In many Christian circles leaders refuse to include teaching regarding the “baptism with the Holy Spirit” because they view it as divisive.  Not long ago I was invited to participate in a group that was planning a major mission convention.   As I listened I thought to myself, “Young men and women will be coming to this convention who are seriously considering involvement in missions.  Whether they go into missions or not they need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit so that they will be equipped and empowered to serve Jesus with even greater effectiveness wherever He sends them.”  Eventually I suggested to the ministry’s leader that we should include a break-out session on the baptism with the Holy Spirit.  His firm response:  “At our conventions we do not permit presenters to teach on that topic.  It is too divisive.”

holy spirit, who is the holy spirit, baptism with the holy spiritUnfortunately, he is all too often correct; teaching on the baptism with the Holy Spirit results in division.  But that’s not the way it needs to be!  A balanced, Biblical understanding of Spirit baptism that is rooted in the Old Testament and flows logically into the New yields great unity, freedom, and power.

The first time I heard a series of Biblically balanced teaching on the baptism with the Holy Spirit I felt angry.  “Why,” I said to myself, “didn’t someone tell me about this before?!?”

John the Baptist declared, “He [Jesus] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”  Luke 3:16, ESV

Many years ago A.W. Tozer observed, “The Spirit-filled life is not a special, deluxe edition of Christianity.  It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people.”[1]  To his words I add a hearty “Amen!”


For more teaching on this topic along with personal insights into the Spirit-filled life, check out my book, FireStarter: The Holy Spirit Empowers.

© 2017 Philip J. Noordmans

Initially posted Nov. 2012


Tozer, A. (no date). How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit. Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications.


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[1] Tozer, page 28.