We may conclude that the normal pattern is that the baptism of the Spirit occurs at the moment of saving faith, which in the New Testament times was practically simultaneous with water baptism, incorporating believers into the church.
The Spirit does not glorify Himself; He glorifies the Son… This is, to me, one of the most amazing and remarkable things about the biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit seems to hide Himself and to conceal Himself. He is always, as it were, putting the focus on the Son, and that is why I believe, and I believe profoundly, that the best test of all as to whether we have received the Spirit is to ask ourselves, what do we think of, and what do we know about, the Son. Is the Son real to us? That is the work of the Spirit. He is glorified indirectly; He is always pointing us to the Son.
Spirit baptism takes place at salvation, when the Lord places the believer into the body of Christ by means of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13), and purifies the believer by the water of the Word (Ephesians 5:26; cf. John 15:3). Paul refers to this as “the washing of regeneration, and renewing by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5), almost perfectly echoing Jesus’ words in John 3:5: “unless one is born of water (the washing of regeneration) and the Spirit (and renewing by the Holy Spirit), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
There must not only be the work of Christ FOR us, but the work of the Holy Spirit IN us. There must not only be a title to heaven by the blood of Christ, but a preparedness for heaven wrought in us by the Spirit of Christ. Let us never rest until we know something by experience of the baptism of the Spirit. The baptism of water is a great privilege. But let us see to it that we have also the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Water baptism does not save us. Water baptism is only an outward picture of what Christ has miraculously done in our hearts. Water baptism after salvation has its place. Pastors take care for that. It’s external and natural. But the primary and initial baptism we need is by the Holy Spirit. It is internal and supernatural and that must be taken care of by Christ (see Luke 3:16).
1. To be filled with the Spirit is different from being baptized in the Spirit. There is one baptism, but multiple fillings.
2. In no New Testament text are we commanded to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. There is no appeal to do something in order to be baptized; no exhortation, no imperative.
3. On the other hand, we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
4. It is possible to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, to experience the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and yet not be filled with the Holy Spirit (e.g. the Corinthian believers).
5. To be “full of the Holy Spirit” is to reflect a maturity of character; it is the ideal condition of every believer [see Acts 6:3, 5; 7:55; 11:24]. To be “filled with the Holy Spirit” is to experience an anointing for power, purity, proclamation, and praise.
Spirit-baptism is instantaneous (i.e., it is not a process), coincident or simultaneous with conversion, universal (i.e., all Christians are recipients), unrepeatable (one is only baptized in the Spirit once) [and] permanent (it cannot be lost or forfeited).
Spirit-baptism is a metaphor that describes our reception of the Holy Spirit at the moment of our conversion to Jesus in faith and repentance. When we believe and are justified, we are, as it were, deluged and engulfed by the Holy Spirit; we are, as it were, immersed in and saturated by the Spirit. [The] results:
1. We are made members of the body of Christ, incorporated into the spiritual organism called the church (1 Cor. 12:13).
2. The Holy Spirit comes to indwell us permanently.
The “gift” or “baptism” of the Spirit, one of the distinctive blessings of the new covenant, is a universal blessing for members of the new covenant, because it is an initial blessing. It is part and parcel to belonging to the new age. The Lord Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant and the bestower of its blessings, gives both the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Spirit to all who enter his covenant. Further, baptism with water is the sign and seal of baptism with the Spirit, as much as it is of the forgiveness of sins. Water-baptism is the initiatory Christian rite, because Spirit-baptism is the initiatory Christian experience.