Holy Spirit Baptism

The subject of Holy Spirit Baptism has been very divisive. Typically people are polarized into two camps:

  1. At the moment you become a Christian you receive the Spirit.
    • “Baptism with the Spirit” happens at the point of conversion.
    • There may be later “re-fillings” but all Christians have the Spirit
    • Characteristic of non-Charismatic evangelicals and Third-wave Charismatics such as the Vineyard,
  2. “Baptism with the Spirit” is a second experience after conversion (sometimes called the doctrine of subsequence)
    • There are two kinds of Christians, those who have been Baptized and those who have not.
    • Some groups, such as traditional Pentecostals, would say you must speak in tongues to be baptized.
    • Characteristic of Pentecostals and many Charismatics

One of the ablest proponents of the first view is Sam Storms (who would characterize himself as a Third-Wave Charismatic). He articulates his position in Are Miraculous Gifts for Today? Four Views and here:

  • The two main arguments of those like Sam storms are:
    1. 1 Corinthians 12:13 says all Christians are baptized in the Spirit—It is very hard to make a good Biblical case that this is not what the text is saying.
    2. “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” (Romans 8:9) sounds pretty convincing!

To save you looking to the end to see my conclusions, this is what I am going to argue:

  • Jesus received the Spirit in a new way as an empowering for ministry
    • This was an empowering: he began to preach the Kingdom and do signs and wonders from that point on.
    • It was immediately following his water-baptism
  • What Jesus promised would happen at Pentecost was an empowering:
    • “And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
    • “...But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. (Acts 1:8)
  • The main problem is our terminology.
    • After reviewing about 150 references to Spirit filling/baptism/receiving/giving/pouring out in the N.T. my conclusion is that:
      • The phrase that is consistently used is “receive the Spirit”
      • “Baptism in the Spirit” is used almost entirely in reference to John the Baptist’s prophecy
    • Most of the problems have come about through confusion of these terms
  • “Receiving the Spirit” was never promised at the moment of salvation, but only after baptism
    • Pentecost and Cornelius were unique events when Jews, then Gentiles, were brought into membership of the the new people of the Spirit.
    • Apart from that, Peter’s sequence has no exceptions: “Repent… be baptized… receive the Holy Spirit” (Act 2:29)
      • See the full notes for many examples of this. There is not a single time when this rule is broken.
    • So even if it was only a short delay, there was always a delay between believing and receiving.

Definition of Terms

  Holy Spirit Baptism Receiving the Spirit Filled with the Spirit


  • Baptism = mark of entry into membership
  • Refers to entry into the New (Spirit-born) Creation (1 Cor 12:13)
  • Always refers to empowerment
  • Only ever refers to the first-time filling
  • May happen many times (e.g. Acts 4)

Happened first:

  • At Pentecost, when the New Covenant promise of the Spirit was fulfilled
  • Acts 10 (Cornelius) for Gentiles
  • Simultaneous with Spirit-Baptism for the first believers (Pentecost/Cornelius)
  • after salvation and water-baptism for others (Acts 2:38)
  • When the Spirit was first received, and then repeatedly afterwards

Happens now when:

  • A person is born of the Spirit, who now “dwells in them” (Rom 8:15)
  • They are now “baptized into one body” (1 Cor 12:13)
  • The first experience of being empowered with gifts of the Spirit
  • This would normally be after salvation and water-baptism (Acts 2:38), but does not have to be.
  • Subsequent experiences of re-empowering and gifting

After moment of salvation?

  • No (if we are consistent about using the term the way the N.T. does)
  • Yes, always
  • Yes, always

✽The only difference between the filling of Acts 2:4 and the filling of Acts 4:31 is that Acts 2 was the first time:

  • Acts 2 is referred to as receiving and filling (1:8, 2:4)
  • Acts 4 is only called filling (4:31)

Bottom Line

  • Our goal is to be Spirit-filled right now!
    • It is fruitless to try and analyze our past experiences as to whether we have received the Spirit yet.
    • The N.T. command is to be filled (Eph 5:18)
  • For some people it might be for the first time (receiving), for others it might be re-filling
    • But for everyone, what they have to do is the same:
    • To be hungry for more and earnestly desire (1 Cor 12:31)
    • To ask (Luke 11:13)

Read rest of the notes...

Good discussion on receiving

Good discussion on receiving the Spirit

Repeatedly Receiving holy spirit baptism

I got the holy spirit once and this spirit lives inside my body. But my life is unhealthy with this spirit. Is there any possibility for me to get baptized with a brand new holy spirit if I want?
If so. How?

Repeatedly Receiving holy spirit baptism

The answer is yes--you can get repeated fillings by the Holy Spirit. Strictly speaking the term baptism applied to what happens at conversion, but you should desire that the Spirit would fill you once again!

Repeatedly Receiving holy spirit baptism

Andrew I don't think anon was asking about repeated fillings. He is saying the spirit in him makes him unhealthy and he wants a different spirit. I think he is a little mixed up about who the Holy Spirit is and what he has in him. I don't think what he has is the Holy Spirit.

Repeatedly Receiving holy spirit baptism

Thanks lguser for the clarification.
The New Testament tells us that there are many spirits apart from the Holy Spirit, but descibes them as "unclean". It seems that in some circumstances they can fake some of the attributes of the Spirit. The true Spirit will lead you to the Lordship of Jesus overy your life, and will produce good fruit.
You should absolutely desire to receive and be filled by the true Spirit.