Q“Please explain Holy Ghost baptism. Do people in our age receive it? If not, what is meant by Paul, ‘ For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body’?” - 1 Corinthians 12:13.
AnswerThere is no expression such as “Holy Ghost baptism” in the scriptures. The Bible speaks of some who were baptized “in the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 1:8; Acts 1:5; 11:16). The first reference is from John, the baptist, foretelling of the coming of Christ. John said the element in which he baptized was water, but the element in which Christ would baptize is the Holy Spirit. There is a reference to “receiving” the Holy Spirit, as in the case of Cornelius and his family (Acts 11:16) but this is not necessarily what is commonly thought of as “Holy Ghost baptism.”
Please study the following diagram regarding baptism in the Holy Spirit
It is NOT
A Promise (Joel 2:28; Matt. 3:11)
To Certain Individuals (Acts 1:5; 11:3)
For All Men
For a Limited Time (Acts 1:5)
For All Time
To Qualify Witnesses (Acts 1:8)
For Remission of Sins
Miraculous (Acts 2:1-8)
To Produce Good Feelings
Seen and Heard (Acts 2:33)
For a “Better Felt Than Told” Sensation
To Confirm the Word (Heb. 2:1-4)
To Save From Sin
The purpose of being baptized in the Holy Spirit was to prove to the people hearing the gospel that the message was of divine origin and not merely human wisdom. Those who were baptized in the Holy Spirit were enabled to do things no natural or normal person could do. Jesus promised some of his disciples they would be empowered to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons” (Matt. 10:8). If it were still possible that ordinary people can be baptized in the Holy Spirit as were the Lord’s apostles, the same power would be available. Who among those claiming to have received “Holy Ghost baptism” can duplicate the miracles done by the apostles? The answer is clearly, not one of them. Thus the claim is a fraud.
We have a standing offer to those who claim they have experienced “Holy Ghost baptism” like the apostles and early disciples of Christ. They were able to raise people back to life from the dead (Acts 9:37-41; 20:9-10). The offer we make is simple. Let anyone claiming the power today that Christ gave his disciples in the first century meet us at the cemetery or mortuary of their choice. We challenge them to bring a dead person back to life. In fact, to make it interesting, we promise to raise two dead people after they raise just one.
The question also asked about 1 Cor. 12:13, “For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body.” The expression “by one spirit” has direct reference to the way one is baptized into the body. The body is obviously the body of Jesus Christ. The means by which penitent believers are induced to be baptized into the one body, the church (Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4) is the teaching done by those under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit. This text also says we have been made to “drink of one Spirit.” One cannot literally drink of this Spirit. It is the same as what Jesus said: “Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink” (John 7:37). This means imbibing the teaching of the Lord. The Lord commanded water baptism and those who refuse it reject God’s counsel against themselves (Mark 16:16; Luke 7:30).
Please don’t be deceived by bogus claims people make today for supernatural powers. The plain simple gospel of Christ is the one and only power God provides us in order to salvation from sin. Obey it now. - DRS
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