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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Was Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit ?

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Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1174
Germany NRW

 Was Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit ?

Was Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit after John’s baptism?
We had a discussion in our fellowship about this question. Scholars are divided about this topic.
Most agree that that Jesus was born of the Spirit and into human flesh. He was undefiled by sin did not need to undergo a baptism of repentance for sins, but he underwent the same water baptism as repentant sinners did to “fulfil all righteousness - Matthew 3:15” so that he would be made one with us who were born into sin.

But what happened afterwards when he came out of the water? Was Jesus baptized with the Spirit just as the disciples were at Pentecost? Was that a foretaste of Pentecost? We read:

Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

Here is were theologians are divided:

Some say, how can Jesus be again filled with the Holy Spirit when he was already born of the Spirit and lived a sinless life? Wasn’t it just an anointing for service like the anointing of kings and priests? Was it not a mere witness to bystanders rather than a heavenly transaction?
That would incline that Jesus was not really in the similitude of man, but had something like a head start, an immunity against sin because of his godly nature. That would mean that he was sinless because his divine nature granted him perfection.

I do believe that Jesus, though very God, was made like us in every way. He overcame not because his divine nature exempted him from the need of overcoming but it was rather that he had to learn obedience and experience suffering and temptation as the son of man to bring us to glory.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

The answer of this question “Was Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit“ is crucial because it determines how we should view our need of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

I believe, Jesus, though son of God, born of the Spirit could not enter ministry before he was baptised with the Spirit from above ALTHOUGH he was already in him. He received the baptism of the Holy Spirit as the son of man. The Spirit came upon him as a dove, peaceful and gently, and the voice from heaven assured him and the bystanders, that he was the beloved Son of God.
Satan would not have wasted his energy to tempt Jesus, if his divine nature already assured him the victory. He tempted him because he was vulnerable through his human nature that was in the similitude of Adam, who caused to fall.

The disciples at Pentecost received the Holy Spirit with tongues of fire, because the Refiners fire had to burn in them for sanctification.
So I conclude that Jesus did not only undergo water baptism as if he was a repentant sinner who was in need of it but also Spirit baptism as any other believer with human flesh. If that is the case than I would argue that if Jesus needed the baptism of the Holy Spirit, then how much more we poor sinners!! My frustration is that quoting scripture is of no avail to those who do not see it, unless the Spirit Himself shed light on this truth. I do not want to win an argument but long to see powerless dear believers filled with the Spirit of God from above!

I searched through the writings of the divines and found a very illuminating chapter from Andrew Murray’s book

[The Spirit of Christ Chapter 2: The Baptism of the Spirit
John bare witness, saying, He that sent me to baptize with water, He said unto me, Upon Whomsoever thou shalt see the, Spirit descending, and abiding on Him the same is He that baptizeth with the Holy Spirit.' John 1:33
THERE were two things that John the Baptist preached concerning the person of Christ, The one was, that He was the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world The other, that He would baptize His disciples with the Holy Ghost and with fire. The Blood of the Lamb, and the Baptism of the Spirit were the two central truths of his creed and his preaching. They are,indeed, inseparable: the Church cannot do her work in power, nor can her exalted Lord be glorified in her, except as the Blood as the foundation-stone, and the Spirit as the corner-stone, are fully preached.

This has not at all times been done even among those who heartily accept Scripture as their guide.The preaching of the Lamb of God, of His suffering and atonement, of pardon and peace through Him, is more easily apprehended by the understanding of man, and can more speedily influence his feelings, than the more inward spiritual truth of the baptism, and indwelling, and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The pouring out of the blood took place upon earth, it was something visible and outward, and, in virtue of the types, not unintelligible. The pouring out of the Spirit was in heaven, a Divine and hidden mystery. The shedding of the blood was for the ungodly and rebellious; the gift of the Spirit, for the loving and obedient disciple. It is no wonder, when the life of the Church is not in very intense devotion to her Lord, that the preaching and the faith of the Baptism of the Spirit should find less entrance than that of redemption and forgiveness.

And yet God would not have it so. The Old Testament Promise had spoken of God's Spirit within us.The forerunner at once took up the strain,and did not preach the Atoning Lamb without telling whereunto it was that we were to be redeemed, and how God's high purpose was to be fulfilled in us. Sin was not only guilt and condemnation; it was defilement and death. It had incurred not only the loss of God's favor it had made us unfit for the Divine fellowship. And without this the wonderful love that had created man could not be content. God wanted really to have us for Himself, -our hearts and affections, yea, our inmost personality, our very self, a home for His love to rest in, a temple for His worship. The preaching of John included both the beginning and the end of redemption: the blood of the Lamb was to cleanse God's Temple and restore His Throne within the heart; nothing less than the Baptism and Indwelling of the Spirit could satisfy the heart of either God or man.

Of what that Baptism of the Spirit meant, Jesus Himself was to be the type : He would only give what He Himself had received: because the Spirit abode on Him, He could baptize with the Spirit. And what did the Spirit descending and abiding on Him mean? He had been begotten of the Holy Spirit; in the power of the Spirit He had grown up a holy child and youth, had entered manhood free from sin, and had now come to John to give Himself to fulfil all righteousness in submitting to the baptism of repentance. And now, as the reward of His obedience, as the Father's seal of approval on His having thus far yielded to the control of the Spirit, He receives a new communication of the Power of the Heavenly Life. Beyond what -He had yet experienced, the Father's conscious indwelling presence and power takes possession of Him, and fits Him for His work. The leading and the power of the Spirit become His more consciously (Luke 4: 1, 14, 22) than before; He is now anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power.

But though now baptized Himself, He cannot yet baptize others. He must first, in the power of His baptism, meet temptation and overcome it; must learn obedience and suffer, yea, through the Eternal Spirit, offer Himself a sacrifice unto God and His will,--then only would He afresh receive the Holy Spirit as the reward of obedience (Acts 2: 33), with the power to baptize all who belong to Him.

What we see in Jesus teaches us what the baptism of the Spirit is. It is not. that grace by which we turn to God, become regenerate, and seek to live as God's children. When Jesus reminded His disciples (Acts 1: 4) of John's prophecy, they were already partakers of this grace. Their baptism with the Spirit meant something more. It was to be to them the conscious presence of their glorified Lord, come back from heaven to dwell in their hearts, their participation in the power of His new Life. It was to them a baptism of joy and power in their living fellowship with Jesus on the Throne of Glory. All that they were further to receive of wisdom, and courage, and holiness, had its root in this: what the Spirit had been to Jesus, when He was baptized, as the living bond with the Father's Power and Presence, He was to be to them: through Him, the Son was to manifest Himself, and Father and Son were to make their abode with them. 'Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon Him, the same is He that baptizeth with the Holy Spirit.' This word comes to us as well as to John. To know what the baptism of the Spirit means, how and from whom we are to receive it we must see the One upon whom the Spirit descended and abode. We must see Jesus baptized with the Holy Ghost. We must try to understand how He needed it, how He was prepared for it, how He yielded to it, how in its power He died His death, and was raised again. What Jesus has to give us, He first received and personally appropriated for Himself ; what He received and won for Himself is all for us: He will make it our very own. Upon whom we see the Spirit abiding, He baptizeth with the Spirit.]

Any advice?

 2021/5/3 14:15Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5786

 Re: Was Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit ?

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Matthew 4:1


 2021/5/3 15:42Profile

Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1714
Tennessee, but my home's in Alabama


I think “baptism” and “filled with” are to be distinguished in this context. This is not to say more about Spirit baptism of believers after the apostles were dead. But, “baptism” as in Pentecost carries a specific prophetic significance that is distinct from Jesus’ divine nature/hypostasis/fullness of the Spirit.

Paul wrote in Colossians 2 that in Jesus “dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”. If He wasn’t “fully God” at birth, we have a problem. Thankfully, the Scripture teaches that He was. John 1:14; Philippians 2.

Jesus was full of the Spirit. He was always so. His essence was and is unchanged. Heb. 13:8. He was not “baptized” in the Holy Spirit. In fact, He is the one who baptizes with the Spirit. Matthew 3:11, Luke 3:16.


 2021/5/3 23:31Profile

Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1902

 Re: Was Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit ?

I agree with your understanding of Jesus. I think many reject the Baptism of Holy Spirit experience that Jesus had because their theology also rejects baptism of Holy Spirit for believers as well. TO them there is only one blessing nothing more to look for.

Jesus was born filled with the Holy Spirit. But his calling at that time was to live a sinless life without any ministry. This can be compared to a cup filled with water but it is still full even though it is just a cup. But at 30 years when he was baptized by John, Jesus received an extended ministry which increased his need for Holy Spirit. Now the capacity was increased from a cup to a well (or even a Dam). Hence God had to baptize him to fill this new capacity for him to fulfill this ministry.

So Jesus both before and after the baptism of Holy Spirit was full of the Holy Spirit but only capacity of the vessel that was full was different.


 2021/5/4 0:18Profile

Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 537


John 17:22

The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,


 2021/5/5 7:54Profile

Joined: 2016/7/25
Posts: 2


Actually it's not that there's only "baptism of the Holy Spirit" or "nothing more to look for".

Many who don't hold to a baptism of the Holy Spirit believe that there is still a need for believers to cry out for a greater manifestation of the Spirit's power in there lives and are to be filled with His Spirit ie. Paul Washer, Matthew Henry, Charles Spurgeon and so on.


 2021/5/6 0:57Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3427
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: Was Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit ?

Mark 5:41 - And taking the child by the hand, he saith unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, Arise.

I always heard that you interpret 'tongues' but translate languages. Some versions to say translate but just as many say "interpret."

Being the son of the Living God, the King of kings and Lord of lords, why would He make available something He never partook of? That is not logical.

God bless,


 2021/5/6 18:42Profile

Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1174
Germany NRW


(Being the son of the Living God, the King of kings and Lord of lords, why would He make available something He never partook of? That is not logical.)

You nailed it!

 2021/5/7 1:09Profile

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