baptism of the Holy Spirit


baptism of the Holy Spirit
   The term baptism of the Holy Spirit derives from several biblical passages, the most important being Acts 1:5, in which the risen Christ tells the apostles to wait for the promise of the Father, about which He had spoken, "John, as you know, baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit, and within the next few days." The phrase also appears in Acts 1:8 and 2:32-33. All four Gospels quote John the Baptist as saying, "i indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me . . . shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire" (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:26-27).
   The Roman Catholic Church believes the Holy spirit is bestowed during the sacrament of confirmation. The Lutheran, Reformed, and Anglican churches continued the practice of confirmation, but they did not consider it a sacrament; any connection to a baptism of the Holy spirit was largely neglected.
   The issue was raised anew in the 19th-century Holiness movement. Believers who had experienced a saving faith in Jesus Christ were led to expect a second similar experience in which they would be sanctified, made perfect in love. Many Holiness leaders associated full sanctification with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
   Late in the 19th century, some Holiness people began to speak about a third experience - a baptism of fire. The Fire-Baptized movement influenced those who were present at the founding event of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, which occurred at Charles Fox Parham's new school in Topeka, Kansas, in 1901. Searching the New Testament for accounts of the reception (or baptism) of the Holy Spirit, students concluded that it was always associated with speaking in tongues (glossolalia). On January 1, 1901, one of the students received the Spirit and spoke in tongues. Since that time, the baptism of the Holy Spirit evidenced by speaking in tongues has been the defining event of Pentecostal life.
   In Pentecostal thought, those who have faith in Jesus Christ as savior have their sins forgiven and are destined for heaven. However, they often lack the joy, power, and motivation to live the Christian life and be active disciples. The baptism of the Spirit conveys those qualities and equips the believer with gifts (I Corinthians 12) that assist their personal ministry and lead to a life of fruitfulness (Galatians 5:22-23).
   In the early Pentecostal movement, those with a Holiness background insisted that the baptism of the Spirit was reserved for those who had already been sanctified, while others suggested that it was an experience immediately available to everyone. Pentecostal founders Charles Parham and William J. Seymour advocated the first position, while Baptist minister William H. Darham was the first to deny it.
   Later believers, especially in the Charismatic movement, tended to downplay the connection between baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. The baptism could be manifested though the reception of any one of the gifts of the Spirit - healing, prophecy, and so forth.
   As the Charismatic movement spread within the Roman Catholic Church, the hierarchy refused to abandon the old tradition relating the baptism of the Holy Spirit to confirmation. Catholic Charis-matics now speak of the "release" of the Holy Spirit, previously conveyed during confirmation.
   See also Pentecostalism.
   Further reading:
   ■ Dennis Bennett, How to Pray for the Release of the Holy Spirit. What the Baptism or Release of the Holy Spirit Is and How to Pray for It (South Plainfield, N.J.: Bridge, 1985)
   ■ Stephen B. Clark, Confirmation and the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" (Plainfield, N.J.: Logos International, 1971)
   ■ Richard Gilbertson, The Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Views of A. B. Simpson and His Contemporaries (Camp Hill, Pa.: Christian Publications, 1993)
   ■ Kilian Mcdonnell, Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Evidence from the First Eight Centuries (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1991)
   ■ Oral Roberts, The Baptism with the Holy Spirit (and the Value of Speaking in Tongues Today) (Tulsa, Okla.: Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association, 1964).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.