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Was the Baptism by the Holy Spirit just for the Disciples?

HomeChristianity and the BibleWas the Baptism by the Holy Spirit just for the Disciples?

It’s clear from simply reading the New Testament that baptism by the Holy Spirit is not just for the apostles (Jesus’ first disciples). To see this, we only need to go to the most famous verse in the whole Bible, and read it in context. It is, of course, John 3:16. It’s important to read the whole section in John 3.

Here’s the situation: Nicodemus was a Pharisee, and a member of the Jewish ruling council. Nicodemus was not an apostle. He asked Jesus how someone can be born again (v4). Jesus answered this way:

Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

Jesus was explaining how anyone could be born again, which is a requirement for being part of God’s kingdom. That’s all the evidence we need, but that’s not all we have. We can also look at 1 Corinthians 12:13: For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Clearly, not everyone in the church at Corinth was an apostle…right?

We can also go to Mark 1:8 and see this, spoken by John the Baptist: After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. Clearly, John was not addressing only the apostles…right?

No, baptism in the Holy Spirit IS what makes one a “new creature” in Christ. We must be born again, which is a spiritual thing…performed by the Holy Spirit on everyone who believes the gospel and places their trust in God. Have you decided to trust God with your life yet?

Thanks for the question, Billy.

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2 responses to “Was the Baptism by the Holy Spirit just for the Disciples?”

  1. Red says:

    But what is the Holy Spirit, how is it manifest? Is it a high feeling, a falling on the floor, shouting up and down the isles, bells, lights? How does one acquire it and how does one know he has it?

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for asking! The Holy Spirit is a PERSON. He isn’t/doesn’t “manifest.” He is God, and is eternal, having no beginning and no end. One doesn’t “acquire” the Holy Spirit. One encounters Him. We may be indwelt by Him…He dwells in all believers. We can know this because the Bible explains it. What you’re describing is a feeling, or the kinds of things some people claim are the result of an encounter with Him. He is not a force, or a feeling, or even (as some believe) the presence of the Father. He is neither the Father nor the Son, being the third person of the Trinity. He is co-equal with the Father and Son, interacts with humanity in unique ways, and is God’s presence here on earth. The Son has returned to the Father, and they have sent the Holy Spirit to us. Jesus called Him ‘the Comforter,’ and said that He would guide us into all truth.

      I will take the time to write my own article about this, but thought I’d reply with a link for you in the meantime: Is the Holy Spirit a Person? GotQuestions is a good website. You can find all kinds of good stuff there. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!

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