Saturday, October 24, 2009

Baptism with the Holy Spirit = Filling with the Holy Spirit

1. All four gospels record John’s statement that Christ will baptize with the Holy Spirit (and fire, except Mark and John).
Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Mark 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

John 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
2. Prior to His ascension Jesus prophecied that the disciples would be baptized with the Holy Spirit after a few days.
Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
3. On Pentecost, all the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
4. A few days later they were filled again.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
5. The apostles specify being “full of the Spirit” as a criterion for being a servant in the church. Fullness of the Spirit is, therefore, a characteristic discernible by fellow-believers.
Act 6:3 "Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. (cf. 7:55)
Acts 6:5 The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch.
6. The Holy Spirit had not fallen upon any of the Samaritan believers prior to Peter and John praying for them. They prayed for them that they might received the Holy Spirit, and then when they laid hands on them, they received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:16 For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Acts 8:17 Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.
7. Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit through the ministry of Ananias.
Acts 9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
8. At Cornelius’ house, the Holy Spirit falls upon those listening. The narrator describes Peter’s amazement at the Holy Spirit being poured out on the Gentiles. Peter speaks of the reception of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 10:44 ¶ While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 10:45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 10:46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 10:47 "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?"
9. Peter describes the event at Cornelius’ house in terms of the Holy Spirit “falling upon them as He did upon us at the beginning,” and specifically identifies this as an example of Jesus’ prophesy that “you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 11:15 "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning.
11:16 "And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'
10. Barnabas is described as a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith. Again, fullness of the Spirit is discernible.
Acts 11:24 for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord.
11. The disciples in Antioch of Pisidia were being filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. Note the imperfect tense. The ongoing nature of being filled with the Spirit could be interpreted iteratively, as in Acts 2 and then 4, or progressively as Ephesians 5:18 seems to imply.
Acts 13:52 And the disciples were continually filled (ἐπληροῦντο) with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
12. God gave the Holy Spirit to Cornelius and those assembled with him. The issue here is how δοὺς should relate to ἐμαρτύρησεν: antecedent time or means. It fits the contours of means quite well.
Acts 15:8 καὶ ὁ καρδιογνώστης θεὸς ἐμαρτύρησεν αὐτοῖς δοὺς τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον καθὼς καὶ ἡμῖν
Acts 15:8 "And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us;
13. After Paul laid his hands on the Ephesians the Holy Spirit came upon them. The variety in terminology suggests that the language itself is non-technical and descriptive: filled, came upon, fell upon, baptized with, received.
Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.
14. Texts not included above which use the language of “full of/with the Holy Spirit” are Acts 4:8; 7:55 and 13:9.
Acts 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people,
Acts 7:55 But being full of the Holy Spirit, [Stephen] gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God;
Acts 13:9 But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him,
At first glance, these texts seem more like OT texts where the Spirit comes upon a person for a specific purpose and for a limited time. On the other hand, in each of these cases, these people were previously said to have been filled with the Spirit, and in Stephen’s case especially, he was picked as a deacon on the basis of the fact he was full of the Holy Spirit. That data seems to weigh on the side of understanding Luke’s choice to include this characterization as a theological note to avoid the appearance that the special deeds done by these men were self-originating, but were rather Spirit-empowered. The point of this epithet is not to denote a new or renewed “filling,” but the fact of the Spirit’s fullness (i.e., controlling, empowering presence) out of which their actions flowed.

Conclusion: There is no difference between Christ’s baptism of believers with the Holy Spirit promised in the Gospels and Acts 1:5 and the Filling with the Spirit received throughout Acts. This is a Christological baptism with the Spirit (instrumental dative) and is to be distinguished from the Pneumatological baptism by the Spirit (dative of agency) of 1 Corinthians 12:13.