The Bible recognizes only one baptism that garantees our salvation and the entrance in the Kingdom, which is the baptism in the Spirit and in the water.
Jesus was preaching that in order to be saved and enter into the Kingdom, we need to be born again or baptized in the Spirit and in the water. So, one without the other does not mean that we are being baptized.
It is important to know the difference between the dwelling of the Spirit and the baptism in the Spirit.
We receive the Holy Spirit when we give our life to Christ and from that very moment it starts to dwell in us showing us and teaching us about the Christ and his life (Romans 8: 9,16).
We are baptised in the Spirit when we are born again and from that moment the Holly spirit manifests the power of Christ in us (Acts 1: 5,8) ).
A Christian who wants to live, fight and win, reaching maturity in Christ needs divine resources for it. Jesus promised and provided the most important resource a Christian can receive; His presence, His power, baptism in his own Spirit, the Holy Spirit.
Person of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is a person. He is an integral part of the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit). He is not some influence, anointing, or neutral, impersonal force coming from God.
The Bible always refers to “him”, using a personal noun:
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak of his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.John 16: 13-15
He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
All that the Father has is mine, therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Baptism in the Spirit was prophesied by the prophets (Joel 2: 28,32), John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11) and the Lord Jesus who promised it to his disciples (John 14: 16,17).
On the day of Pentecost, after Jesus’ resurrection, his promise was fulfilled and the Holy Spirit was poured out on all the disciples:
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 tongues, as the Holy Ghost gave them utterance.Acts 2: 2-4
This promise was not limited to the disciples of the time but for all of us:
Then Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and yeshall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
For this is 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
Note that the proposition “for” in Acts 2:39 is repeated three times and defines to whom the baptism in the Holy Spirit is addressed:
- “For you”: refers to the people present there
- “For your children”: refers to the descendants of those who were there
- “For all those from afar, which the Lord our God shall call ”: refers to all those who will be saved, including us who live centuries after that day, but are reached by the same gospel.
Biblical Foundation for Spiritual Baptism
Baptism in the Holy Spirit has a strong biblical basis and there is no confusion in it between a person’s conversion and baptism in the Spirit because those who are baptized in the Spirit are already converted.
There is no doubt that the 120 baptized in the Spirit at Pentecost had already been converted and the apostles had already clearly received the Spirit of life on the day of the Lord’s resurrection.
And in the evening of the same day, the first day of the week, when the disciples were shut in fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. “
Having said that, he showed them his hands and his side. And the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus therefore said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” : “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; whom you retain, they are retained. “John 20: 19-23
Also the Samaritans who were evangelized by Philip were already converted and baptized in water, they were later baptized in the Spirit:
But when they believed Philip preaching the gospel of the kings.