Acts 1:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 1:5, NIV: For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'

Acts 1:5, ESV: for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 1:5, KJV: For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Acts 1:5, NASB: for John baptizedwith water, but you will be baptizedwith the Holy Spiritnot many days from now.'

Acts 1:5, NLT: John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'

Acts 1:5, CSB: for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days."

What does Acts 1:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John the Baptist was the last of the Old Testament-era prophets and the herald of Jesus, the Jewish Messiah. John was identified as such before his birth (Luke 1:13–17) and seemed to accept his role humbly and with confidence (John 1:19–28), only experiencing pangs of doubt when his death was imminent (Matthew 11:2–6). Jesus declared him to be the greatest man who lived in the pre-church era (Matthew 11:11). "John's baptism" was functionally a traditional baptism in Judaism wherein those who accepted his message made a public sign by being submerged in water. John preached about the need to repent of one's sins to receive forgiveness from God (Mark 1:4) and people accepted his message in droves (Matthew 3:5). Although his ministry seems to have been restricted to the Jordan River east of Jerusalem, years later Paul found his followers in the middle of present-day Asia Minor (Acts 19:1–3).

John never had any illusions about his own importance. His life was dedicated to turning people's hearts to God so they could see who Jesus was (Mark 1:2–3). His water baptism symbolized an intentional turning away from sin and toward God. He knew that full salvation would come through Jesus and the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:7–8).

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a new concept for the disciples. In the Old Testament, God's servants were occasionally filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit temporarily came upon them when God wanted to equip them with a specific skill, like craftsmanship (Exodus 31:3), prophecy (Micah 3:8), or authority (1 Samuel 16:13). Very rarely, that filling seems to have been for a lifetime, as with John the Baptist (Luke 1:15). Believers today can be filled with the Spirit in a similar way (Acts 7:55; Ephesians 5:18) but, like in the Old Testament, this is a temporary condition for a specific purpose.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a permanent condition wherein the Holy Spirit establishes a link with the spirit of a new believer. The Holy Spirit will never leave a believer, even if we grieve Him through our sin (Ephesians 4:30). The Holy Spirit first comes to Christ-followers about nine days after Jesus ascends into heaven, during the feast of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–4).

The coming of the Holy Spirit is a bittersweet concept for the disciples because He can't come unless Jesus leaves (John 16:7). The Holy Spirit must come if the kingdom of God is to develop in the form of the worldwide church. The disciples can't fathom the idea of "the church," let alone establish it, without the Holy Spirit (John 16:12). The Holy Spirit will "convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment" (John 16:8), a concept that is foreign to the Greeks because it requires resurrection (Acts 17:31–32). And the Holy Spirit will tell Jesus-followers the truth about God and His plans (John 16:13).