What Does the Bible Say About...the Baptism in
the Holy Spirit?
"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after
me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the
Holy Ghost, and with fire" (Matthew 3:11).
"And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven
like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize
with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and
remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare
record that this is the Son of God" (John 1:32-34).
The baptism in the Holy Ghost is a crisis experience just as our initial conversion
experience was. We cannot be gradually baptized in the Holy Spirit, just as we cannot be
gradually baptized in water. Certainly we can be gradually filled with God's Spirit, but
one day that "filling" will spill over into a baptism or complete immersion in
the Holy Ghost. Many believe they need not ask for this experience because they think they
receive the Holy Spirit at conversion. While this is true in the sense that the Holy
Spirit comes upon us, and in us, to plant the seed of life in Christ, it is not true that
we are completely filled with His Spirit unless we ask for it. "...How much
more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke
Many people have been "born again" and have the Holy Spirit working in their
lives, but have never received the baptism in the Holy Ghost which equips them for service
and gives them the power needed to overcome in Christ. "For John truly
baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days
hence...But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye
shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto
the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:5 and 8). If you, as a Christian,
have not known the power of God in being able to overcome sin, to witness and to know God
in His fullness, then you need to ask God for the baptism in the Holy Ghost. There were
also Christians in Paul's day who did not know about the power that was available to them.
We find this recorded in Acts 19:2-6:
"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. And he
said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 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.
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had
laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and
This Scripture clearly shows us there is more than one kind of baptism. These
Christians had received water baptism, but not the Holy Ghost baptism until Paul laid his
hands on them and prayed. We also see that the gifts of the Holy Spirit accompany this
baptism, as they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Another account of this taking place is found in Acts 8:14-20: "Now when
the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they
sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they
might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were
baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they
received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands
the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on
whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money
perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with
HOLY SPIRIT IS A GIFT
Still again we find an account of the gift of the Holy Spirit being given in Acts
"Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then
remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but
ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. For as much then as God gave them the like gift
as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could
God's gift of the Holy Ghost is promised to us today and not just for the saints back
then as we find Peter saying, "...Repent, and be baptized every one of you in
the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the
Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar
off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:38-39). The Holy
Ghost is God's gift to us. As we are baptized in His Spirit we will find that we will
experience the gift of speaking in tongues, plus all the other gifts of the Spirit when
needed, if we continue to follow Him (I Corinthians 12, 13 and 14). These
are God's gifts of power to enable us to accomplish the task to which we have been
commissioned. Although the gift has been abused by many, we should not take lightly the
Lord's words to us in John 7:37b-39,
"...Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto
me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall
flow rivers of living water. (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
Acts 2:2-4 says, "And when the day of Pentecost was fully
come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from
heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as
the Spirit gave them utterance."
If the disciples of the Lord needed to be filled with the Holy Ghost then, how much
more do we need to be filled in our day? We should not allow what other men think or say
about the Baptism in the Holy Ghost to prevent us from seeking this wonderful blessing. We
should seek the Lord with an humble heart for the truth of what is written in the Bible
and ask Him to baptize us in the Holy Spirit. We can trust Him to show us the truth if we
come to Him with an open heart and mind with a willingness to obey Him.
"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God
rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a
tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give
repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things;
and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him (Acts
Excerpt from the book Extremes or Balance?
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