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There is nothing quite like the Super Bowl. It's a minority opinion, but the Super Bowl should be a National Holiday with schools, banks, and other organizations closed the following day.

If you win the Super Bowl there are several celebrations you get to participate in.

You get the field celebration in which you are crowned with a hat, clothed with a new shirt, and showered in confetti.

Later you get your own parade and a personalized ring.

The field celebration comes after the parade, but you don't get a parade without the field celebration.

They are both celebrations, both integrated, but unique in time and expression.

Something similar is happening in Acts 1:4-5.

ACTS 1:4-5

Jesus has raised from the dead, he has appeared to 100s of people, and these are some of the final words of Jesus that Luke records before he ascends into heaven.

He echoes and repeats something that John the Baptist had said earlier in Luke 3:16, but Acts 1:4-5 says it this way:

"4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: 'Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.

For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.'"

In this moment Jesus is referencing two celebrations that are integrated but also unique in their expression: the baptism with water and the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

What's interesting is John says that Jesus will do it, but Jesus doesn't do it until after he has ascended - which hints to us again that the priestly work of Christ continues even after his ascension.


Indeed, all throughout the book of Acts water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism were two separate distinct baptisms.

Sometimes they happened at the same time (Acts 2 and 19), sometimes they happen at different times (Acts 8), and sometimes in different orders (Acts 10).

A few notes about these two different baptisms:

  • Certainly, the Holy Spirit is present in a common way in the baptism with water
  • Receiving a Holy Spirit baptism is not a marker of "salvation"
  • However, we should seek and pursue both - being baptized with water and fire

The fire part is something many of us common folks keep at an arm's distance - it can be a little...different.

However, it certainly isn't something that the common folks of the 1st century kept at an arm's distance.

  • Fishermen, tax collectors, and soldiers sought to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
  • Wealthy households of merchants south to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
  • Congregations in Samara south to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
  • Disciples in "in the interior" of Ephesus (most likely merchants and traders) sought to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.

In other words, those of us that have experienced water baptism should also seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Lots can be said about this second, Holy Spirit, fire baptism - which is one of the reasons why the church calendar carves out 50 days to remember and teach about the Holy Spirit.