Q. Is receiving the Holy Spirit the same as being baptized with the Holy Spirt? If not, please explain the difference.
A. Speaking of Jesus, John the Baptist said, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matt. 3:11).
As he said, John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. This signified that that the people being baptized had changed their minds about the need for a savior instead of relying on their own works to save them. But John’s baptism didn’t save anyone. When Jesus was resurrected He breathed on the disciples and they received the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). Since then every believer receives the Holy Spirit at the moment of belief (Ephesians 1:13-14) .
We fulfill John’s teaching on the need for repentance when we change our minds and agree that we need a Savior. We fulfill His prophecy about Jesus baptizing us with the Holy Spirit when we believe that He is our savior, who died for our sins and rose again, and have the Holy Spirit sealed in our heart (2 Cor. 1:21-22). Therefore, receiving the Holy Spirit and being baptized with the Holy Spirit are one and the same.