Does receiving the Holy Spirit mean baptism in water is unnecessary?


I have another friend that believes you don't need water baptism because once you believe that's when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and that's when you're baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. She gave me theses Scriptures: Acts 11:14-16, Acts 11:47-48, Matthew 3:11-15, Acts 10:44-48, Titus 3:5, John 3:1-5. If you don't mind, could you explain each one of these verses or give the meaning of them so I could explain to her better and accurately and could you give me verses as to why water baptism is needed or required. Thank you very much.


The point being made, which needs to be proved is that when the Holy Spirit comes on a person, then they are baptized in the name of Jesus.

The evidence given is:

  1. "'who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.' And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit'" (Acts 11:14-16). There are many assumptions being made, the chief of which is that Cornelius and his household were saved by the Spirit coming upon them. What is being purposely overlooked is that they were still commanded to be baptized after the Spirit came upon them. ""Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days" (Acts 10:47-48). According to your friend Peter commanded something that was completely unnecessary, which doesn't match the events. See Cornelius Received the Holy Spirit for more details.
  2. Acts 11 ends at verse 30. This is not evidence.
  3. ""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. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him" (Matthew 3:11-15). This is an account of Jesus being baptized in water, yet supposedly it is evidence that such baptisms are unnecessary. Yes it does mention Jesus baptizing with the Holy Spirit, and that was fulfilled in Acts 2 and Acts 10, but what is missing is proof that such baptisms would continue throughout the Christian age. See: Which baptism is referred to as the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5? for more details.
  4. Acts 10:44-48 was covered in point 1.
  5. "But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:4-5). Notice that there are two things mentioned that work in conjunction to save a person: The washing of regeneration and the renew of the Holy Spirit. See: The Washing of Regeneration.
  6. "There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:1-5). Like the passage in Titus, two things are mentioned as working in conjunction to bring a person into the kingdom of God: the water and the Spirit. The water is a reference to baptism once again. See: The New Birth of Water and Born Again Into The Kingdom.

It is interesting that the verses used by your friend to "prove" that baptism in water is unnecessary all mention baptism in water.