What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and when does someone receive it?

What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and when does someone receive it? from Compelling Truth

In short, we receive the Holy Spirit when we receive Christ as Lord and Savior. Paul says in Romans: “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” (Romans 8:9).

In another epistle, the Apostle states: “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13–14). So there is no gap between belief in Christ and the receiving of the Holy Spirit.

However, it should be noted that some have tried to teach what is called the “doctrine of subsequence” or “second work of grace,” which states that Christians receive some of the Holy Spirit at the time of salvation and then what is called the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” at some time afterwards. A careful examination of Scripture shows this position to be incorrect.

First, the phrase “baptism of the Holy Spirit” appears nowhere in Scripture. Moreover, there is no place in Scripture where the Holy Spirit does the baptizing. Instead, the Bible clearly portrays Christ as the baptizer: “I [John the Baptist] baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11).

Second, while those supporting the teaching of subsequence point to specific episodes in Acts as proof that a secondary baptism occurs among all believers, closer inspection of both the texts and the historical background of the book undoes their position.

In Acts 2, a subsequent baptism with the Holy Spirit is certainly seen; however, this is in keeping with Jesus’ previous promise to the disciples in Acts 1:5: “you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” This occurred on Pentecost and was a predominantly Jewish event that inaugurated the Church age.

In Acts 8, the Samaritans, a race deeply despised by the Jews, were added to the Church. While a subsequent baptism with the Holy Spirit is present in the text, the reasons for it are quite evident. It was important for the Jews to see and experience the fact that the Samaritans were included in the Church, and it was important for the Samaritans to know that the Jewish apostles were the channels of divine truth and that they were to be under apostolic authority.

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