What is a Subsequent Baptism to salvation, second baptism, or also called a second blessing referring to? Simply stated, it is a second spiritual event that takes place after and separate from the moment of salvation where an individual is overcome by the Holy Spirit and exercises spiritual gifts for the first time. But does the Bible support this and explicitly state A Second Baptism event after salvation? In this article we will see what Holy Scripture says about the moment of salvation and being baptized by The Holy Spirit.
First lets look at where the baptism of the Holy Spirit is revealed and predicted.
John The Baptist is given the eternal honor of disclosing this future truth in Mark 1:8 where he states “8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”. Then Jesus reiterates what John The Baptist stated in Acts 1:5 when he said “5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”. Then, not many days later, it happens (Acts 2:1–4).
We are not discussing ‘re-baptism’ and if getting water baptized a second time is valid or not; but if you notice John The Baptist only baptized Jesus once. In those days, those who were baptized, where only baptized once. The word used in Mark 1:8 is speaking of a singular past tense baptismal event. The same singular verb is used for when the Holy Spirit conducts the event.
What does being baptized by the Holy Spirit do?
John used water to symbolize being reborn and made clean in a tangible physical way; therefore God will use the Holy Spirit to actually birth new life and cleanse of sin in the absolute spiritual way.
First Corinthians is a foundational passage for understanding the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Paul states “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of
the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink“. Paul was speaking to not just the church in Corinth but every believer; “we were all baptized“. Paul would have no idea if every single believer had a later experience with the Holy Spirit. Yet, he was absolutely confident that without knowing if there was a later second event, that ALL believers were baptized still. So if every believer shared this baptism then the single common event was the moment of salvation, being born again, spiritually alive, and sins forgiven. Thus, just from this we can conclude that ALL people who are truly saved, are baptized by the Holy Spirit and adopted by God into the Body of Christ- all without a second later event. Paul continues this understanding in Romans 6:1-4 where he associates this baptism with salvation.
In Ephesians, Paul makes it absolutely clear there is only one single spiritual baptism event. Clearly he is not talking about water baptism because all that he is talking about is spiritual. “There is Eph 2:16
who is over all and through all and in all.” Thus we can conclude that there is one moment of eternal salvation where we are brought into faith and baptized by the Holy Spirit.
With these verses we can see that those who believe were all baptized once and were made members of the body of Christ for all eternity. Once we belong to Christ, we are indwelt by The Holy Spirit and sealed with the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13). The Holy Spirit does not come and go in and out of us. Also read 1 Cor 1:24; John 1:13, 3:1-8, 6:63-65; Titus 3:5, 1 Peter 1:23-25; James 1:18; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Romans 8:9; John 14:16; 1 Corinthians 12:13.
What Scripture Does NOT Say:
Nowhere in Scripture are believers told to
be later baptized with, in or by the Spirit, or in any sense to seek, ask, or beg for the
baptism of the Holy Spirit. Why is that? Because once a person becomes a believer, they have already been baptized by the Holy Spirit. Being baptized by the Holy Spirit is part the simultaneous processes of salvation in the first place.
What About Gal 3:2, Acts 2:38, and Eph 1:13?
It is easy to assume these verses call in to question the Holy Spirit’s baptism with Salvation. But looking at each one of these verses in their full context we can quickly see the Scriptural support for the Holy Spirits baptismal work in Salvation. In their full context we see the Holy Spirit is the only effectual agent in Salvation; through spiritual baptism.
Acts 2:39 is often left out; it states “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who
are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” Here the full context shows that it is God who calls to himself and makes them his own.
Eph 1:11 is passed up where it states “… also we have obtained
an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all
things after the counsel of His will.” Believers were “predestined according to His purpose” but he doesn’t stop there, he continues “…who works all things after the counsel of His Will” Inheritance (salvation and eternal life) is obtained by man because God willed it and the Holy Spirit actualized it in the moment of salvation.
Gal 3:2 by its self has an interesting sound, but when we continue reading Gal 4:28 makes this absolute bold statement “Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time
the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power
of the Spirit.“ born by whom? The Holy Spirit. God predestined and promised, the Holy Spirit actualized God’s Will in Salvation of the believer.
Thus we can see that the Holy Spirit is the agent that brings salvation to the person and the actualized event is the baptism of the Holy Spirit where the person becomes a believer. This is called Monergistic Regeneration.
Being Filled VS Being Baptized
Being filled by the Holy Spirit and being baptized by the Holy Spirit are two entirely different things. The Holy Spirit will empower an individual to conduct supernatural tasks to continue to build up the church or to bring people into salvation. But the Holy Spirit will baptize whose who were chosen by God for salvation and in that baptism, they are born again spiritually and adopted by God where they are washed clean and made part of the Body of Christ.
Not every believer in Scripture is recorded as being filled by the Holy Spirit and working miracles. To say that ALL believers will be filled by the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues is unbiblical, because that is NOT supported or stated in scripture. BUT to say that ALL believers are baptized by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation is biblical and supported by Scripture.
Being Filled By The Holy Spirit
Now this event, separate from the Holy Spirit’s baptism, can happen at any time God sees fit for his will to be done. This can happen at the moment of salvation or subsequent to salvation. All believers are indwelt with the Holy Spirit; but to be filled by the Holy Spirit is an expression that means to visibly exhibit him. This is what Paul is referring to in Ephesians 5:18. To visibly exhibit the Holy Spirit in us and the power of God through us. No one can be filled by the Holy Spirit without first being brought into salvation by being baptized with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus regenerated the Apostles so that they could receive the Holy Spirit in John 20:22 and then they were baptized by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5) and filled by the Holy Spirit where they could speak and understand all kinds of languages (Acts 2:1–4). The Gospel message of the person and work of Jesus Christ calls the elect to repent and the Holy Spirit convicts them of sin (John 16:8-11) and brings them to true repentance and belief where the Holy Spirit regenerates them, converts, baptizes, and later fills and empowers. This is how God works in us and through us.
The Result of The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit calls the individual and regenerates them preparing for their spiritual baptism ( 1 Cor 1:24; John 1:13, 3:1-8, 6:63-65; Titus 3:5, I Peter 1:23-25; James 1:18). The individual is then baptized, cleansed, indwelt, and sealed with the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19; Romans 8:9; John 14:16; I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30). That individual becomes a believer in Christ and adopted by God where they are made heirs in the Kingdom of God and inherit eternal life with God for ever. The believer is given gifts to conduct God’s will through the Holy Spirit and empowered by the Holy Spirit to complete God’s will (I Corinthians 12:7-11; Ephesians 5:15-21; Galatians 5:16). The believer, through the work of the Holy Spirit, conforms to the image of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23). Jesus absolutely stated in John 3:3 “Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” No one can SEE the kingdom of God; with out God giving them new life. That is not only referring to a place, but being able to recognize God himself. Faith. An individual must be regenerated and baptized by the Holy Spirit in order to be able to see and personally know God.
It is possible for the Holy Spirit to simultaneously baptize and then fill to conduct God’s work through a new believer, that day, or that moment. It is also just as possible for the Holy Spirit to baptize and fill a believer with the subtle supernatural gift of mercy. It is even possible for the Holy Spirit to baptize someone and then wait to fill them until they are on their death bed. Were that person never exhibited or experienced being filled with the Holy Spirit until the last moment of their life; just so that another person they were with would be saved. Let us not forget Eph 1:11 “been predestined according to His purpose who works all
things after the counsel of His will.”
It is hypocritically judgemental and absolutely wrong to say an individual professing to be Christian who exhibits fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and spiritual maturity, is not saved because they have not been seen filled by the Holy Spirit. Their mercy (Romans 12:6-8) on those who judge them wrongfully in that way, could be them filled by the Holy Spirit who is empowering them to endure the condemnation by fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.