Saturday, November 23, 2019

Does The Baptism With The Holy Spirit Take Place After Conversion?

        There is a false teaching present amongst charismatics that Holy Spirit baptism is a separate event from conversion that not every Christian necessarily experiences. In other words, it is believed by some that we must strive for a second blessing from God after receiving His unmerited gift of justification. The problem with this doctrine is that it does not accord with Scripture. No distinction is made between believers who have received the Holy Spirit and others who lack Him.

        Christians are identified as being equally and completely (in the past tense) members of God's church (1 Corinthians 12:13). Everybody who receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior possesses the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14). Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:16-19). Thus, we are to walk continually in Him. The example of Cornelius serves as a perfect illustration of believers simultaneously receiving salvation and the Holy Spirit  (Acts 10:43-48). There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism (Ephesians 4:4-6). The Holy Spirit fully indwells every believer at the moment of conversion. The baptism of the Spirit is not separated from the moment of conversion in Scripture. Both go hand in hand.

        The handful of episodes of the Holy Spirit falling on people who were already followers of God that we encounter in the Book of Acts are a unique historical event. They took place during an important transition of salvation history. Christ had ascended into heaven and was glorified by the Father. The scope of redemption was expanded to the Gentiles. What we see described in biblical history is not to be treated as a prescriptive standard for doctrine. Moreover, what happened at Pentecost was a fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32. This event is not to be repeated or ongoing.

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