is no single prescription or pattern to post-conversion experiences of renewal, and it would be a mistake to make one person’s experience normative for others.

While the manifestations of the Spirit are manifold, the New Testament distinguishes two primary ways in which believers can be filled with the Spirit.  (1) The inward work of the Spirit produces Christlike character and spiritual maturity.  The Greek verb plêroô and its cognate plêrês refer to filling as a growing state of being.  These words are used of spiritually mature believers like Stephen and Barnabas who are controlled by the Spirit (see Luke 4:1-2; Acts 6:3, 5; 7:55; 11:24; 13:52; Ephesians 5:18-19).  (2) The outward work of the Spirit concerns divine empowerment for ministry and service.  The Greek verb pimplêmi refers to filling as a temporary experience of the sovereign power of God that is evident in action.  This word is used of specific manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the lives of people like Elizabeth, Peter, and Saul/Paul (see Luke 1:41-42, 67; Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17-20; 13:9-10).

The Inward Work

of the Spirit

The Outward Work

of the Spirit

Filling: Plêroô and Plêrês Filling: Pimplêmi
A Growing State of Being A Temporary Experience
Produces Character and Wisdom Empowers for Ministry and Service
The Fruit of the Spirit The Gifts of the Spirit
The Spirit Within The Spirit Upon
Purity Power
Maturity Manifestations
Becoming Acting


A healthy Spirit-filled spirituality requires both kinds of filling, but there is an unfortunate tendency among WCBs (Word-centered believers) to stress the left column and neglect the right, and among SCBs (Spirit-centered believers) to focus on the right column and minimize the left.  When this happens, a WCB can be strong in knowledge and/or character and shallow in power and deed.  Churches and individuals who quench the outward work of the Spirit become ineffective in transformational ministry.  Their explanation exceeds their experience. On the other hand, an SCB can be strong in power and deed and shallow in knowledge and/or character.  When experience runs ahead of biblical explanation, a person is vulnerable to deception and emotional manipulation.  And when experience surpasses character, the Spirit is grieved and power is eventually lost.  Power without character becomes more of a curse than a blessing and leads to the error of confusing spiritual manifestations with spiritual maturity.  Character and gifting are both important; we need the fruit of the Spirit (the inward work) as well as the power of the Spirit (the outward work).  Purity and power work best together and reinforce each other.  It is also important that we relate Spirit-filled spirituality to the ordinary affairs and challenges of life, and not limit the work of the Spirit to extraordinary phenomena.”]


1. What is your main take away from the message and table discussion and how can you apply it to your life?

2. Which of the twelve aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit are you most familiar with and which do you desire to learn more about?

3. Can you explain to someone the difference between the baptism of/with/in the Holy Spirit and the filling(s) of the Holy Spirit? Discuss the difference at your table.

4. Are you drawn more to the inward work of the Spirit (Christ-like character; maturity, etc.) or the outward work of the Spirit (His power to do ministry, exercising the gifts of the Spirit)? What are the dangers of focusing too much on one or the other?


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