Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Written 2009

Only Seven (or Eight) Bible References to Baptism in the Holy Spirit:

  1. Matthew 3:11 – baptism of Spirit is given by Jesus; applies to people who have repented; presented alongside fire baptism
  2. Mark 1:8 – similar to #1
  3. Luke 3:16 – similar to #1
  4. John 1:33 – similar to #1
  5. Acts 1:5 – Jesus promised baptism of Spirit to his disciples.
    • Spoken to disciples, who already received a measure of the Holy Spirit from Jesus after His resurrection (John 20:21-22), and perhaps even during Jesus’ ministry (Matt. 16:17).
    • Baptism of Spirit = “when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8)
    • Gives God’s power (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8)
    • Is necessary for effective witness (Luke 24:48-49; Acts 1:8)
    • Acts 2: PENTECOST is fulfillment of this Baptism of Spirit
      • Acts 2:2 – Came from heaven
      • Acts 2:3 – Presented tongues of fire
        • 2:4 – “filled with the Holy Spirit…speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”
        • 2:5-11 – spoke of God’s wonderful works in the languages of 16 different Jewish people groups
      • Acts 2:13 – they were confused as being drunk
      • Acts 2:16-21 – fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy: “in the last days…pour out of My Spirit on all flesh…shall prophesy…shall see visions…shall dream dreams…wonders in heaven…signs in the earth…before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD…whoever calls on the name of the LORD/ Shall be saved.” (see Joel 2:28-32)
      • Acts 2:14-40 – Peter preaches with new power
      • Acts 2:32-33 – After Jesus was exalted, the Father gave Him the Holy Spirit, and Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to the Church at Pentecost
      • Acts 2:36 – Their receiving the Holy Spirit is evidence that Jesus is Lord and Christ.
      • Acts 2:38 – Repent, be baptized, receive Holy Spirit
      • Acts 2:39 – Promise of Holy Spirit (compare Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4-5,8) is available to as many as God calls
      • Acts 2:41 – the crowd received the word and were baptized
      • Acts 2:42 – they continued in studying Apostles’ teachings, fellowshiping, and prayer
      • Acts 2:43 – “wonders and signs were done through the apostles”
      • Acts 2:44-45 – unity and selflessness
      • Acts 2:46 – they continued to meet in temple and in houses, praising God and having favor with the world.  God added others daily.
    • Acts 3-28 – obedience, ministry, signs, wonders, and power followed the disciples throughout the book of Acts
      • There were consequent fillings of the Spirit – Acts 4:8; 4:31; 9:17; 13:9; 13:52
  6. Acts 11:16 – Peter compares the experience of Cornelius’ household with Pentecost, saying they both were “baptized with the Holy Spirit”
    • Acts 11:15 – “the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning”
      • Acts 10:44-48
        • 10:44 – “the Holy Spirit fell”
        • 10:45 – “gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also”
        • 10:46 – spoke in tongues, magnified God
        • 10:47 – “these…have received the Holy Spirit just as we”
      • Acts 11:17 – The condition to receive the Holy Spirit: “we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ”
  7. 1 Corinthians 12:13a – All members of Christ’s Body have been baptized “by one Spirit”
    • 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 – Variety of Spiritual gifts mentioned
      • 12:7 – “manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one”
      • 12:11 – “the same Spirit…distributing to each one individually as He wills”
    • 1 Corinthians 12:13b – all have been made to drink of the Spirit
    • 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 – the Spirit unifies and diversifies the Body of Christ
  8. Implied 8th Reference of Baptism of the Holy Spirit: 1 Corinthians 10:2 – “baptized into Moses in the cloud”
    • Cloud is symbolic of God’s Spirit – Hebrew word for Spirit means wind or breath; God was in the cloud (Exodus 13:21-22; 33:10); cloud brought light to Israel (Exodus 14:17-20); God spoke through the cloud (compare John 16:13 with Exodus 16:10,11; 19:9; 24:16); God used the cloud to proclaim his name (compare Acts 1:8 with Exodus 34:5); Israel was led by the cloud (compare Romans 8:14 with Exodus 40:36-37)
    • Exodus 14:19-20 – Israel was “baptized” by the cloud
      • Separated them from their oppressors
      • Preceded their “Red Sea baptism” (see 1 Corinthians 10:2)
    • Exodus 40:34 – cloud immersed tabernacle 

      Observations of the Scriptural References of Baptism of Spirit:

      • Accompanied by spiritual gifts and power
        • gift of tongues is prominent
      • Follows repentance and faith
      • Is necessary for effective witness (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4,8)

      Have All Christians Been Baptized by the Holy Spirit?

      Have all Christians been filled with the Spirit?

      • Acts 4:8 – Peter is “filled with the Holy Spirit,” even after Pentecost.  If all Christians are full of the Holy Spirit, it would make no sense to differentiate Peter as being “filled with the Holy Spirit” at this particular place and time.
      • Acts 4:31 – After prayer, the group of Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit.  This group included Peter and John who were already baptized in the Holy Spirit.
      • Acts 8:4-19 – those in Samaria believed Christ (8:12-13), and  were baptized in water (8:12-13), yet did not receive the Holy Spirit until Peter and John laid hands on them (8:14-17)
        • 8:18-19 – resulted in something powerful enough that someone offered to pay the apostles for this power
      • Acts 9:1-18 – Saul/Paul was confronted by Jesus and surrendered to Him, 3 days later he was filled with the Spirit (9:17) and baptized in water (9:18).
        • Acts 13:9 – Saul/Paul is said to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” later, which would be unnecessary to say if he was always filled with the Spirit.
      • Acts 19:1-7 – Disciples at Ephesus
        • 19:2 – “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” – this question was presented to disciples, and would be irrelevant to ask if all Christians received the Holy Spirit’s filling and power automatically upon belief
        • 19:5 – they were baptized in water
        • 19:6 – Holy Spirit came on them through laying on of hands
          • Resulted in speaking tongues and prophesying
      • Ephesians 5:18 – Ephesian Christians are commanded to “be filled with the Spirit,” even though they have already received Christ and perhaps even been filled with the Holy Spirit
        • Greek expression means “be continually filled”
      • 1 Corinthians 12:13 – though Christ’s body has been baptized with the Holy Spirit, members may not have drunk fully of the Holy Spirit (“all been made to drink into one Spirit”)

      Is This Gift/Power of the Holy Spirit Available to Modern Christians?

      • Acts 2:39 – Promise of Spirit baptism is for all God calls
      • 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 – spiritual gifts cease “when that which is perfect has come” (13:10), that is, when we are fully matured and see and know perfectly (see 1 Cor. 13:11-12).
        • Perfect in terms of ability to see and know clearly, not necessarily perfect in the sense of possessing all knowledge.

      How do Christians receive and become filled with the Holy Spirit?

      • Acts 2:38 – True REPENTANCE is an essential condition for receiving baptism of the Spirit and filling of the Spirit
        • Exodus 30:32 – the anointing oil was not poured on flesh, just as God’s Spirit will not be poured out on our sinfulness
        • 2 Kings 4:4-5 – as the door of their house needed to be shut out from the world in order for the oil to flow, so we must separate ourselves from the world if we expect God to fill us with his Spirit
      • Luke 11:13 (compared with Matthew 7:11) – We must ASK God for his Spirit
        • Luke 1:53 – To those who recognize their poverty, and come empty, they will receive the good things of God’s Spirit.
        • 2 Kings 4:4-6 – as the oil ceased being poured out when there was no empty vessel, so God needs us to come as empty vessels
      • Acts 8:14-19; cf. 9:12 with 9:17-18; 19:6; 2 Timothy 1:6 – LAYING HANDS frequently accompanies the filling of the Spirit (though not always, see Acts 4:31), and ushers in spiritual gifts

      Leave a Reply

      Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

      You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

      Facebook photo

      You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

      Connecting to %s