Baptism and the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts
Water Baptism vs Baptized with the Spirit and Power
The book of Acts begins with Jesus' parting words to His apostles before His ascension to the right hand of God the Father. In His opening statement Jesus promises the Holy Spirit, and He does this by distinguishing the coming of the Spirit from the baptism of John. “For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5) John had testified the same of his baptism, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11, also in all the other Gospels: Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33) So there are two types of baptisms in the book of Acts, what the old theologians called baptismus flaminis (the outpouring of special gifts of the Holy Spirit) and baptismis fluminis (the Baptism of water which is a Sacrament of the remission of sins). (See Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, II.289, note 53) Water Baptism: John's, Jesus' and the Church's Baptism (baptismis fluminis) Of these two types of baptism, the first is the baptism of John, and then commanded (and expanded) by Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20) and given to all the converts on Pentecost, etc. (This is the normal baptism that continues today. We see many of these in Acts, including Acts 2:41; 8:12-16, 36-38; 9:18; 10:47; 16:15,33; 18:8; 19:5; 22:16). This Baptism is by water and the word for the forgiveness of sins, and it comes with (what theologians call) the 'common' gifts of the Holy Spirit: faith, trust in God, confession of Jesus, etc. So the Holy Spirit is certainly given in this water baptism. Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” John 3:5 Jesus answered,...
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