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Water Baptism and Baptism Of The Spirit Explained
Do we receive the Holy Spirit at the time of our water baptism like Jesus? Do we need to be baptized by the Holy Spirit after our water baptism? Do we need to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit or does it just happen?
In this episode of the Straight Truth Podcast Dr. Richard Caldwell and host, Dr. Josh Philpot discuss this difficult and often confused teaching regarding the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Within the broad local bodies of Christ there are those who equate water baptism with Spirit baptism or some mixture of the two, and those who teach us to seek the baptism of the Spirit. Some of this confusion may come from what John the Baptist said, who was baptizing with water for repentance of sins, and that of Jesus who we are told by John the Baptist, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”. Other confusion on this matter results from things we read or are taught from the book of Acts.
Dr. Caldwell tells us that when we come to the reading of God’s Word, specifically in the New Testament, what we need to keep in mind is that God has dealt with mankind in different ways at different times. He gives us some good examples of the Old Testament temple, showing commands and requirements that no longer take place. He further explains this is so because there’s a transition from the old covenant that God had with His people, in the coming of Christ. We read about this transition in the New Testament where people were moving from under the old covenant to living in the new covenant.
The Coming of The Prophesied Messiah
When we start in the gospels the people of the old covenant were waiting for and looking for the coming of the prophesied Messiah. John the Baptist was born and lived during this unique period. He announced the coming of Christ saying, “I baptize with water, but One is coming…”(Matt. 3, Mk.1, & Luke 3) and then in John 1, he (John) announces that He (Christ) is here, “among you stands One…” and “This is He of whom I spoke…”. Christ, Himself, in John 4 says to the woman at the well, “a time is coming…and now is.”.
Next Dr. Caldwell talks about the book of Acts. In chapter 2 we find events that take place on the day of Pentecost that look different as we proceed through the rest of the book. We find people receiving the Spirit of God in different ways. He gives some examples including one that appears as people receiving the Holy Spirit after salvation. He asks us to consider if this is normative, is this the pattern for the rest of time? His answer is no and explains this by saying, when you come to the New Testament Epistles, it is here you will find what is normative.
What we find in the Epistles, is that the very moment someone is saved they receive the Spirit of God. This is Spirit baptism, and Christ is the baptizer, He gives the Spirit. Those who have believed become united in the oneness spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, by the power of the Spirit of God. In writing this, the Apostle Paul assumes that every single believer has already been baptized with the One Spirit.
Spirit Baptism is Our Conversion in Christ
But this cannot be true if you’re already saved, have the Spirit of God in some sense, and then you need some subsequent baptism of the Spirit, as some would teach. Spirit baptism is our conversion in Christ, it’s instantaneous. The very moment we confess our belief in Christ, we are baptized by the Spirit of God into the family of God. This giving of the Spirit (baptism), His very indwelling is what empowers us to live our lives growing in Christlikeness. This is why Paul can say, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).
So says Dr. Caldwell, water baptism is not to be equated with Spirit baptism. Spirit baptism brings about our salvation. Water baptism should follow this, as a physical act of obedience on our part in response to the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. So every Christian has the Spirit of Christ before they submit to water baptism. The Word of God teaches that if you do not have the Spirit of Christ, then you do not belong to Christ (Romans 8:9-11).
So there is no such thing as a Christian who does not have the Holy Spirit, whether you have or have not yet submitted to water baptism. Water baptism does not save, nor is it a condition for salvation. It is a separate and distinct act of obedience apart from our salvation by the Spirit of God. It is an external act by the believer in faith, to identify one's self with the One, Christ who has already saved them by baptism with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it’s symbolic, but highly symbolic, of the reality signifying our union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-7, Col. 2:11-12).
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
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