THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
This expression from scripture is listed in several places, and often with different little prepositions like in, of, or with etc. This has often caused a certain amount of confusion, not in the mind of the Holy Spirit who inspired the various authors of scripture, but in the minds of the hearers. I expect this confusion comes from not closely checking the prepositions used. And also checking out who is the person doing the baptizing, and the medium into which the candidate is being immersed. Let us consider this topic from three different passages of scripture, which I believe refer to three different baptisms.
Baptism # 1--- (1 Cor 12:13) "Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit". I believe this is Paul's description of our salvation experience, the same exactly as John explained to Nicodemus in (John 3:1-8) where he used the expression "you must be born again". No one can become a child of God without coming through Jesus (John 14:6) and being "born again" of the Spirit. This is the only way any person can begin their walk in the Spirit, and it begins when the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ.
Baptism # 2---(Acts 2:38-39) Peter replied, "Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles—all who have been called by the Lord our God". This baptism requires "repentance" from our sins, and acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior. At that point in time our Father adopts us into His family and gives us the gift of His Holy Spirit to seal the transaction.
Baptism # 3--- (Acts 1:4-5, 7-8, 2:1-4) This is the historical record of the fulfillment of the promise given in baptism # 2, with the actual coming of the Holy Spirit to the 120 disciples waiting in the Upper Room. This briefly lists the three baptisms, now we will consider more closely each one to see who is the Baptizer in each case, and what the "medium" is into which the candidate is immersed.
In summary then, the first baptism is our "salvation" experience when we are placed into the "Body of Christ", which is another name for the "Biblical Church" that Jesus has been in the process of building for some 2000 years, and the Baptizer is clearly the Holy Spirit. Next comes our "believer's baptism", as soon after our salvation experience as possible. Here the Baptizer is any spiritual leader, who places the candidate into the body of water. The Greek word for baptism indicates a complete "immersion". And the final baptism is our "baptism in the Holy Spirit", first mentioned by John the Baptist in (Matt 3:11) and fulfilled in Acts chapters 1 and 2. And clearly The Baptizer is Jesus, and the medium is the Holy Spirit. And all of these are for everyone who knows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, no matter what church they attend it is not a denominational thing. Let us be clear about that, and eliminate any confusion!!
Dave Jamer 22/05/13