What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted on here.  I’ve been working 60-70 hours a week (at 2 jobs) and still am…but I ended up doing some writing tonight that I’ll toss on here since it’s both a) long enough to be a post and b) of possible interest to some.  Because I’m already past my bedtime by 2 hours, there’s no pictures or editting tonight; just some quick Bible study that’s a horribly rough draft.

I won’t bother with the story of why I’m writing this, but I’m going to answer a single question.  What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament?

Let’s look at every single instance that the Greek verb Baptizo (“baptize”) and the term Pneuma (“Spirit”) appear together in the Scripture. For those that don’t trust me, look at the results here:

So, here’s the verses: Continue reading

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Bible Bite – Acts 1:4-5 and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Bible Bites TeethSo with my wife and I being in the throws of having a newborn, we’ve decided to read through the book of Acts at night (something familiar that our sleepy brains can grab).  Last night, we read Acts 1, and we ended up having quite a series of discussions, though not every idea we had ended up getting shared as we were fighting to stay awake.  Here’s some fruits of our reading and talk last night:

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. – Acts 1:4-5

In Acts 1:5, Jesus makes a simple contrastive comparison between the baptism of John and the coming baptism that was imminent.  Looking at the verse a little closer, we see the contrast:

for John (the agent of baptism) baptized (immersed/dipped) with  (by means of) water (the  substance into which the baptism is performed)

but (in contrast to John’s baptism)

you (the apostles and listening audience) will be baptized (passive action; something done to them) with (by means of/into) the Holy Spirit (the person into which the baptism is performed) not many days from now (soon).

In John’s baptism, there was a man sent by God (John 1:6) who baptized people for the repentance of sins (Mark 1:4-5), immersing them in water (Mark 1:10) to emerge from the water into living righteous lives (Luke 3:10-13).

In the coming baptism, God the Father would send God the Spirit (John 14:26) due to his promise (Acts 1:4) and at the request of God the Son (John 14:16), and God the father would immerse believers into the Holy Spirit to become free from the bondage of sin and death (Rom. 6:1-14) and part of the church; the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13), never to emerge (since believers are forever “in Christ” and “in the Spirit” – Rom. 8:1-39).

All this to say that the baptism of the Holy Spirit isn’t something esoteric or mystical, and it definitely isn’t someone standing up in church and jabbering nonsense verbiage (even out of a sincere heart that desires to do nothing but please the Lord).  The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a one time event that all believers experience, and it’s a unilateral act of God the Father and God the Son that is done to believers.  We don’t earn it or force God’s hand to get it; even in Acts all that they were doing was sitting and waiting for it to happen.  Finally, we don’t ever emerge from it; we’re baptized into the Spirit, period.

Some food for reflection.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “The Dipped Doulos” Unger