Having discussed the baptism in the Holy Spirit earlier in the week, today I just want to attempt to answer a question a few people have asked, and which I've realised I haven't actually addressed before: the question of what actually is the baptism in the Holy Spirit? And, come to think of it, that's a question that doesn't seem to get all that much attention. A lot of ink has been spilt over the questions of subsequence, evidence and purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and perhaps that's distracted a bit from the issue of the nature of the gift.
Anyway, all I want to do today is suggest an answer to the question. It's tentative (in that I want to further nuance and refine it), and requires a bit of unpacking (which I shall do in the near future — perhaps next week). But here it is for your consideration:
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gracious and powerful encounter with the Triune God in which Jesus pours out the Father's promise of the Holy Spirit to fill believers and equip them, as members of His Body, for mission and service in His power.
So what do you think? Let me know in the comments.
And if you want to read a bit more about the baptism in the Spirit in the meantime, here are some older posts about what it's for, when it happens and it's relationship to the Cross.