What is Baptized IN the Holy Ghost?

There is no such thing a being baptized IN the Holy Ghost.

Oftentimes you will hear a preacher or a Christian use the phrase, “When I was baptized in the Holy Ghost.”  There is nothing of the kind in the Bible.  You can be “baptized BY the Holy Ghost,” or you can be “baptized WITH the Holy Ghost,” [those are the same thing] but you cannot be “baptized IN the Holy Ghost.”  That is a term that Charismatics use to describe an experience they have had subsequent to salvation whereby they are suddenly endued with power from on high and generally evidence that experience by speaking in tongues.

The Holy Spirit baptizes you into the body of Christ the moment you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior.  1 Cor 12:13 says, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…”  The Holy Spirit puts you and every other saved person INTO the body of Christ the moment you get saved.   Eph 5:30-32 says that as a result of this baptism you and I are literally members “of his flesh and of his bones.”  Gal 3:27 says, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”  See there is no baptism into the Holy Spirit, only a baptism into Jesus Christ.  And this baptism puts you literally into his body and into his death.  Rom 6:3 says, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”

So, don’t be confused by those who preach a subsequent baptism IN the Holy Ghost.  There is no such animal!  Now, there is a subsequent filling of the Spirit.  But this is not a onetime occurrence.  This is something that happens over and over in our lives as we turn from sin and yield to Christ.  Eph 5:18 says, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”  We see many other places besides Acts 2:4 where the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost [Acts 4:8; Acts 4:31; Acts 9:17; acts 13:9; and Acts 13:52].  These are mentioned to show you that for us to do what God wants us to do in the power of the Holy Ghost, we must be continually filled with the Spirit.  He’s the one who gives us power over sin and power to serve [Rom 15:13].

This filling of the Spirit is not something that must be accompanied by speaking in tongues.  For more information on that problem see our question in the question archive called Is a Christian today supposed to speak in tongues?  And being filled with the Spirit does not necessarily involve a major emotional or spiritual experience.  The Spirit’s filling may be very calm or it may be very powerful.  Much depends on how much sin you have to let go of and how much of your life you still have to surrender to the Lord after you get saved.

If you are waiting on a feeling or on strong visible or verbal evidence of the Spirit’s filling you will probably end up being deceived, instead, by your flesh or by an evil spirit.  So quit waiting on that.  The Lord is more willing to fill you with his Spirit than you are to be filled with him.  Just remember, you and I must be filled with the Spirit continually in order to serve God fully but we don’t have to feel anything or say anything to know that we are filled.  And this filling is NOT a baptism in the Holy Ghost.

Hope this helps,

Pastor Bevans Welder