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Bible verses about Baptism of the Holy Spirit
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Matthew 28:19

Speaking "in the name of" something does not necessarily mean that one is speaking of the name of a personality. A cliché we hear frequently in old crime movies illustrates this. Sometime during the film, a policeman invariably comes running out with his gun drawn and aimed at the suspect, and he says, "Stop in the name of the law!" Does the law have personality? Is it a personality? No, it is an inanimate thing. The policeman was commanding the robber to stop in the name of an authority, the law.

So just because the baptism formula includes within it the authority of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit does not mean that the Holy Spirit is a Person. It is mentioned, undoubtedly, as the means through which the repentant sinner is brought to the point of being baptized. God tells us clearly that the Holy Spirit is given to convict us of sin (John 16:8-9). God stirs up our minds by the power of His mind, using His Spirit to lead us to think of things in a way that we never have before, and He thereby brings us to repentance.

By the same means, He also reveals to us the real Jesus, and by the same means, He gives us the power to believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. The Holy Spirit, then, is the power that God uses to bring us to that point.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit


 

John 3:5

Because this is said as an explanation of Jesus' initial statement, being "born of water and the Spirit" is the same as being "born again" or "born from above." In that sense, as used here by Jesus, both "water" and "spirit" are spiritual entities.

It is easy to jump to the conclusion that Jesus' mention of water refers to baptism. However, as a figure, the part water plays is more complex than is commonly assigned in this context. Consider this: From righteous Abel on, all have been and are being saved by the same process encompassed by the grace of God. All must be called by God, all must repent and receive forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ, and all must be given God's Spirit. Note, however, that there is no mention in Scripture of any of the saints who lived before John the Baptist being baptized. This includes those who were under the Old Covenant. If all are to receive salvation by the same means, why does the Bible fail to show any of them being baptized?

It is more likely that the "water" and "spirit" Jesus refers to are those mentioned in Ezekiel 36:25-27:

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

In this prophecy, Ezekiel indicates a cleansing from spiritual filth and a change of heart, from which spring obedience to God's commands. As the prophecy clearly says, both the water and the Spirit are from God above and precipitate the cleansing and birth that Jesus teaches in John 3. God says He will "sprinkle clean water," but as we know, that does not indicate the waters of baptism, since true Christian baptism is an immersion. Notice what John the Baptist says in John 1:33: "I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'" This suggests that a baptism of the Holy Spirit is also needed, which Acts 19:1-6 confirms.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Born Again or Begotten? (Part Two)


 

Acts 2:3

In addition to the wind-like sound, flames of fire appeared either to fall upon or to rise from those who were given God's Spirit. There is no indication that these flames appeared on anybody else except those who were in the house. God may have done this because fire had previously been associated with a form of baptism by John the Baptist (Luke 3:16). God used the fire to identify those who were receiving His Spirit at that time—a form of visible "sanctification" (being set apart). In any case, nothing like that occurs at "tarry meetings," nor does it occur when any today receive God's Holy Spirit. Neither did it occur when the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-48). It was a one-time sign.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Pentecost and the Holy Spirit


 

Acts 9:17

Special spiritual gifts are given through the laying on of hands. Usually, the Holy Spirit was given by the laying on of an elder's hands, confirming baptism. However, Acts 8:14-17 says that the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit after baptism, while Acts 10:44-48 says that it fell upon Cornelius' household before baptism. Sometimes God makes exceptions to work out His own will and plan.

Timothy received special spiritual gifts from the hands of the elders, including the gifts of wisdom and teaching. Paul reminded him that ordination bestowed such gifts upon him and that he needed to stir up God's Spirit to use them.

Martin G. Collins
Basic Doctrines: The Laying On of Hands


 

Acts 11:15

What Peter confirms here is that the receiving of the Holy Spirit is, indeed, also the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The receiving and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are synonymous.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Pentecost and the Holy Spirit


 

1 Corinthians 12:13

If we are baptized by the Spirit of God, we are a part of that body, and we are responsible to Christ within it.

John W. Ritenbaugh
What Is the Work of God Now? (Part 5)


 

 




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