This is lesson 1 of a 12 part series about the Spirit-filled marriage. Learn about how being a Spirit-filled Christian can help your marriage.

Charles Fox Parham is considered by many as the founder of the modern-day tongues movement. He was a preacher/teacher/evangelist of the early 20th century. Educated as a Methodist, he believed that there was more to the Holy Spirit than what was being taught. He started his own Bible college. After returning to the college from an extended evangelistic tour, some of the female students in his class had begun speaking in an unknown tongue. They had taken his teachings and applied them as losing control of yourself and being taken over by the Spirit. The evidence of this was the unknown language they were speaking. 

The Spirit and Doctrine

If you misinterpret the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, it will affect other doctrines. One of the biggest problems is that people confuse the baptism of the Spirit and the filling of the Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit is explained in I Corinthians 2:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” When you accept Christ as your personal savior, the Holy Spirit places (baptizes) you into the body. This is something that happens by faith behind the scenes. The Holy Spirit does this for you. It’s not some kind of experience and you are not even aware it is happening other than the Bible says that it does. There is only one baptism, but a believer can be filled or emptied of the Spirit depending on your yielding, or not yielding to Him. More on that in lesson two.  

It is important to also note that there is a part of man that is dead before conversion as far as communicating with God is concerned. Man is a triune being, consisting of body, soul, and spirit. It is the spirit of man that has to be made alive by the Holy Spirit in order for man to have a relationship with God. You can find this concept in Ephesians 2:2 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;” Before conversion to Christ, the only communication you can have with the Holy Spirit is Him convincing you of sin, righteousness, and judgment. (John 16:8). After conversion, you can have a walk with the Lord and experience the filling of the Holy Spirit.

The baptism has to do with your position, the filling has to do with your relationship. Your position in the body of Christ doesn’t change but your relationship with Christ can be broken. My position has nothing to do with feelings, but my relationship does. If I don’t feel right with God, or I don’t feel the Spirit working, or I feel dead on the inside, those feelings have no impact on my position as a child of God. But they could have everything to do with my fellowship. (see 1 John 1 for more information about fellowship).  If you mix the doctrine of Baptism and the filling, then when you lose the “feelings” the logical conclusion is that you have lost your salvation. This is contrary to the position that you have in Christ that is secured by His blood.

The Illustration below clarifies the difference between your position in Christ and your relationship with Him:

So your position is secure but your relationship is not. You are placed into the family of God at the moment you are saved. The Bible uses the words, baptized into one body. This is something that happens by faith at the moment you turn to Christ for forgiveness. You don’t feel or experience this happen but we know it does by faith. On the other hand, your relationship with the Lord changes and is something that you can experience. That relationship is the ministry of the Holy Spirit working in your life. 

The Spirit and Experience

This is where a lot of confusion comes into play. Because your relationship with the Lord does involve human emotion and feelings, they can lead you astray if you are not grounded in the truths of the Bible.

Your position is secure in Christ, but your relationship is not.


At the moment of Salvation, When you give your heart and life to Christ, the Holy Spirit places you into the Body of Christ and gives you gifts to edify the rest of the body. You can read more about this in 1 Corinthians 12. One of the most misunderstood of those is the gift of tongues. While scanning the radio one evening, I ran across a preacher who said, “You are not saved unless you have been filled with the Spirit as evidenced by speaking in tongues.” Of course, I know what he meant, it was speaking in an unknown language. For starters, his doctrine was completely wrong. In the Bible, The tongues gift given to the apostles in Acts 2 was for the hearers. “…every man heard them speak in his own language.” (verse 6) It was to give the Gospel to all who heard. So the Apostles either miraculously spoke in the language of the people who were there, or the miracle was in the hearing. 

The point is the languages were known, not unknown! But the way it is portrayed by the charismatic movement, it is an unknown heavenly language. The only person who gets the glory for that that is the person who does it!  If no one understands you, who is being helped? 1 Corinthians 14:4  addresses this issue, “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.”  The church at Corinth was getting out of control with unknown tongues so Paul had to make some rules: (You can find all of this in 1 Corinthians 14)

1. Only one person at a time. Two or three by turns per service. (1 Corinthians 14:27-28)

2. You had to have an interpreter. (1 Corinthians 14:27)

3. The women could not do it. (1Corinthians 14:34)

If you have ever been exposed to this type of thing, I think you would agree that these Bible guidelines would completely end the practice!


Because the ministry of the Holy Spirit is so personal, unverifiable stories about experiences and feelings pop up everywhere. People think that since you can’t see the Spirit moving, you must be able to feel Him moving. And it has to be something extraordinary. You don’t have to look far to find it on YouTube or your local religious TV channel. Dramatic episodes of speaking in unknown tongues, healing, slaying in the spirit. But experiencing the Holy Spirit working in your life is actually about something entirely different. We will learn more about that in the next lesson. It’s just easy to get caught up in all the hype of exciting stories. The truth is something much more meaningful though. 

The Spirit and the Godhead

The word trinity is not mentioned in the bible, but the idea is there. It’s God manifest in three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three manifestations of God’s person are also called the Godhead.

This can be seen in Creation: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; without him was not anything made that was made. (John 1:1-3) Compare those verses with John 1:14, And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. So the Word is God the Son and He was in the beginning. Then when you couple that with the first two verses of the Bible, the truth of the Godhead becomes clear: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2)

God reveals himself as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All three are unique and relvant to creation, time, and His relationship to a believer.

So the Word is the Son and was in the beginning. God was in the beginning. And the Spirit was there too. God  is a triune being. Just like mankind is triune, with a body, soul, and spirit. God is similar. He made man in His own image as a triune being. (Genesis 1:27).  

In the Old Testament, God the Father was primarily dealing with the nation of Israel. Although the Son was there, and there are references to the Spirit, it was mainly the Father. In the Gospels, the Son was mainly dealing with Israel. They were basically offered the Kingdom but rejected. This of course was a part of God’s redemption of mankind because that rejection led to the Cross where Jesus died for our sin. Then, in the rest of the New Testament, the Holy is Spirit is working in the hearts of believers. The work of the Holy Spirit in the life of New Testament believers is unique in the context of history.

Jesus left at the ascension (see Acts 1:6-11) with the promise of the comforter. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (John 16:7)  The Comforter came at Pentecost and is the primary part of the Godhead working today. We call it the Church Age. This will not end until the rapture when God will take His children out of this world before the 7-year tribulation. When the people who have the Holy Spirit living in their hearts are taken away, then the current ministries of the Holy Spirit will too. 2 Thessalonians 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 

The Spirit and Its Personality

When You come to Christ in faith and repentance, the Holy Spirit comes to live in your heart. Your body becomes a living temple of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. The person of the Holy Spirit lives in your heart. He is accessible to you at a moment’s notice. This is an amazing gift of Salvation. 

It’s important to understand that the Holy Spirit is a person, not just a being or entity. He is a person with whom you can have a personal relationship.

The Bible’s use of personal pronouns (John 16:7,8,13,14) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: John 16:8

He is personal (John 16:7,13,14) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. John 16:7

He speaks (John 16:7,13,14; Revelation 2:7; Galatians 4:6; John 15:26) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Galatians 4:6 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:13-14

He speaks to us, but never contrary to the Word of God. He never speaks of Himself. He will glorify christ. He speaks in a still small voice. And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. I Kings 19:12

He has intelligence. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10

He teaches. (John 16:12-14) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26

He can be grieved. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30

He can be lied to. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Acts 5:3

The world doesn’t understand how the Holy Spirit works. Or that He is even a person. But if you are a Christian, you can completely relate to it. The part of you that can communicate with the Holy Spirit is dead until it is awakened by faith. And then for you, life is completely different. Before I was saved the only thing I heard from the Spirit was the call to salvation. Now He speaks to me all the time. In fact, He spoke to me about this lesson. That I should write it out, that I should teach it to you, and that I need it as much or more than anyone else.

The Holy Spirit is one way that I know I am saved.  He confirms it to me with His Presence. He turns my heart to my heavenly father, and I naturally look to Him. I struggled with assurance of salvation for several years and found comfort in this passage of scripture: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  Romans 8:14-17

God is leading me because I am His. And He only leads His children. My heart cries Abba (or daddy) because the Holy Spirit is confirming in my heart that He is my Father. To the lost, the Spirit speaks with conviction. (John 16:8-11) I remember trying to distract myself from conviction. I am thankful that God never gave up on me. Now I can hear His voice when I am tempted to do wrong. I experience him leading me. The Bible comes alive to me because of the Spirit. And even if I am not experiencing those things right now, I have. The devil can’t take that away from me. 


  • The baptism of the Spirit is different from the filling of the spirit.
  • The Holy Spirit is a person who lives in your heart from the moment you accept Christ.
  • You can be filled with Spirit or not filled with Spirit depending on your yielding or not yielding to Him.
  • The Holy Spirit deals with the lost about salvation and eternal things, but leads the believer daily.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments