What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Question: “What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and what is it’s meaning?”

Bible Answers

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is when the Holy Spirit enters a person at the moment of salvation.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit was predicted by John the Baptist. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8), and by Jesus just before He ascended into heaven. John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now (Acts 1:5). This took place a few days later on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).  This was the first time that people were permanently filled by the Holy Spirit.

This baptism is not reserved just for some elect, but is given to all who accept Jesus as their Lord. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13).

Confusion over gift, gifts, baptism of the Holy Spirit, and fruit of the Holy Spirit often occur and an explanation follows.

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). The gift (singular) of the Holy Spirit occurs or is given at the time a person repents and is saved. The gift is actually the Holy Spirit, taking up permanent residence in us (John 14:16-17, 26).  This gift of the Holy Spirit is also referred to as being baptized by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 1 Cor. 12:13).

Gifts (plural) of the Holy Spirit, sometimes called being filled with the Holy Spirit, are given as we are open to receive these special gifts and as He determines and directs (1 Cor. 12; Rom. 12). These spiritual gifts are endowments of special power from the Holy Spirit, given so that we might fulfill the calling of God in our lives, church, and the world. The Holy Spirit enters us at the time of salvation and comes with His gifts.  We receive these gifts from the Holy Spirit as we ask in prayer and as the Holy Spirit determines. Fruits of the Spirit are the growing in the godly characteristics that we should exhibit. We will grow in the fruits as we seek to be more like Jesus, meditating on the Word, and invite the Holy Spirit to exhibit more of Himself in us. We need to seek the Holy Spirit to operate in His gifts and the fruits. Click for more on the gifts.

We are told, do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30), and that His activity within us can be quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19).  It is obedience to God and seeking the gifts that allows the Spirit freedom to operate within us.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit of God taking up residency in us when we accept Jesus as our Lord. For more information.

Next Section - How can I be led by the Holy Spirit?

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