Before Jesus’ public ministry began, John the Baptist told the people, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:7–8). Jesus brought a new baptism to God’s people to mark the new covenant. Baptize means to dip or sink. While John baptized using water, Jesus “dips” believers in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Sprit indwells every Christian.
A leader within the Jewish community, Nicodemus, respected Jesus and told Him that he believed Jesus came from God. “Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God’” (John 3:3). Nicodemus asked for clarification, and Jesus explained, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:5–6) To enter God’s kingdom, Jesus says, we must be born again, which means we must be born of the Spirit. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to baptize every true believer. Paul tells us this marks us as Christians: “ In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 1:13). The moment you become a Christian, all your sins are forgiven, and God places His Holy Spirit within you. Paul described this as becoming a new creation: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The moment you become a Christian, God regenerates you. If you are a believer in Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in you today, and you are a new creation.