The baptism of the Holy Spirit is in the life of every believer
Published 9:54 am Wednesday, January 27, 2021
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: I am a seminary student and am learning about baptism. What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit? — B.H.
Dear B.H.: A preacher once asked a younger preacher if he had been baptized with the Holy Spirit. The young man replied yes. The preacher asked, “When?” The young man replied, “The moment I received Jesus Christ as my Savior.” The baptism of the Holy Spirit is in the life of every believer, and that takes place at the moment of conversion. This baptism was initiated at Pentecost, and all who come to know Jesus Christ share in that experience [of being filled with the Spirit of God].
The Scriptural usage of the word baptism shows that it is something initiatory both in the case of water baptism and Spirit baptism, and that it is not repeated. The Bible says, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13). The original Greek of this passage makes it clear that this baptism of the Spirit is a completed past action.
Two things stand out in that verse: The baptism with the Spirit is a collective operation of the Spirit of God; second, it includes every believer. The baptism with the Spirit is connected with our standing before God. When we come to Christ, He puts His Spirit within us. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we always follow His Spirit in obedience, but His Spirit is present. The Bible also tells us that “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in [Jesus’] name, He will teach you all things” (John 14:26). This precious gift, the Holy Spirit, not only convicts of sin but also convinces men that Jesus is the righteousness of God. He shows sinners that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)