Holy Spirit Baptism


The subject of Holy Spirit Baptism
has been very divisive.

divisive doctrineTypically people are polarized into two camps:

  1. At the moment you become a Christian you receive the Spirit.
    • “Baptism with the Spirit” happens at the point of conversion.
    • There may be later “re-fillings” but all Christians have the Spirit
    • Characteristic of non-Charismatic evangelicals and Third-wave Charismatics such as the Vineyard,
  2. “Baptism with the Spirit” is a second experience after conversion (sometimes called the doctrine of subsequence)
    • There are two kinds of Christians, those who have been Baptized and those who have not.
    • Some groups, such as traditional Pentecostals, would say youmust speak in tongues to be baptized.
    • Characteristic of Pentecostals and many Charismatics

One of the ablest proponents of the first view is Sam Storms (who would characterize himself as a Third-Wave Charismatic). He articulates his position in Are Miraculous Gifts for Today? Four Views and here:

  • The two main arguments of those like Sam storms are:
    1. 1 Corinthians 12:13 says all Christians are baptized in the Spirit—It is very hard to make a good Biblical case that this is not what the text is saying.
    2. “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” (Romans 8:9) sounds pretty convincing!

To save you looking to the end to see my conclusions, this is what I am going to argue:

  • Jesus received the Spirit in a new way as an empowering for ministry
    • This was an empowering: he began to preach the Kingdom and do signs and wonders from that point on.
    • It was immediately following his water-baptism
  • What Jesus promised would happen at Pentecost was an empowering:
    • “And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
    • “…But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. (Acts 1:8)
  • The main problem is our terminology.
    • After reviewing about 150 references to Spirit filling/baptism/receiving/giving/pouring out in the N.T. my conclusion is that:
      • The phrase that is consistently used is “receive the Spirit”
      • “Baptism in the Spirit” is used almost entirely in reference to John the Baptist’s prophecy
    • Most of the problems have come about through confusion of these terms
  • “Receiving the Spirit” was never promised at the moment of salvation, but only after baptism
    • Pentecost and Cornelius were unique events when Jews, then Gentiles, were brought into membership of the the new people of the Spirit.
    • Apart from that, Peter’s sequence has no exceptions: “Repent… be baptized… receive the Holy Spirit” (Act 2:29)
      • See the full notes for many examples of this. There is not a single time when this rule is broken.
    • So even if it was only a short delay, there was always a delay between believing and receiving.

Definition of Terms

Holy Spirit Baptism Receiving the Spirit Filled with the Spirit
  • Baptism = mark of entry into membership
  • Refers to entry into the New (Spirit-born) Creation (1 Cor 12:13)
  • Always refers to empowerment
  • Only ever refers to the first-time filling
  • May happen many times (e.g. Acts 4)
Happened first:
  • At Pentecost, when the New Covenant promise of the Spirit was fulfilled
  • Acts 10 (Cornelius) for Gentiles
  • Simultaneous with Spirit-Baptism for the first believers (Pentecost/Cornelius)
  • after salvation andwater-baptism for others (Acts 2:38)
  • When the Spirit was first received, and then repeatedly afterwards
Happens now when:
  • A person is born of the Spirit, who now “dwells in them” (Rom 8:15)
  • They are now “baptized into one body” (1 Cor 12:13)
  • The first experience of being empowered with gifts of the Spirit
  • This would normally be after salvation andwater-baptism (Acts 2:38), but does not have to be.
  • Subsequent experiences of re-empowering and gifting
Aftermoment of salvation?
  • No (if we are consistent about using the term the way the N.T. does)
  • Yes, always
  • Yes, always

✽The only difference between the filling of Acts 2:4 and the filling of Acts 4:31 is that Acts 2 was the first time:

  • Acts 2 is referred to as receiving and filling (1:8, 2:4)
  • Acts 4 is only called filling (4:31)

Bottom Line

  • Our goal is to be Spirit-filled right now!
    • It is fruitless to try and analyze our past experiences as to whether we have received the Spirit yet.
    • The N.T. command is to be filled (Eph 5:18)
  • For some people it might be for the first time (receiving), for others it might be re-filling
    • But for everyone, what they have to do is the same:
    • To be hungry for more and earnestly desire (1 Cor 12:31)
    • To ask (Luke 11:13)

Read rest of the notes…

[button link=”http://nlife.ca/video/not-under-law” newwindow=”yes”] Watch the Video of Dr. Andrew Fountain presenting this message.[/button] [author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://christmycovenant.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/andrew-fountain-e1326814120729.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Dr. Andrew Fountain lives Toronto, Canada. He is presently serving a new church-plant located in Newlife Church, Toronto. He has said that he derives much joy is in his kingdom work, teaching, preaching and pastoring. Some of the things he has written can be found on loveintruth.com, his theology and teaching website.[/author_info] [/author]

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