Holy Spirit Baptism

The Holy Spirit was promised to all flesh! The Holy Spirit was promised to all flesh. Now, that doesn’t mean fish received Holy Spirit baptism. Only the apostles received the Holy Spirit, at first, Acts 2:16-21. Later, Cornelius would receive the Holy Spirit. However, the referenced Bible passage, Acts 2:16-21, was a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, Joel 2:28-32. Matthew 3:11 has it that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. This baptism happened in Acts 2 when the apostles received the Holy Spirit while tongues of fire appeared above their heads. Please recall the word “baptize” means to immerse. In this sense, the Holy Spirit fell on the apostles.

Who else received Holy Spirit baptism? The only other account of Holy Spirit baptism occurred in Acts 10, where Cornelius, his family, and friends were immersed in the Holy Spirit. Peter had been sent to come to Caesarea to preach the gospel to Cornelius. As Peter was preaching, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, Acts 10:44, meaning the Gentiles were included in God’s plan of salvation. Also, please understand Cornelius and all present needed water baptism to complete their salvation, Acts 10:47-48, just as Jesus ordered in Mark 16:16.  

As Peter was giving his report to the church at Jerusalem, he said these words about Gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit and salvation, Acts 11:15-17, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning. “And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ “Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” 

The purpose of Holy Spirit Baptism! The two instances of Holy Spirit baptism show different reasons for such.

Jesus promised the apostles the Holy Spirit. The Spirit would remind them of Jesus’ word, John14:26, and the Holy Spirit would guide them into the truth, John 16:13, and truth would be given them as needed at the moment, Matthew 10:19-20. This baptism allowed the apostles to share the gospel in a perfect, infallible way.

Also, since God’s perfect word is given, there is no longer a need for Holy Spirit baptism and apostles. The message is given and recorded in the New Testament. See 1 Corinthians 13:8-13.

The purpose of Holy Spirit baptism for Cornelius had a different purpose than that of the apostles. The goal for the Holy Spirit baptism of Cornelius et al. was to show the Jews that Gentiles were included in salvation.

So Then! Holy Spirit baptism is not necessary today. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a first-century happening. Paul said there was only one baptism, Ephesians 4:5. This baptism is water immersion, as Jesus commanded, lasting until the end of the age.

***This material is taken from Wayne Jackson’s article on the topic. You can find his article here: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/519-is-holy-spirit-baptism-available-today.

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