John 1:33

Baptism with the Holy Spirit.

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"33And I did not recognize him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining – this is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’" (John 1:33)
During our study session this week, we dedicated the entire hour to examining a single verse. The verse in question revolves around John identifying himself as someone who administers water baptism, while Jesus is portrayed as the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. To begin our exploration, let us first address the question: How do people generally understand the concept of baptism with the Holy Spirit?

Certain individuals hold the belief that baptism with the Holy Spirit is connected to extraordinary abilities like speaking in tongues, performing miracles, or displaying other noticeable outward manifestations. The responsibility of pursuing the filling of the Holy Spirit lies with each individual. While it is true that such manifestations did occur in the book of Acts, does the Bible actually instruct us to actively seek out such experiences?

It is widely understood that for a believer to attain eternal life, they must be inhabited by the Holy Spirit, much like how God bestowed His spirit upon Adam, causing him to come alive. If this premise holds true, then why would a believer actively pursue something that already belongs to them?

Let us consider several verses that show how a believer is given the Holy Spirit.

13And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) – when you believed in Christ – you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)

Upon our “belief in Christ,” we received the Holy Spirit, who was given to us as a “seal,” serving as a promise and guarantee. It is likely that God bestows the Holy Spirit upon us in this manner so that we may have unwavering confidence in our salvation until the promise is fulfilled. However, do you require additional signs to be certain that you have indeed received the Holy Spirit? And if God does not provide any further signs, would you then begin to doubt whether you were ever saved?

Who has also sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:22)

Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Corinthians 5:5)

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

The question we should contemplate is whether we possess everything necessary at this present moment to meet God. Let us find comfort and inspiration in the following words from the book of Romans.

31What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32Indeed, he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is the one who will condemn? Christ is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. (Romans 8:31-34)

Is the term “all things” inclusive of the Holy Spirit? Absolutely, it is.

(Next study: John 1:34-51)

Nghi Nguyen

- Scripture quoted by permission. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: This is my own opinion on the topic, which does not necessarily reflect the church's theology, or beliefs of the individuals in it — Nghi Nguyen

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