The baptism of the Holy Spirit may be defined as that work whereby the Spirit  of God places the believer into union with Christ and into union with other  believers in the body of Christ at the moment of salvation. First Corinthians  12:12-13 is the central passage in the Bible regarding the baptism of the  Holy Spirit: “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews  or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1  Corinthians 12:13). While Romans  6:1-4 does not mention specifically the Spirit of God, it does describe the  believer’s position before God in language similar to the 1 Corinthians passage:  “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By  no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know  that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just  as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may  live a new life.”

The following facts are necessary to help solidify our  understanding of Spirit baptism: First, 1  Corinthians 12:13 clearly states that all have been baptized, just as all  been given the Spirit to drink (the indwelling of the Spirit). Second, nowhere  in Scripture are believers told to be baptized with, in or by the Spirit, or in  any sense to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This indicates that all  believers have had this experience. Third, Ephesians  4:5 seems to refer to Spirit baptism. If this is the case, Spirit baptism is  the reality for every believer, just as “one faith” and “one Father”  are.

In conclusion, the baptism of the Holy Spirit does two things, 1)  it joins us to the body of Christ, and 2) it actualizes our co-crucifixion with  Christ. Being in His body means we are risen with Him to newness of life (Romans 6:4). We should then  exercise our spiritual gifts to keep that body functioning properly as stated in  the context of 1  Corinthians 12:13. Experiencing the one Spirit baptism serves as the basis  for keeping the unity of the church, as in the context of Ephesians 4:5. Being  associated with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection through Spirit  baptism establishes the basis for our separation from the power of indwelling  sin and our walk in newness of life (Romans  6:1-10; Colossians  2:12).

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