Do Christians receive the Holy Spirit before or after baptism?

BibleAsk TeamPosted on

The Bible teaches that Christians receive the Holy Spirit before and after their baptism. Before experiencing the fullness of the Spirit, a person receives a portion of that Spirit to prepare him to come to the Lord and repent of the old life. The Holy Spirit comes in the life of individuals in degrees according to their need.

At the day of Pentecost, Peter preached his sermon saying, “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Here, we can see that the Holy Spirit worked first on the people’s hearts before their baptism because they were “cut to the heart” and as they were prepared for repentance, at baptism, they received a fuller measure of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus our perfect example did have a limitless supply of the Holy Spirit but God’s Spirit came down on Him in a special way at His baptism “And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove” (Mark 1:10).

Likewise, the apostles had the Holy Spirit before the Day of Pentecost because Jesus empowered them and sent them out to preach and heal all through the nation. However, they received a special fullness of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, which is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit, at the time of Pentecost. John the Baptist prophesied about this event “I indeed baptize you with water … but there is One coming after me who is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:11).

Our bodies are temples of God’s Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). And as we surrender to the Lord, we receive of His fullness daily measures of His Spirit. The Lord is eager to bless His children with the overflow of His Spirit if they are willing to receive for “God gives not the Spirit by measure” (John 3:34).

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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