Sacrament of Confirmation: Biblical Evidence


Confirmation (1712), by Giuseppe Crespi (1665-1747) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]

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(5-6-08)

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[all passages: RSV]

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THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ON PEOPLE

Wisdom 9:17 Who has learned your counsel, unless you have given wisdom and sent your holy Spirit from on high?

Matthew 3:16 And when Jesus was baptized, he immediately ascended out of the water, and, behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descend like a dove, and rest upon him; (cf. Isaiah 11: 2: “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest on him”)

Luke 2:25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and pious, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

Luke 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, like a dove,. . .

Luke 11:13 So if you who are wicked know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

John 1:33 . . . The one on whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining,. . .

John 20:22 And when he had said that, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1: 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. . .

Acts 2: 1-3 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the blast of a mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues of fire, distributed and laid upon each of them.

Acts 2: 15-18 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was said by the prophet Joel: “And in the last days it will come to pass, declares God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions. , and your old people will have dreams; yea, and upon my male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they will prophesy.

Acts 2:33 Therefore being exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out what you see and hear.

Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them: “Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 5:32 . . . the Holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.

Acts 8: 14-16 Now, when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they would receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 10: 44-45, 47 While Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers among the circumcised who came with Peter were amazed, for the gift of the Holy Ghost had been poured out even on the Gentiles. . . . “Can anyone forbid the water to baptize these people who have received the Holy Ghost as we have received it?

Acts 11:15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them as it did on us at the beginning.

Acts 15: 8 And God who knows the heart bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Ghost as he did for us;

Acts 19: 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Ghost when you believed?”

Romans 5: 5 . . . The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us.

1 Thessalonians 4: 8 . . . God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Matthew 3:11 I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to wear; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Mark 1: 8 I baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

Luke 3:16 . . . he will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

John 1:33 . . . it is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1: 5 for John baptized with water, but before many days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Ghost.”

BE “FILLED” WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

Luke 1:15 he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb.

Luke 1:41 . . . Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit,

Luke 4: 1 And Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit,. . .

Acts 2: 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. . .

Acts 4: 8 So Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit,. . .

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke the word of God confidently.

Acts 6: 5 . . . Etienne, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. . .

Acts 7:55 But he, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God;

Acts 11:24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. . . .

Acts 13: 9 But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit,. . .

Acts 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 5:18 . . . be filled with the Spirit, (cf. Ex 31: 3; 35:31; Mic 3: 8; Si 48:12)

IMPOSITION OF HANDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Acts 8: 17-20 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost. Now, when Simon saw that the Spirit was given by the laying on of hands on the apostles, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that whoever I lay my hands on may receive it. Holy Spirit. But Peter said to him: “Your money perishes with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!”

Acts 9:17 So Anani’as left and entered the house. And laying his hands on him, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, sent me to receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 13: 2-4 While they worshiped the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Set me apart Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Then, after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them away. Thus, being sent by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they embarked for Cyprus.

Acts 19: 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them; (cf. possible cross references 1 Tim 4:14; 2 Tim 1: 6)

SEALED ”WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

2 Corinthians 1:22 he put his seal on us and gave us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

Ephesians 1: 13-14 In him also, you who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and who have believed in him, you have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we let us acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 4:30 And don’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

ANOINTING OIL FOR A SACRED PURPOSE OR TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT

Exodus 28:41 And you will put them on Aaron your brother, and on his sons with him, and you anoint them, ordain them and consecrate them, so that they can serve me as priests.

Leviticus 16:32 And the anointed and consecrated priest in place of his father shall make atonement, wearing the holy linen garments;

1 Samuel 10: 1 So Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed it and said, “Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people Israel?”

1 Samuel 16:13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him among his brethren; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day on.

Isaiah 61: 1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me. . .

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor.

Acts 10:38 . . . God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. . .

THE HOLY SPIRIT RECEIVED BY THE CHANNEL OF AUTHORITATIVE PERSONS

Acts 4:31 And when they [Peter and John] had prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke the word of God confidently.

Acts 8:17 Then they [Peter and John] laid his hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Acts 10:44 While Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.

Acts 11:15 Like I [Peter] started to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them as it did on us in the beginning.

Acts 13: 2-4 As they worshiped the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Set me apart Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Then, after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them away.
Thus, being sent by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they embarked for Cyprus.

Acts 19: 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them; and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

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So we see that all essential elements of the Catholic sacrament of Confirmation are present in Sacred Scripture, and quite explicitly. In addition, on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), when the Holy Spirit came upon and in all Christians, was presided over by Saint Peter, the head of the Church and first pope.


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