What is the difference between water and Holy Spirit baptism?

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I want you to explain to me the meaning of water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism - Assem. Ghana.

Water baptism is an outward form that demonstrates an experience of the heart. When a person accepts Jesus as his Saviour, then baptism is a symbol by which that person says to the world, "I have given my life to Jesus, who has taken away my sins. I belong to him and will follow him from now on."

In Romans 6:3, 4 Paul describes it this way, "Don't you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." One who has accepted Jesus as his Saviour and Lord has died to self-pleasing, and has risen again to a new life in which he lives to please God. In v. 11 Paul says, "Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."

The baptism of the Holy Spirit can be a simultaneous experience with water baptism, as it was with Jesus himself (Matt. 3:16, 17); or it may be a new experience that comes later on after a time of revival, as with the apostles at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-12).

The Holy Spirit is available to the Christian at all times. It should be our daily prayer that the Spirit of God will be with us to guide us each day in all the experiences of life. The baptism of the Spirit is not something given to us for our glory and honour, but to enable us to do the will of God. While in the different lists of spiritual gifts miracles of healing etc. are given, Romans 12 includes such gifts as 'serving' (v.7), and 'encouraging' (v. 8). 1 Corinthians 12:7 speaks of these gifts as being given 'for the common good,' and verses 8-11 speaks of other gifts given to different people - 'each one, just as he (the Holy Spirit) determines.' In other words, I do not decide what gift God will give me, his Spirit decides according to God's will.

So water baptism is the symbol of my surrender to God, indicating that I am willing to do his will and live by his standards. Baptism of the Spirit, put simply, is the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the one fully surrendered to God. Water baptism is a once-for-all experience. The baptism of the Spirit is a daily experience for the one fully surrendered to God's will, in which the Holy Spirit uses us; we do not use him.

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