What is the difference between baptism of the Holy Spirit and receiving the Holy Spirit (or being filled with the Holy Spirit)? Do these two mean the same? I am open to the different views given by the denominations that exist today.
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closed as too broad by Nathaniel, bruised reed, Lee Woofenden, curiousdannii, Mr. Bultitude Apr 7 at 18:44
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Note: The answers here will really depend on your doctrinal perspective.
The word baptism is not a translation from the Greek, but a transliteration. The word was used when describing the dying of fabrics. The fabric was plunged into the dye and then changed forever as the dye stayed with the fabric.
So, baptism of the Holy Spirit seems to either refer to us being plunged into the Spirit or the Spirit being plunged into us. Receiving the Holy Spirit, then, would seem to be pretty similar, or perhaps the result of baptism by the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps we could say that in baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit.
There was a time when the disciples followed the Lord Jesus without the benefit of the Holy Spirit. They followed out of faith alone believing in His promises. It is the most basic form of faith.
Yet all that changed one day. When Jesus was resurrected and glorified their relationship changed. As He appeared to them breathed (just as His father had done to Adam) the breath of life, that is the abundant life, the eternal life, that is in the Holy Spirit.
They were granted His great authority because now they were united with Him in the Holy Spirit. Conversion had occurred as they were united with Him. But there was more to come. Before His ascension he told them that there was a power to come.
They followed in obedience His instructions until the day of Pentecost.
The explanation was supplied by Spirit filled Peter.
The receiving and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are therefore two different yet very related events.
The receiving of the Holy Spirit by a believer unites them with Christ in a supernatural way. That relationship never to be broken because it was created by the Lord. It places in the believer's life everything that is necessary for them to serve the Lord such as faith, spiritual gifts, communication through prayer, understanding of God's Word, etc. But it does not unleash the spiritual power.
Spiritual power comes with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is the spark that ignites the fire of ministry to the world. An example would be the car that you drive. As it sits in your driveway ready to do everything that is necessary for it to operate with power is present. Fuel, electricity, oil, engine, everything that is necessary for it run as it should. But until the key is placed in the ignition and turned on, is that power unleashed. Turning the switch allows the potential that is already there to come to life. It is like the tongues of fire at Pentecost to a car that is already to go.