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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Baptism with the Holy Spirit

Don Stewart :: What Are the Various Views as to When a Person Receives the Baptism with the Holy Spirit?

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What Are the Various Views as to When a Person Receives the Baptism with the Holy Spirit?

Baptism with the Holy Spirit – Question 3

There are a number of views that Christians have set forth to understand when exactly a believer is “baptized with the Holy Spirit.” They can be broken down into four different categories. We can simply sum them up as follows.

  1. Those who believe the baptism with the Spirit is received after a believer is saved.
  2. Those who believe that all Christians were baptized with the Spirit at Pentecost.
  3. Those who teach that this ministry occurs the moment that a person is saved.
  4. The view that the baptism with the Spirit may be received when a person is saved.

Each position can be further explained as follows.

View 1: the Baptism with the Holy Spirit Is Received after a Person Is Saved

This view believes the baptism with the Spirit is received sometime after a person is saved. There are, however, various opinions on when this happens and what actually happens. We can make the following observations.

It Is a Second Blessing after Salvation

The most common view is that it is a second experience that occurs after a believer is saved. It is a definite “second blessing” that believers experience that occurs at a specific point in time. This view teaches the baptism with the Spirit provides power.

It Is the Same as Receiving the Holy Spirit

There is also the view that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is the same as initially receiving the Holy Spirit but it does not happen when a person believes in Jesus Christ. This perspective teaches that there is some time that occurs between a person being saved and then receiving the Holy Spirit. In other words, a person does not receive the Holy Spirit the moment they believe in Jesus.

View 2: the Baptism with the Holy Spirit Was Received Once for All at Pentecost

This view holds that on the Day of Pentecost the baptism with the Holy Spirit occurred once and for all for the church. Thus, believers do not individually become baptized with the Spirit. It has already taken place.

View 3: the Baptism with the Holy Spirit Is Received the Moment a Person Is Saved

This view teaches that the baptism with the Spirit occurs at the time a person trusts Christ. Within this view there are different perspectives as to what happens.

Every Believer Receives It at the Time of Salvation (Non-experiential)

According to this perspective, every believer is baptized with the Holy Spirit the moment they trust Jesus Christ. The key verse is 1 Corinthians 12:13. It reads as follows.

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13 NET).

It is contended that this verse emphasizes that every believer has already been baptized with the Spirit. This occurs the moment they believe in Jesus.

Luke and Paul Talked about Different Things

There is another view that sees Luke and Paul using the same phrase “baptism with the Holy Spirit” but describing different things. This perspective holds that Luke, who wrote the Book of Acts, is not speaking of the same thing as Paul was in 1 Corinthians 12:13. Although both speak of the baptism with the Holy Spirit, they are referring to two different things.

View 4: the Baptism with the Holy Spirit May Received When a Person Is Saved

There is a perspective that teaches that the baptism with the Holy Spirit may be received when a person becomes a believer but this is not necessarily the case. There may be a delay or the power of the Holy Spirit may be received immediately upon belief in Jesus. Each case is different.

The fact that we find so many different views among Bible-believing Christians with respect with the baptism with the Holy Spirit shows the difficulty of the doctrine.

Consequently, we make take the time to seriously study the Word of God and discover what it says on this important subject.

Summary – Question 3
What Are the Various Views as to When a Person Receives the Baptism with the Holy Spirit?

Among Bible-believing Christians there are a number of ways in which the phrase “baptism with the Holy Spirit” is viewed. We can simply sum them up as follows.

Some believe that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is received sometime after a person becomes a Christian. Usually this is viewed as a “second blessing” for the believer. People, therefore, receive the Holy Spirit upon salvation but they are baptized with the Spirit at sometime after their conversion experience.

However, there are some who teach that each person initially receives the Holy Spirit sometime after they have been saved. In other words, they don’t receive the Holy Spirit upon believing in Jesus Christ.

There is also the view that the entire church received the baptism with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. This makes it unnecessary for individuals to receive the baptism with the Spirit today since it has already happened in the past.

Another view holds that all believers receive the “baptism with the Spirit” the moment they are saved. It is equated with believing in Christ. Thus, there is no second experience or second blessing for believers known as the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

There are those who hold that Luke and Paul are each referring to different things when talking about the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Thus, we should not assume that they mean the same thing though they use the same phrase.

A final position is that the baptism with the Spirit may be received when a person is saved but there may be a delay. Each case is different.

Consequently there are a number of different views about what it means to be “baptized with the Holy Spirit.” This being the case, we should take our time and study the Scripture to discover the best way to understand the subject.

Was the Baptism with the Holy Spirit Predicted in the Old Testament? ← Prior Section
What Are the Arguments for the Baptism with the Holy Spirit Being a Second Experience That Follows Salvation? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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