Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Baptism of the Spirit... update

Okay, after talking with a very good friend of mine about this baptism of the Spirit thing, I have reached the conclusion (for now) that we are born of the Spirit at conversion and baptized/filled with the Spirit at some point after that (although Scripture seems to indicate that the baptism/filling could happen simulaneously with conversion). I think this view is consistent with Scripture which gives us the ultimate example of this in Christ, Who was born of the Spirit (literally) and later baptized/filled with the Spirit at His baptism. So far I am satisfied with this view and it would take a lot to convince me otherwise. But go ahead and let me know if this is heresy. Thanks.


Eron said...


I don't want to get into the blog comments that are a mile long--I don't. I don't think it's fruitful really and it kind of irritates me. But, " us the ultimate example of this in Christ, Who was born of the Spirit (literally) and later baptized/filled with the Spirit at His baptism."

Dude. Christ is our example here?? Are you convinced of this only after two days? I think there are way better arguments for the doctrine of subsequence than this. I think your view on Monday was closer than the one on Wednesday. If I were you I would stick with Acts 2 or 19. Using Jesus as a paradigm breaks down about as fast as a chimp playing with Lincoln-logs.

Though I think Scripture teaches only one kind of Christian--not two--if I were to argue for subsequence I would go with post-Pentecost examples.


chance n said...


Thanks for both comments. I especially like "Using Jesus as a paradigm breaks down about as fast as a chimp playing with Lincoln-logs." :) That comment is one of the reasons that I am glad to receive your input on this. I totally agree that there are "way better arguments for the doctrine of subsequence" than the example of Christ. I wasn't meaning that the Jesus example was the reason I believed in subsequent baptisms. I was trying to keep the post short and to the point. I do, though, think that the "Jesus example" is interesting. I do think that Scripture uses the terms "baptism" and "filling" interchangeably (cf. Acts 1:5 and 2:4). Also, I don't think the doctrine of subsequence leads to "two kinds of Christians", but two different kinds of lives lived by Christians. (Your thoughts?) I believe that the gift of faith is equivalent to being born of the Spirit and that the baptism/filling can happen either at the same time or at a later time. ...And I think Wednesday's view is closer than Monday's. :) Thanks for the irritating, unfruitful, mile-long comments.

Eron said...


Thanks man. Hey, the only thing I wrestle with is making "baptism" and "filling" synonymous. It does seem like they are different. It might be said that all "baptisms" are "fillings," but not all "fillings" are "baptisms"--maybe. It also seems like in the Acts narrative, filling occurred by the sovereign act of God in a context of obedience and worship, not by people pursuing it--people pursued God and He filled them according to His purposes. Though Eph. 4 would command us to be filled, it does seem like that phrase is simply speaking of Spirit-led/filled obedience. You will notice that being filled with the Spirit precedes speaking and confessing truth in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, which places it in the context of gospel/word-centered living (i.e., obedience). I dunno.

Keep exegeting and let me know.

chance n said...

What's your thinking on Acts 1:5 and 2:4. This is one of the main reasons that I think baptism and filling are the same thing. I haven't looked at the Greek, but 2:4 is the fulfillment of 1:5. They use the two different words to describe the same thing. And I whole-heartedly agree with you that Christ and Christlikeness should be the object of our "pursuit". But I think one of the ways that we pursue Christlikeness is to pursue a filling of the Holy Spirit. That's what empowers us for ministry. I guess it's kind of analogous to the Spiritual Disciplines. One of the ways we pursue godliness is by usuing the means of the SD's. I think it's okay to pursue the filling of the Holy Spirit as long as it is not an end in itself, but a means. I will end the same way you did: "I dunno".