The New Testament makes a clear distinction between being born of the Spirit (born again- John 3:3-8) and being baptized in the Spirit (baptism in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues-Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-46, Acts 19:1-6).
These are two separate and distinct experiences.
Usually when a discussion comes up about the baptism in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues these two experiences get confused and mixed together.
Here are several points of confusion:
1) People who are born of the Spirit (born again) but do not have the baptism in the Holy Ghost will claim they already have the baptism in the Holy Ghost.
2) People who are born of the Spirit (born again) but do not have the baptism in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues think you are claiming you are not saved unless you speak in tongues.
3) Those who are baptized in the Holy Ghost often come across as if the born again believer who has been born of the Spirit does not have the Holy Ghost at all.
The purpose of this article is to clear up confusion on the three above points. It is not intended to be a comprehensive article on the subject of the Holy Ghost.
I am hopeful this will help answer some questions and expect it to raise more questions about the subject.
I would like to cite the following two passages of scripture as examples of being born of the Spirit and being baptized in the Spirit respectively:
BORN OF THE SPIRIT
John 4:14- But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the WATER that I shall give him shall be IN HIM a WELL OF WATER springing up into EVERLASTING LIFE.
Water is a type of the Spirit of God. Here it is spoken of as being a well in us that springs up in us in everlasting life (John 17:3, 1 John 5:12, John 14:6).
This is a type of being born again (John 3:3-16).
BAPTIZED IN THE SPIRIT
John 7:37-39- If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that BELIEVETH ON ME, as the scripture hath said, OUT OF HIS BELLY SHALL FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER. (But this spake He of THE SPIRIT, which they that BELIEVE ON HIM SHOULD RECEIVE: for the HOLY GHOST was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.
Here the water is spoken of as a river flowing out of the believer. This is a type of the baptism in the Holy Ghost as the rivers flow out from our innermost being to those around us for the purpose of being a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8).
A born again believer is born of the Spirit of God (John 3:3-8) and has the Spirit of God dwelling in them (John 1:12, Romans 8:14, Romans 8:16, 1 Corinthians 3:16) but this is not what it means to be baptized in the Holy Ghost.
Phillip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them (Acts 8:5). After Phillip’s preaching, healing the sick and casting out devils (Acts 8:6-11) the Bible states:
Acts 8:12- But when they BELIEVED Phillip, preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of JESUS CHRIST, they were BAPTIZED both men and women.
After Phillip’s preaching they believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and were baptized.
According to Jesus Christ: Mark 16:16- He that BELIEVETH AND IS BAPTIZED SHALL BE SAVED;
So according to Jesus Christ these Samaritans were saved. They believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and were baptized.
Romans 10:9-10- That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall BELIEVE IN THINE HEART that God hath raised Him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED. For WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVETH unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto SALVATION.
Acts 16:31- and they said, BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED, and thy house.
If one receives the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord they become a son of God.
John 1:12- But as many as RECEIVED HIM, to them gave He power (authority) to become the SONS OF GOD, even to them that BELIEVE ON HIS NAME.
Those that receive the Lord Jesus Christ become sons of God or children of God. They have been born of His Spirit and have the witness of the Spirit of God that they are a child of God.
Romans 8:16- The SPIRIT ITSELF beareth witness with our spirit that WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD.
To have the witness of the Spirit of God that you are a child of God, you have to have the Spirit of God on the inside of of you.
1 Corinthians 3:16- Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLETH IN YOU.
You would have to have the witness of the Spirit of God and have the ability to be led by the Spirit of God to be a son of God and a child of God. The Bible uses these two terms interchangeably (son of God-child of God).
Romans 8:14- For as many as are led by THE SPIRIT OF GOD THEY ARE THE SONS OF GOD.
Romans 8:15- For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear ; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The sons of God are led by the Spirit of God and have the witness of the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14-16). This is not a different Holy Ghost than the one who baptizes in the Holy Ghost. It is the same Spirit but a different experiences.
Just as the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11) are produced by the same Holy Ghost.
The ones who have received the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:12) have become sons of God and children of God and have the witness and leading of the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14-16).
The Samaritans in Acts 8:12 believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and were baptized in water (Mark 16:16, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9-10). They were saved. They were born again. They were children of God.
They were born of the Spirit of God.
1 Peter 1:23- BEING BORN AGAIN, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, BY THE WORD OF GOD, which liveth and abideth forever.
Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1-3, John 1:14, Revelation 19:13).
Titus 3:5-7- Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy HE SAVED US, by the washing of REGENERATION, and RENEWING OF THE HOLY GHOST, which He shed on us abundantly THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOR, that being JUSTIFIED BY HIS GRACE, we should be made HEIRS ACCORDING TO THE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE.
This passage is speaking of salvation, speaking of justification by grace, speaking of regeneration, speaking of eternal life, and speaking of the work of the Holy Ghost.
John 3:3- Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN AGAIN, HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
This is speaking of salvation.
John 3:5-7- Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water AND OF THE SPIRIT, HE CANNOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT IS SPIRIT. Marvel not that I said unto thee, YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.
The Samaritans after Phillip’s preaching in Acts 8:12 believed his preaching about Jesus Christ and proved it by being baptized in water. They were saved. They were born again. They were born of the Spirit. They were children of God. They had the witness of the Spirit. They were sons of God.
They were not however baptized in the Holy Ghost.
Acts 8:14-17- Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria HAD RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD (1 Peter 1:23, John 3:3-7, Titus 3:5-7), they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST: (For as yet HE WAS FALLEN UPON none of them: only they were BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.) Then laid they their hands on them, and THEY RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST.
Phillip had preached Christ unto them (Acts 8:5). They received the Word of God, believed and were baptized (Acts 8:12, Acts 14, 1 Peter 1:23, John 1:12, Mark 16:16).
They were saved, they were born again, they were regenerated of the Spirit of God, they were children of God, they were justified by faith, but the apostles at Jerusalem sent Peter and John to pray for them to receive the Holy Ghost because He had not yet fallen UPON THEM.
They were born of the Spirit but not yet baptized or filled with the Holy Ghost.
Acts 1:8- But ye shall receive power, AFTER THAT THE HOLY GHOST IS COME UPON YOU: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.
Luke 24:49- And, behold, I send the promise of My Father UPON YOU: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem UNTIL YE BE ENDUED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH.
This experience of having Peter and John come and pray for the Holy Ghost to fall upon them was a separate and distinct experience from previously receiving the Word of God, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and being baptized. This was being baptized in the Holy Ghost, being endued with power from on high, being filled with the Holy Ghost for the purpose of being a witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Each time in the book of Acts where believers experienced this baptism of the Holy Ghost, this enduing of power from on high, this initial filling of the Holy Ghost it was accompanied with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.
Acts 2:4- And they were all FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, and began to SPEAK WITH OTHER TONGUES AS THE SPIRIT GAVE THEM UTTERANCE.
Acts 10:44-46- While Peter yet spake these words, THE HOLY GHOST FELL ON ALL THEM WHICH HEARD THE WORD. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also WAS POURED OUT THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST. For THEY HEARD THEM SPEAK WITH TONGUES, AND MAGNIFY GOD.
Acts 19:2-6- He said unto them, HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any HOLY GHOST. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should BELIEVE ON HIM WHICH SHOULD COME AFTER HIM, THAT IS, ON CHRIST JESUS. When they heard this, THEY WERE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, THE HOLY GHOST CAME ON THEM; and they SPAKE WITH TONGUES AND PROPHESIED.