The Bible describes the first step of THE ONLY FOUNDATION (the personal experience of salvation) in different terms. God does this to give a clearer description of this one experience. This first step is called being “born anew” (John 3:3), “born of the Spirit” (John 3:8), “converted” (Matthew 18:3 -KJV), “saved” (John 10:9), “believing (Mark 16:16), “repent and turn to God” (Acts 26:20), letting Jesus “come in” to our heart (Revelation 3:20), “receiving Christ” (John 13:20). This other step of THE ONLY FOUNDATION (receiving the power of the Holy Spirit) is also described in various terms.
Being “baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5),
Being ”filled with the Spirit” (Acts 2:4; Ephesians 5:18),
Receiving “the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
God “giving” the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:32; Acts 8:18),
”Receiving” the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:15, 10:47),
The Holy Spirit ”falling” on the believer (Acts 8:16, 10:44, 11:15),
The Holy Spirit “coming” on the believer (Acts 19:6),
The Spirit being “poured” upon the believers (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17, 18: 10:45),
Being “clothed” with the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49).
Each term has its own significance, and reveals a different aspect of the infilling with power which is the promise of God the Father to all His children. Some say the term “baptism with the Spirit” is sectarian. Definitely not! No one movement or denomination within the Church has a monopoly on the blessing of God. The apostle Peter was not afraid of using this expression when speaking of the supernatural enduement with power from on high. John the Baptist was not ashamed of the term either, nor was our Lord Jesus Christ. Neither should we be!
The Bible teaches that the terms “baptized with the Spirit,” “baptized in the Spirit,” and “filled with the Spirit” may all be used to describe the first infilling with the Holy Spirit of the believer, who has already trusted in Christ for salvation. The baptism with, or in the Holy Spirit, is the initial infilling. After the baptism with the Spirit, the term “filled with the Spirit” (not “baptized with the Spirit”) is used. For example, the apostle Peter was first filled, or baptized with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4). However, Acts 4:8 (“Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit”) describes one of his subsequent fillings.
We may also note from the Bible that “baptism with the Spirit” is used in all four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles to describe receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. It surely must be of great importance for God to speak to us like this.
DO WE RECEIVE THE BAPTISM, OR FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AT CONVERSION?
The Bible answers a definite ”NO.” To those who say they received the fullness of the Holy Spirit at conversion, the Bible replies the disciples didn’t, Paul didn’t, the Samaritans didn’t, the Ephesians didn’t. The fact is, nobody in the Bible did.
The first disciples believed on the Risen Lord after His resurrection, but received the baptism in the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The Christians at Samaria believed in Christ and were baptized as believers, but, until Peter and John came and laid hands on them they had not “received the Holy Spirit, for He had not yet fallen on them” (Acts 8:15,16).