Is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit For Today?

For the promise is for your children, and for all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call. —Acts 2:39

Yes, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for believers today. There is one portion of Scripture that stands above all others which clearly states this. 

Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children and to all who are far away, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. —Acts 2:38-39

It doesn’t get much clearer than that. This gift of the Holy Spirit is for as many as the Lord our God shall call. That is absolutely all you need if you are looking for justifying your belief that this baptism is for today. But to be clear, this is not baptism in water, nor does it have anything to do with salvation experience—being saved. This is only for believers, both Jew and Gentile.

The critics teach something different

Those who do not believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit as separate experience from being born-again teach that once you accept Jesus you are filled with the Holy Spirit. As you can see in the book of Acts when the Holy Spirit falls on people there is a supernatural experience that follows. So, if the critics are right and you are filled with the Holy Sprit when you are saved; why is it that there is no visible supernatural experience, or conformation, of someone getting saved. There is no sign, no indication in any way, shape, or form to indicate that a person has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit according to the pattern set out in the book of Acts. From an experiential level, and that is not the standard in which to judge, I have never seen anyone get saved and demonstrate some kind of experience that could be construed as supernatural.

When you accept Jesus you are marked with a seal designating you as a child of God, a believer. That is found in Ephesians 1:13.  

In whom you also, after understanding the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in whom you also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. —Ephesians 1:13

Critics often use the above verse as a reference to claim support for their position. And that is there is no baptism of the Holy Spirit as found in the book of Acts; it happens to everyone when they are born-again. They say that the seal is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The verse below says that Jesus will give the Holy Spirit to the one whom the Father puts a seal upon.

Do not labor for the meat that perishes, but for the food which remains to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give you, for him that God the Father has set his seal upon. —John 6:27

One thing you must remember about critics

The last word on critics of the Holy Spirit baptism for believers today is that they have no idea what it is like to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, to speak in tongues, or prophesy. They are generally Evangelical Calvinists who believe in cessationism, which is the idea that spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12), apostles, prophets, and healing all ceased in the days of the last Apostles over two thousand years ago.

They will dance around the healing remark and say that God can still heal, but sickness is something either sent by him or allowed in order to teach believers some kind of lesson. That idea tells me they have absolutely no clue as to what the baptism of the Holy Spirit is as they do not have any idea what their relationship to God our Father is all about. What earthly father would ever want or allow sickness for their child to teach them a lesson? God wants only the best for our lives and the thought of Him wanting sickness and disease comes from someone who just doesn’t get it. If they can’t understand something as simple as this; do you think their opinions on other matters are going to be any more correct?

The kingdom God is not in word, but in power; and they don’t know what that means. God has no desire for anyone to be sick. He only gives good gifts to His children. He only wishes the best for those who are called by the name of Jesus.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and hope. —Jeremiah 29:11

Gregg F. Swift, J.D.