Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

A friend of mine and I were discussing the doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit a few weeks ago.  This was a doctrine that made him pause at pursuing membership at my church.  The church that I am a member of lists the doctrine as such:

We believe the Holy Spirit baptizes each believing person into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation and that there is no second baptism of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:37-39; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13).

I was reading through the book of Acts last month and I came upon Acts 19:2-6:

Acts 19:2-6 KJV
He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. (3) And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. (4) Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. (5) When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (6) And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
In this passage, Paul plainly asks these disciples by what were they baptized (washed) since they had not received the Holy Ghost and they admit that they were washed under John the Baptist's baptism for the repentance of sin. Paul concludes that they need to be baptized into Christ Jesus in order to receive the Holy Ghost. Upon hearing this Word from Paul, these disciples were baptized unto Christ Jesus and received the Holy Ghost. For these disciples, the Holy Ghost came as a second baptism because they were first baptized "unto John's baptism."

Jesus prophesied about the baptism of the Holy Ghost:
John 7:37-39 KJV

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (38) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (39) (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Perhaps converts at the time of Jesus' earthly ministry (prior to His glorification) were in a unique time period where those that believed prior to His glorification had to experience the Holy Ghost as a second baptism? In fact, all of the disciples of Jesus in this brief period of time had experienced baptism (either by John the Baptist or by the disciples of Jesus [John 3:26 and John 4:1-2]) prior to Jesus' glorification. Therefore, I am persuaded to think that the 2nd baptism of the Holy Spirit is confined to that unique period of time.

All who become disciples of Jesus Christ (since the time of His glorification until present) are indeed baptized only unto Him and because He is glorified and sits at the right hand of the Father, the Holy Spirit comes at the precise moment that someone believes in Him.

You can see this again in Scripture in Acts 8:14-16:
Acts 8:14-16 KJV

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: (15) Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (16) (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
I hope this encourages you to search deeper into this subject for yourself.

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