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Spirts Baptism Separate and Subsequent from Salvation


“For John baptized you with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

                                                                                                               -Acts 1:5

There a quite a few Christians that accept the scriptural validity of the Spirits Baptism. After all, it is mentioned by name in all four of the Gospels as well as in the book of Acts. What people question is the teaching that a believer receives the Baptism in the Holy Spirit AFTER they have been saved. Some maintain that salvation and the Spirits Baptism are one and the same. In this blog, I will with the backing of scripture demonstrate how the Separate and Subsequent teaching is valid.

Fist there are the Apostles. After his resurrection, Jesus remained on the earth for forty days then he ascended to heaven(Acts 1:3). The apostles did not receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit until ten days later(Acts 2:1-4). We know from Christs words that the Apostles were indeed saved before the day of Pentecost.

“However, do not rejoice that the evil spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
                               -Luke 10:20

We can see from this verse that the apostles names were already “written in heaven” prior to Pentecost making their experience of the Spirits Baptism a separate and subsequent work.

The next passage is most compelling, and most supportive of the separate and subsequent teaching.

“When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”        Acts 8:14-17

In this passage we find people who are clearly believers. The verses above state that these people have “accepted the word of God”, and have been “baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus”. This passage also clearly says that these people had not received the Holy Spirit. Now, if it is true that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit occurs at the moment of salvation, how can this passage be valid? According to that line of thinking this passage doesn’t make any sense. How can someone be a Christian and not have the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the one who convicts us of sin, reveals to us Gods salvation through Christ, and regenerates us. He indwells in every believer. As was the case in the people described in the above passage. What they had not received was the Baptism in the Spirit. This is a clear demonstration that the Spirits Baptism is a Separate and Subsequent work from Salvation and only occurs after one is Born Again, not at the same time, and certainly not before.

“While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
   They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.'”
                                                                                             -Acts 19:1-2

This is always an interesting passage to read. Here the Apostle Paul encounters some disciples. We know that these are disciples following Christ and not disciples of John the Baptist or pseudo-Christians for one distinct reason. The word “disciple”(Greek mathetes) occurs thirty times in the book of Acts. All the times before and after this passage it always means a disciple of Jesus. The only exception is in Acts 9:25 when the word “his” is used to designate a disciple of Paul. There is no reason being as meticulous and technical in his writing as the writer of Acts was, that he would deviate from his standard usage of that word. Once again, we see from this passage people who are followers of Christ but had not yet received the Spirits Baptism.

Some people argue that the book of Acts does indeed clearly illustrate examples of believers receiving the Spirits Baptism after and separate from their initial converseion. They maintain that because those are historical accounts they cannot be used to formulate doctrine. That although Acts does record the Spirits Baptism in such a way, it is nowhere commanded in scripture that it must happen that way. What proponents of this idea fail to realize is that each writer of scripture must be understood in their own terms and styles. Luke is viewed by most biblical scholars as a theologian as much as he is a historian. To the point that he clearly shows his theology through his telling of historical accounts. In other words, the reason Luke recorded the Spirits Baptism occurring separate and subsequent from salvation is because he believes that to be theologically correct.

If you are a Born Again follower of Christ but have not yet received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, I encourage you to study the subject in God’s Word, pray for the fullness of the Spirit, and openly receive this blessing so that you may be empowered to live for God, and be an effective wittiness for Christ.

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