Reformed support for Baptism with the Spirit

Reformed support for Baptism with the Spirit November 10, 2012

A friend of mine has recently published a free short e-book “The Promise of the Spirit: A Reformed View” by Peter Garner. This is available to download now.

It is a very helpful read, and contains such gems as these:

“To be born of the Spirit is one thing; to be baptized in the spirit is quite another. Moreover we should notice that the new birth is described in terms which mark out the Spirit as the Author leading to Jesus as the object of faith, whereas Spirit-baptism is by Jesus Himself, the Spirit being the One into Whom we are baptized.”

“Surely the terms used here indicate an experiential acquaintance with God which is actually seriously lacking among many genuine believers today. Do all our converts actually testify to such an experience of “rivers of living water””

“Peter clearly offers the people something called “the gift of the Holy Ghost” which is given after repentance, faith and baptism. How I grappled with that problem when reading Acts! As a good Calvinist I was committed to the belief, in accordance with Scripture, that the Spirit comes to the believer not after faith but prior to faith and in order to produce faith. Peter’s words appeared to support Arminian teaching. Indeed this is the way many Evangelical Arminian preachers present the matter. You repent and believe and then God will give you His Spirit and you will be born again, etc.” I well remember the joy when realizing the true meaning of the passage which accords perfectly with Calvinistic theology, when we are willing to admit that there is a receiving of the Holy Spirit which follows faith.”

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  • Adrian,
    Thanks for this post. I sometimes wonder whether we reformed Calvinists shy away from the gift of being filled and/or baptized by the Holy Spirit in fear of misunderstanding, misuse or even abuse of the Holy Spirit due to what we observe in others? This is also true regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit like the gifts of healing, speaking and interpreting tongues and distinguishing between spirits, etc. A gift is something “received” , not “grabbed by force”, and yet if not taken, owned and used, the gift remains in its wrappings gathering dust and in the end gets destroyed by moth and rust!
    From my study of the differences between the KJV and the NIV I can assure you Scriptures as clear on this subject. It is our fear for the unknown or the transcendental that is hindering us, causing us to miss out on what God wants to bestow on us!
    God bless,
    Herman of