Baptism of the Holy Spirit

All Christians are indwelt by the Spirit but not all are "filled" with the Spirit. The New Testament teaches that we can grieve the Holy Spirit of God by sin (Eph. 4:30) and quench the Spirit by repressing his working in our lives (1 Thess. 5:19). Many Christians believe that at the time or after the point of conversion, a Christian convert can experience a "baptism by the Holy Spirit."

There are six verses which use the expression "baptism of the Holy Spirit":

Matt. 3:11, "As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
Mark 1:8, "I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
Luke 3:16, "John answered and said to them all, 'As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
John 1:33, "And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, "He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit."
Acts 1:5, "for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
Acts 11:16, "And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

However, the term "baptism of the Holy Spirit" is used elsewhere interchangably with other terms. For example, in Acts we also see:

  • "baptism with the Spirit" 1:5
  • "Holy Spirit comes on you" 1:8
  • "filled with the Holy Spirit" 2:4
  • "pour out my Spirit" 2:17
  • "poured out" 2:33

    Christians can be "filled" with the Holy Spirit as often as God wills to, but there also appears to be a specific work of the Holy Spirit where a Christian is "Baptized by the Holy Spirit." This is a somewhat controversial issue but it is important not to let this cause division, which has inevitably happened in many circles of the Church. Some Christians believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was only for the apostles or early church it's explosive growth and then God stopped baptizing believers. However, this is not the experience of the Church as many believers experience this. This is not intended to be a one-time event as we will be filled with the Holy Spirit throughout our lives if we allow God to fill us.

    Please read my page on the Holy Spirit for more on this subject.


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