The False Teaching of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
False teaching? What? What is so false about the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
What I am referring to is the false teaching that:
- The Holy Spirit comes after one is saved and that it is different than being saved.
- One should attempt to get it via their own effort.
- That it is a more powerful way to be a Christian
I will give you a real-world example. There are many churches out there that practice this stuff. This is just one of them:
The following is taken from a Spokane Church’s Website.
“All believers are entitled to and should ardently accept and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church. With it comes the endowment of power for life and service, the bestowing of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry.”
“This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth. With the baptism in the Holy Ghost come such experiences as an overflowing fullness of the Spirit, a deepened reverence for God, and intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work, and a more active love for Christ, for His Word and for the lost.”
This is so sad to me. Really it is. As a self-professed, bible-believing church, how can they possibly think that one is saved by the Holy Spirit and yet be without the Holy Spirit? They believe it is separate… That it comes later. That you have to seek it earnestly. In many churches, they even try to teach you how to get it.
Ephesians 1:13-14 says
“And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.”
At the moment of salvation comes the Holy Spirit which seals Christians for all eternity.
2 Corinthians 1:22 says pretty much the same thing:
“and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.”
Saved means you are sealed. You cannot be saved if you are not sealed. Sealed means you have the Spirit in you. The Spirit does not come later.
To argue otherwise the church uses a passage from the bible woefully taken out of context.
Please, go read that in context. Read the whole chapter.
“A man named Simon had been a sorcerer there for many years, amazing the people of Samaria and claiming to be someone great. Everyone, from the least to the greatest, often spoke of him as “the Great One—the Power of God.” They listened closely to him because for a long time he had astounded them with his magic.
But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself believed and was baptized. He began following Philip wherever he went, and he was amazed by the signs and great miracles Philip performed.
When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit.”
Philip brought the true Gospel to people that had been led astray by a sorcerer that they thought had the power of God. He was a false teacher. This also happened in chapter 19, where they heard about the coming Messiah from John the Baptist. They were believers but had not yet heard the true Gospel. “Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.””
When they heard the gospel they were saved. They believed in God previously, but when they heard the gospel of Jesus Christ that is when they were saved.
It is interesting to note that the sorcerer wanted what this church in Spokane says we should all want. Power. “When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power.”
It is heresy to teach that you are saved and then have to seek the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that you can be more powerful. Being a Christian isn’t all about YOU in the first place! The gifts are for the edification of the church. Not for your might. The Holy Spirit is a gift given by God, not something you seek in addition to salvation. It doesn’t make you a more powerful Christian, compared to those NOT baptized with it. You don’t end up MORE ANNOINTED.