A Christian from an unspecified confession made the statement to me recently that "The holy spirit was fully given to Christ at his baptism in order to give it to others through his resurrection".

This is not the teaching of my particular faith (Orthodox Christianity) nor was it, I think, a belief in the early Church. John Chrysostom writes, for example, "He came to Jordan not for the forgiveness of sins and not for receiving the gifts of the Spirit" (Discourse On the Day of the Baptism of Christ).

I am curious which denominations hold that Christ did, in fact, receive the Holy Spirit at Baptism, and would like links, if available, to doctrinal statements to the like. I think it would be best if you answer the question only if you personally belong to the specific denomination and are not surmising the beliefs of others. Thank you!

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    The notion that Jesus "received the Holy Spirit at his baptism by John" is totally inconsistent with the doctrine of the Trinity, a key element of which is that Jesus and the Holy Spirit have been co-equal persons (with the Father) and both of the same substance with the Father, since before time began.
    – brasshat
    Mar 5, 2017 at 6:46
  • "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him." Luke 2:40
    – Beestocks
    Mar 8, 2017 at 18:39

1 Answer 1


As a Reformed Baptist, I can say I have never heard this taught as worded in the question.

The baptism of Christ clearly states (Matt 3) "He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him" - and that the Father said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased" (3:17).

As taught in RB circles, this was a special manifestation of all three Persons of the Trinity at one time - as signs of: the Trinity, Jesus' special place in earthly ministry (which was to "begin" about 40 days hence after His wilderness temptation period), how His followers were to be baptised, that Jesus actually was God, and, perhaps, but only perhaps (ie, not dogmatically) that it was a special outpouring/enabling of the Spirit as Jesus was to enter His ministry period in the earth.

It has never, in my experience of 30+ years of paying attention, that Jesus didn't "have" the Spirit until His baptism. He most certainly knew who He was far earlier than this - else how could He, at age 12, have been able to debate with the religious leaders of the day in the temple, and tell His parents, "Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?" (Luke 2:49)

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