Free audio sermons: Get free audio sermons through this free Christan sermon podcast!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020


(Part 1)


The Holy Spirit is an eternal and divine person, a member of the Godhead, compatible in nature with the other two members of the Godhead, the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14).  If we have no trouble conceiving of the Father as a divine person or conceiving of the Son as a divine person, then we should have no trouble conceiving of the Holy Spirit as a divine person rather than as an impersonal “it” or only a force, power, or influence.  Seven times in a single text Jesus used personal pronouns to refer to the Holy Spirit, referring to Him six times as “He” and one time as “His” (John 16:13).  This is but one of many texts that speak of the Holy Spirit as a divine person/being.


As is true of God the Father and Christ the Lord, there is only one Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:4-6).  The Holy Spirit is designated in various ways in scripture.  He is called the Spirit of God (Matthew 12:28), the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9b), the Spirit of the Lord (Luke 4:18), the Spirit of truth (John 16:13), and simply the Spirit (John 1:32).  In the King James Version, the Holy Spirit is called the Holy Ghost.  “Ghost” is an archaic word that means “spirit.”  When Jesus died on the cross, He gave up the “ghost” (KJV), i.e., His “spirit” (NKJV, ASV, NASB, et al) (John 19:30). “Holy Spirit” is obviously a better term than “Holy Ghost,” but if one uses the KJV it should be understood that the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit are the same.


The New Testament teaches that there have been various bestowals of the Holy Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit has been given to different people, at different times, in different ways, for different purposes.  It is profitable to examine these various bestowals or impartations of the Spirit.


Baptism of the Holy Spirit – John the Baptist declared that Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 1:6-8; Luke 3:15-17; John 1:29-34).  (Note: While Matthew and Luke also mention Jesus baptizing with fire, it does not come within the purview of this essay to discuss the significance of “fire baptism”).  It should be observed that Holy Spirit baptism is set forth by John as a promise, not as a command, and that it was to be administered by Christ, not by man.  No man ever baptized anyone in the Holy Spirit and no one was ever commanded to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 


The apostles of Christ were baptized with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:1-5, 8; Acts 1:26 - 2:1-4).  This was done in order for them to be qualified to speak (and write) “all truth” into which the Holy Spirit would guide them (John 14:26; John 16:13; I Corinthians 2:10-13.  (In context, the “us” and “we” in this latter passage refer to Paul and the other inspired apostles and prophets of the New Testament era [see Ephesians 3:3-5; Galatians 1:11-12].  It is an egregious blunder to take the words of Christ to the apostles and apply them to all Christians of all time!) 


Cornelius and his household, a Gentile family, received baptism with the Holy Spirit to show Jewish members of the church that Gentiles also were amenable to the gospel and worthy of acceptance into the body of Christ, the church (Acts 10:44 – 11:18).  Having been shown that Gentiles were acceptable to God, Peter preached the gospel to Cornelius and his household and commanded them to be baptized in water, which baptism was for the remission of sins or to have sins washed away and to be saved (Acts 10:47-48; cf. Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Mark 16:15-16; I Peter 3:21).  Holy Spirit baptism did not save Cornelius and his family, but served as a sign to Jewish believers that Gentiles should also have the opportunity to hear and obey the gospel (Acts 10:44-48; Acts 11:15-18).


While there is no specific record of the apostle Paul being baptized with the Holy Spirit, it is reasonable to infer that he was.  The 12 apostles had received Holy Spirit baptism on the Day of Pentecost (see above).  At that time, Paul was an unbeliever and an enemy of Christ.  Later, he was converted (Acts 9, 22, 26) and became an apostle.  He affirmed that he was “not a bit behind the most eminent apostles” (II Corinthians 11:5) and that “in nothing was [he] behind the most eminent apostles” (II Corinthians 12:11).  He received the gospel “by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12) and wrote “according to the wisdom given to him” (II Peter 3:15-16), wisdom which God “revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 3:5). 


The above are the only cases of Holy Spirit baptism mentioned in the New Testament.  Some 20 years after Cornelius and his family had been baptized with the Holy Spirit Paul wrote to the Ephesian saints (c. A.D. 62) and declared that there is one baptism (Ephesians 4:5). This is baptism in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for the remission of sins (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:36-39).  This baptism can be and is administered by man, but only Christ could baptize with the Holy Spirit.  In the light of Ephesians 4:5, it is both illogical and inconsistent for anyone today to contend for both Holy Spirit baptism and baptism in water for the remission of sins.  Holy Spirit baptism served its purpose and ceased.  Water baptism for the remission of sins continues in effect until the end of time (Matthew 28:18-20).


Holy Spirit baptism is not to be confused with the new birth in which one is born of water and the Spirit (John 3:1-5). The new birth refers to becoming a child of God through obedience to the gospel (Romans 1:16-17; Romans 6:16-18), otherwise known as conversion to Christ (Acts 3:19).  In this “new birth” process one is begotten by the Spirit of God through the word of God (Luke 8:11; James 1:18; I Peter 1:22-25), culminating in one being delivered from the waters of baptism to live in newness of life (Romans 6:1-6). 


Neither is Holy Spirit baptism to be confused with the reception of the Holy Spirit by all who obey the gospel.  There is but one baptism and that is baptism in water for the remission of sins (see above).  The reception of the Holy Spirit by obedient believers in Christ is an entirely different thing from Holy Spirit baptism and will be addressed in a future essay. 


(To Be Continued)


Hugh Fulford


Monday, November 9, 2020

What does the Bible really say?



As a sequel to last week’s “News & Views” titled “Where Does The Bible Say . . .?” this week we set forth some things the Bible plainly says.  Seriously reflect on these sacred truths, accept them, and take appropriate action. 


1. That there was a beginning in which God created all things (Genesis 1:1; cf. Hebrews 3:4). 


2. That the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork (Psalm 19:1). 


3. That Christ, in His pre-fleshly state, was the agent through whom God created all things (John 1:1-3, 14; Colossians 1:15-16; Hebrews 1:1-2).


4. That all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).


5. That God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to redeem the world from sin (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; I John 2:1-2).


6. That Christ was born of a virgin named Mary, being conceived in her by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:30-35).


7. That Christ died for our sins, was buried, and resurrected on the third day (I Corinthians 15:1-4).


8. That we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:18-19).


9. That without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).


10. That we must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (John 8:24).


11. That Christ is mankind’s only way to God (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).


12. That all must repent in order to be saved (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30-31; II Peter 3:9).


13. That baptism is essential to salvation from sin (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16).


14. That baptism saves us (I Peter 3:21).


15. That baptism is a burial in water (Acts 8:35-39; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12).


16. That Christ established His church (Matthew 16:18).


17. That the church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18).


18. That there is only one body/church (Ephesians 4:4).


19. That the Lord adds the saved to the church (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 5:23).


20. That Christians must continue faithful (II Peter 1:5-11; Revelation 2:10).


21. That the two great commandments are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40).


22. That Christ will come again to judge the world in righteousness and that we must all give an account to God of our lives (Acts 1:9-11; Acts 17:30-31; Romans 14:12; II Corinthians 5:10).


23. That heaven is the reward of the obedient and faithful (Matthew 25:34; John 14:1-3; I Peter 1:3-5).


24. That everlasting torment in hell is the punishment of the disobedient and unrighteous (Matthew 25:41; Romans 2:5-11; II Thessalonians 1:6-10; Revelation 21:8).


25. That if we truly love the Lord we will keep His commandments (John 14:15; I John 5:3).  


Hugh Fulford


How to be saved

Are you wondering how to be saved? Are you searching for information on how to be saved? Do you want to know what God requires you to do to be saved from your sins? Learn how to be saved from sin and have heaven you home by visiting today! There is also a good discussion on how to be saved at

Bible commentary search engine

On line Bible commentary

My Bible commentary books are now listed on, a VERY useful web site! Check out this neat web site and my profile there at this link:

Commentary on the Bible listing has helped me promote the "Bible commentary" products from - my "yelp listing" is here: Bible commentary profile

I added my "Bible commentary" profile to flickr and it was EASY! Check it out at

Blogs from

Are you interested in blogging? If you are looking for a "free blog" that is EASY to use, check out You can be up in running in just minutes - here is my first "Bible commentary" blog post:

Blog Archive