Acts 2:38,39 promises that everyone who is baptized for remission of sins shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Is this “gift” Holy Spirit baptism, or is it one of the many other gifts men have received as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit?
According to Acts 2:38, all saved people definitely would have this “gift of the Holy Spirit.” If this gift is Holy Spirit baptism, then all saved people must have Holy Spirit baptism, and people who do not have Holy Spirit baptism must not be saved! Further, Holy Spirit baptism was always accompanied by tongue-speaking (Acts 2:1-11; 10:44-46). If the “gift of the Holy Spirit” is Holy Spirit baptism, then all saved people would have to speak in tongues! Yet 1 Corinthians 12:7-11,29,30 clearly shows that not all saved people did speak in tongues. Since the Bible does not contradict itself, we must conclude that the “gift of the Holy Spirit” is not Holy Spirit baptism.
Acts 2:38 also says that everyone would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit as a result of being baptized for the remission of sins. If the “gift” is Holy Spirit baptism, then that would make two baptisms for every one – one baptism in order to receive remission of sins and another baptism as a result of remission. But Ephesians 4:5,6 says there is only one baptism today just as surely as there is only one God and Father. We can no more have two baptisms today (one before remission and another one after) than we can have two heavenly Fathers (one before remission and another one after).
What then is the “gift of the Holy Spirit”? It is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that is received by all saved people (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). This is not Holy Sprit baptism, nor is it in any sense miraculous. It is simply the right relationship we have with the Spirit as a result of forgiveness of sins (see 2 Corinthians 13:14; Philippians 2 :1).
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2017
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