The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a New Covenant gift from the Father. It is a promise for all followers in Christ that is foundational to a successful Christian walk. Without the Holy Spirit saturating our lives we will never fully be free from sin, nor will we be an effective witness to the Gospel.
But although all of this is true, there are so many questions when it comes to receiving the Holy Spirit. One of the most common question’s asked is “can you baptize yourself in the Holy Spirit?”
In answer to that question, no, you cannot baptize yourself in the Holy Spirit because Jesus is the only Baptizer in the Spirit. However, you can receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit by yourself because the Bible tells us to ask the Father in faith for the Holy Spirit and He will give Him. It is important to mention that it is the Biblical pattern to see people receive the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands, although it is not a necessary requirement.
Now, there was a lot there that hopefully answered the question, but it didn’t quite go into detail on the explanation, and for that please keep reading.
Jesus is the Baptizer
The Bible makes it clear that Jesus is the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. We know this because John the Baptist said in reference to Jesus,
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11)
From this verse alone it is beyond clear that Jesus baptizes His followers in the Holy Spirit. Another verse to look at is Luke 24:49.
“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
Notice Jesus said “I send.” Jesus is the One who sends the Spirit upon His followers.
Also, the “Promise of My Father” is the Holy Spirit being poured out in power over all people who repent. Jesus called the baptism in the Holy Spirit “the Promise” on more than one occasion.
“He (Jesus) commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5)
“Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He (Jesus) poured out this which you now see and hear.” (Acts 2:33)
Jesus is the one who pours out the Holy Spirit on us. No one can baptize anyone else in the Spirit, only the Lord can do that because He is the Baptizer.
This is the first step in receiving the Promise of the Father: realize Christ is the Baptizer.
You cannot receive the Spirit through some special man or women of God laying hands on you without Jesus pouring out. You can’t even receive the Spirit through fasting and praying for days and hours without Jesus pouring out.
We can only receive the baptism in the Spirit through coming to Him in faith, and realizing it’s not our works or someone else’s anointing that will allow us to receive, but only humble faith in the King of kings that He promised this Gift is ours and He is willing to supply.
The Biblical pattern for receiving the Holy Spirit
Now that I covered that Jesus is the Baptizer, I do want to mention that the traditional method of receiving the Holy Spirit is laying on of hands.
Laying on of hands is when people who are already filled with the Spirit of God, lay their hands on those who are not, and pray for them to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is important to remind you, this is not them baptizing the receiver, but it is them praying over them to receive.
We see this method all throughout the New Testament. In fact, laying on of hands is mentioned as a foundational doctrine by the writer of Hebrews.
“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” (Hebrews 6:1-2)
The doctrine of laying on of hands covers many subjects, such healing and ordaining into ministry. It doesn’t always have to do with receiving the Holy Spirit. But for now, that’s what we’re going to use it for.
“Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:14-17)
Notice in this passage, the apostles prayed for the Samarians to receive the Holy Spirit by laying hands on them, and when they did the Holy Spirit came.
“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” (Acts 19:5-6)
In this passage we see again the traditional pattern of receiving the Holy Spirit is through laying on of hands. However, don’t get discouraged if you don’t have anyone to lay hands on you. There are many examples in the Bible that show that this is not a requirement. This is only the pattern that would be most ideal to follow.
Baptism in the Spirit without laying on of hands
There are multiple instances in the Bible that show men and women of God who receive the Spirit without anyone laying hands on them. Here are some examples.
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.” (Acts 10:44-46)
Notice in both of these passages there is not a single mention of anyone having their hands laid on them to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This is because Jesus is the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, no one else is.
How to be baptized in the Holy Spirit
The only requirements to receive the Spirit are:
You must be a follower of Jesus. Jesus said that the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit, only those who have repented and follow Him (John 14:17).
You must ask the Father. Jesus is the Baptizer, but the Father is who we ask. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)
You must have faith. Knowing that when you ask, you’re going to receive is essential to receiving. The apostle Paul said to the Galatians, “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith?”(Galatians 3:2) And again he says, “…that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:14).
If you will follow these three requirements, you will receive the Holy Spirit. If you want to know more about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, I have a complete study on the subject. You can check it out here.
God desires you to receive His Spirit. For “it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom” (Luke 12:32). All you have to do is ask in faith and you will receive. There is no hoops to jump through, just simple child-like faith.