Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an experience and is not guaranteed by faith in Jesus for atonement.
Debate Rounds (3)
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a spiritual experience with external evidence not just an internal transformation.
Point 1: The two primary expressions for the giving of the Spirit have to do with the way water affects something, pointing to an experiential reality. The first is "immersion" (baptism) and was placed on the backdrop of John the baptists ministry, who was constantly dunking people fully under the water. He made it clear that just as he was physically dunking people under the water and they came up soaking wet, in the same way Jesus would dunk people in the power of the Holy Spirit, leaving them demonstrably affected (Matt. 3:11; Mk 1:8; Lk 3:16; Jn 1:33). This also points to the individual nature of the Spirit Baptism. John individually baptized each person who came to him. The same will be true of every one who comes to Jesus. The second biblical term used for the baptism of the Holy Spirit is people being "filled" with the Holy Spirit. This again uses the concept of liquid or some substance which can fill a container. Again, the language used beckons the mind towards an experience.
Point 2: The baptism of the Holy Spirit was clearly a demonstrable experience with external evidence in every Spirit Baptism account in the book of Acts. Acts 2, 4, 8, 10, and 19 all either detail the actual external evidence or point to a demonstrable experience by the reaction of the people around them.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not guaranteed to take place when a person believes in the Lord Jesus for the remission of their sins.
The account of the salvation and Spirit Baptism of the Samaritan community in Acts 8 is significantly insightful to see the possibility of salvation and repentance towards the Lord without a further experience of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. It also shows that the Apostles expected the believers there to have a spiritual and evidential experience of the Holy Spirit when they came to faith. The basic story goes like this (Acts 8:4-25):
- Persecution starts happening in Jerusalem
- Philip goes to Samaria and preaches
- people believe and are water baptized upon their confession of faith
- The Holy Spirit does not fall on them in a demonstrable way (most likely because of the corruption of Simon the magician)
- Peter and John come and lay hands on them and then the Holy Spirit falls
- Simon the magician sees (a demonstrable experience) of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and wants to buy the ability to do that.
- Peter condemns Simon's actions and corruption
- Peter and John remain in Samaria and preach to more villages
The primary point in our argument from this passage is that these believers in Samaria were true and sincere in their faith. There is nothing in the passage that points to them having an incomplete faith. In fact, the Apostles do not need to re-baptize them since their baptism was a true baptism of faith in Jesus (unlike when Paul has to baptize the disciples in Ephesus because they were baptized into John's baptism of repentance). Instead, the Apostles only need to lay their hands on them and the Holy Spirit demonstrably fell on them with evidence that attracted Simon the Magician (who was interested in "great power"). One could argue that had the Apostles not come down from Jerusalem to impart the Holy Spirit, those people would have been like many in the church today, water baptized and having a true faith in Jesus but never having experienced the experiential reality of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
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