What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
“1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.” (Hebrews 6:1-3)
The doctrine of baptisms (plural) is a foundation of the Christian faith. It is listed beside repentance, faith, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. It is not something we are supposed to neglect. Why is Baptism plural in these verses?
John the Baptist said, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:11). This is reiterated in Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, and John 1:33. John the Baptist, who was a prophet of God, promised that there was going to come a baptism in the Spirit. Jesus would bring us this baptism.
Interestingly enough, Jesus never baptized anyone in water.
“When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)” (John 4:1-2). John the Baptist and Jesus’ disciples baptized with water. Jesus never baptized in water because that was not the baptism he came to administer. He came to administer a baptism that could not come through human effort alone. It could only come through the Spirit of God.
In John 20:19-23, Jesus blew on the disciples and they received the Holy Spirit. About 50 days later, they received even MORE of that same Spirit! In Acts 2:1-4, the Bible reads, “1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” The disciples in Acts 2 were filled with the Spirit. As a result of this, they spoke in tongues. This is the outward evidence that the Holy Spirit of God was flowing out of them like a river of water.
When this was poured out, the Apostle Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39).
Jesus said that this was a promise of the Father. He promised it, and it was poured out upon the disciples. This Baptism of the Holy Spirit is also referred to as a gift from our Heavenly Father. Our gracious Father has gifts for His children.
In Acts 18:24-26, a man named Apollos was ministering to a group of people. In Acts 18:25, it is written, “He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the Baptism of John.” In verse 26, the Bible records that Priscilla and Aquila invited this man of God to their home to explain to him the way of God more adequately. Apollos only knew the Baptism of John. He needed to learn about this Baptism. This means there is another Baptism we need. We need the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 19:1-11, we learn about a group of people who were baptized in the Holy Spirit. It is a precious promise of the Father.
The baptisms of water and the Holy Spirit are supposed to be fundamental teachings that all believers are familiar with. When we repent of our sins, we receive the Holy Spirit. However, there is more available for us. One of the reasons why Jesus came was to Baptize us with the Holy Spirit.
We have a free booklet called “Be Filled With the Spirit.” It goes more in depth about this subject. To read more about this baptism, click this link HERE