What is this?
These Sabbath School lesson outlines aid Sabbath School teachers & members in their weekly study
& preparation for Sabbath School classes.
Join the Discussion
Use the form at the bottom of the page to share with other readers your thoughts about this lesson.
Sabbath School Lessons on Holy Spirit
Read the Quarterly Online
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
What about Ellen White?
to learn why I generally do not cite Ellen G. White in the lessons.
Looking for old Sabbath School lessons?
Sabbath School lesson study outlines from previous quarters are saved in the Sabbath School lesson archive
Got questions or comments?
Go to our contact form
and drop us a note.
SabbathSchoolLessons.com operates like grace: it is free, but not without cost.
We're counting on your ongoing financial support to help us continue providing these
lessons to Sabbath School teachers and members around the world. You may cancel your monthly contribution at any time.
Get these Sabbath School lessons by e-mail! Subscribe to the Bible Study of the Week mailing list:
Subscribe in a reader
Lesson 5: The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit *
Introduction: What does it mean to be "baptized" with the Holy
Spirit? When I was baptized, the pastor said "I baptize you in the
name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." Does that accomplish the
task? What makes me wonder about this is that a lot of people are
baptized with the same words, yet they don't seem very Spirit-filled
in their religious experience. Let's jump into our study of the Bible
and find out more!
- Baptized Without the Holy Spirit
- Read Luke 1:41-44. Elizabeth is the mother of John the
Baptist. Mary is the mother of Jesus. What does this say
about Elizabeth and the Holy Spirit? (The Holy Spirit
filled Elizabeth, and seems to have filled the unborn John
the Baptist because he "leaped for joy" at the sound of
the voice of Jesus' mother.)
- Read Mark 1:4-8. Why did John the Baptist not baptize with
the Holy Spirit? His mother was filled with the Holy
Spirit, and it seems so was John even before he was born.
- Who did John the Baptist say would baptize people
with the Holy Spirit? (Jesus.)
- Look again at Mark 1:8. Could John have baptized with
water and the Holy Spirit at the same time?
- Read John 4:1-2. Did Jesus baptize people in the Holy
Spirit? (This suggests that Jesus did not directly baptize
anyone. But, more importantly, it says nothing about the
disciples, under Jesus' direction, baptizing in the name
of the Holy Spirit.)
- Read Acts 1:4-5. What does this teach us about the
disciples baptizing in the Holy Spirit or having been
baptized in the Holy Spirit? (This text plainly says that
the disciples were not yet baptized with the Holy Spirit.
Since Jesus refers to a future event, it seems clear that
neither the disciples nor those they baptized were
baptized with the Holy Spirit.)
- Is John the Baptist a false prophet on this point?
Or, is John referring to something else when he says
that Jesus "will baptize you with the Holy Spirit"
( Mark 1:8)?
- Read Luke 24:49. When Jesus promises His disciples in
Acts 1:4-5 that He will "send" the baptism of the
Holy Spirit, did that fulfill the prophecy of John
- Now the important point for us today - what does this
say about whether baptism with water is also baptism
with the Holy Spirit? (It tells us that they are not
necessarily the same. They apparently were not during
Jesus' life here on earth.)
- We don't actually know the words used by Jesus' disciples
to baptize when Jesus was here on earth. If they used the
words "in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,"
then it would be crystal clear that was something
different than being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Let's
read John 3:3-8. Was Jesus aware, during the time of His
ministry, that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was
- If Jesus thought that, would it be logical that He
would instruct His disciples to baptize in the name
of the Holy Spirit while He was still here on earth?
- Read Matthew 28:18-20. Study these verses carefully. What
do they suggest about whether Jesus' disciples had been
previously baptizing in the name of the Holy Spirit?
(Jesus' statement, made after His resurrection, is very
persuasive on this point. Jesus' says that "all authority
in heaven and earth has been given to Me, therefore go."
It was not until Jesus had won the battle over sin that He
was able to claim "all authority." The use of the phrase,
"therefore go" suggests that it was only from this point
in time that baptism in the name of the Holy Spirit was
authorized. This shows that John the Baptist accurately
predicted this event, and it shows that baptism in the
Holy Spirit did not begin until after Jesus left for
heaven. This, of course, helps us understand Acts 1:4-5.)
- Is there any logic to this timing? (Read Romans 6:3-4. Baptism did not fulfill its true meaning until
Jesus died and was resurrected. When we are baptized
in water, we participate in the death and
resurrection of Jesus. We die with Him for our sins.
This lays the groundwork for us to be filled with the
Holy Spirit. See Romans 8:3-4. This is part of the
"authority" which Jesus was given after His
- Philip and Baptism in the Holy Spirit
- Read Acts 8:5-8. Is Philip filled with the power of the
- Let's move down a few verses. Read Acts 8:12-13. What do
you think: are the people baptized with the Holy Spirit by
- Read Acts 8:14-17. How do you explain this? Philip is
obviously filled with the Holy Spirit, yet he does not
baptize in the name of the Holy Spirit?
- How were these people "baptized" with the Holy
Spirit? (It was not a baptism at all. Instead, Peter
and John first "prayed for them that they might
receive the Holy Spirit" and then placed their "hands
on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.")
- Let's revisit the nature of the problem. Re-read Acts
8:15-16. What does this suggest did not go right? (The way
the problem is stated makes it appear that baptism with
the Holy Spirit should take place at the same time as
water baptism. That is the ideal.)
- Notice that the crowd could tell that the Holy Spirit
had not yet come upon them at the time of baptism.
How could they tell? When you see a baptism today,
can you tell?
- Evidence of Baptism in the Holy Spirit?
- Read Ephesians 5:17-20. Doesn't it strike you as odd that
Paul would compare being drunk with being filled with the
Holy Spirit? Why not compare, murder, envy, adultery, or
theft with being filled with the Holy Spirit?
- Read Acts 2:14-17. Why is Peter explaining at Pentecost
that the disciples are not drunk? Why this consistent
comparison with being drunk and being filled with the Holy
- How do you know when a person is drunk? (It affects
their speech and all of their actions. The same is
true with being filled with the Holy Spirit!)
- Read Acts 19:1-4. Here is a parallel story. Is the nature
of their baptism clear? (Yes. It is John the Baptist's
baptism of repentance. They do not even know about the
- Read Acts 19:5-7. Were these men re-baptized, or did Paul
simply place his hands on them?
- What proof do we have that they were filled with the
Holy Spirit? (They "spoke in tongues and
- Read Acts 7:55, Luke 1:67, Acts 2:4, Acts 4:31 and Acts
13:52. What proof of being filled with the Holy Spirit do
we find in these texts? (We find a vision, a prophecy,
speaking in foreign tongues, sharing the gospel with
boldness, and being filled with joy.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-7. What is given for the "common
good?" ("The manifestation of the Holy Spirit.)
- Is "manifesting" the Holy Spirit the same as being
"filled" with the Holy Spirit? (I think so. If it is
not exactly the same, it seems close enough. If you
are "filled" you should "manifest" it.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:8-11. How can we know that we have
been properly baptized with the Holy Spirit? How can we
know that we are filled with the Holy Spirit? (We will
manifest one or more of these spiritual gifts.)
- I won't have you read the texts right now, but there
is an argument based on New Testament texts that
proof of being filled with the Holy Spirit is
speaking in tongues. Tongues is listed among the
gifts we just read. What does 1 Corinthians 12:11
teach us about this argument? (It says that spiritual
gifts, such as the gift of tongues, are given by the
Holy Spirit, "just as He determines." That means we
are not all going to have the same gift.)
- Now the tough question: have you manifested any of
these spiritual gifts? Consider the list carefully
before you answer.
- Friend, if you are not certain that you are filled with
the Holy Spirit, why not ask a Spirit-filled person to lay
hands on you to cure the problem? If you are not yet
baptized, why not ask that you be baptized in the name of
the "Father, Son and Holy Spirit?"
- Next week: The Holy Spirit and Living a Holy Life.
* Copr. 2017, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.