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The Baptism with the Spirit—Distinct from Salvation? by Michael D. Peters


Over the years historic Christianity dissected the parts of salvation. New Christians are taught to receive a part at a time rather than receive the whole package. There are those who come to faith in Christ; then months or years later they are water baptized, and two to three years after that they are baptized with the Spirit. That is the result of historic Christianity, not biblical Christianity. Biblical Christianity called for salvation that involved repentance, faith, new birth, water baptism, and Spirit baptism. All of it was included. That does not imply that all of these are the same or occur simultaneously. They are each distinct and occur distinctly, but they are part of the whole. The Baptism with the Spirit is distinct from initial salvation through new birth, but it is part of the whole of salvation.





1.   Martin Lloyd-Jones, Joy Unspeakable: Power and Renewal in the Holy Spirit (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, 1984), 21. Used permission of Harold Shaw Publishers.
2.   John MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992), 189. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
3.   It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word napah, to blow or to breathe, is used to connote the giving of life in the creation of man (Gen.2:7) and the revitalization of dry bones in Ezekiel’s prophecy (Ez. 37:9). In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament which was in use before the birth of Jesus, the word napah is connected to phusao, the root word which appears in John 20:22, “He breathed on them.”
4.   MacArthur, 176-7.
5.   John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, The Gospel According to St. John 11-21 and The First Epistle of John, trans. by T.H.L. Parker, David Torrance and Thomas Torrance (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988), 205. Used by permission of Eerdmans Publishing.
6.   Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John. The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971), 847. Used by  permission of Eerdmans Publishing.
7.   R.C.H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1961), 1374. Used by permission of Augsburg Publishers.
8.   R.C.H. Lenski, a Lutheran, explained their receptions in this manner: “The very expression indicates that the Charismatic gift of the Spirit is being referred to, which comes in a miraculous way and is apparent to all who might be present. “Had fallen” recalls what happened at the time of Pentecost. The Samaritan believers had not yet been distinguished by this sign of the Spirit’s presence; it had been delayed until this time.” R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of the Acts of the Apostles  (Minneapolis, Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), 324.
9.   MacArthur, 184-6.
10. MacArthur, 187.
11. Lloyd-Jones, 36. 12. D. C. Carson, Showing The Spirit, A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians 12-14 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1987), 160. Used by permission of Baker Book House.


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Category: Fall 1998, Pneuma Review, Spirit

About the Author: Michael D. Peters has ministered among charismatic and noncharismatic Christians for over twenty-five years. For the past 14 years (as of Fall 1998) he has pastored Christ the King Covenant Church in Webster Groves, Missouri. He hold a Masters in Theology from Covenant Theological Seminary and is presently pursuing a doctorate in historical theology at Saint Louis University.

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