THE HOLY SPIRIT
WHAT IS THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?
All believers should passionately expect and seek to receive the baptism of His Holy Spirit. Jesus promised this to His followers–that He would give us a helper to empower us in life.
“While He was together with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. ‘This,” He said, ‘is what you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’.” Acts 1:4-5 (HCSB).
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is separate from becoming Born Again, and separate from Water Baptism. Peter, one of Jesus’ followers said, “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came down on them, just as on us at the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ Therefore, if God gave them the same gift that He also gave to us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, how could I possibly hinder God?” Acts 11:15-17 (HCSB).
We have the same gift of the Holy Spirit that empowers us that was given to those first Apostles of Jesus! When we receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, we receive the equipping (or clothing) of power by God for life and service. We also receive the power and equipping of spiritual gifts and help to use them.
Jesus said, “And look, I am sending you what My Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.” Luke 24:49 (HCSB). If Jesus said it was important for His Apostles to wait until the Holy Spirit was sent after the resurrection of Jesus—it is important for us to also receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. There is no longer a wait as those first Apostles had to wait. Born again believers can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit now! When we do, He comes in power, just as He did to the Apostles on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2!
We must know that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not just for a select few—but He is for all that have responded to God’s call of salvation. It is God’s good pleasure to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. The Spirit is eagerly looking for believers that will yield to Him as He distributes His gifts, as it says in 1 Corinthians 12. Through the gifts of the Spirit, the blessings of God are released to those around us!
The Church has great need for the Holy Spirit, to witness of the Gospel of Salvation, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (HCSB).
We should eagerly pursue and be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. “And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:52 NASB).
What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Acts 1:4-5, 8: “In one of these meetings [Jesus] told them not to leave Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came upon them in fulfillment of the Father’s promise, a matter he had previously discussed with them. ‘John baptized you with water,’ he reminded them, ‘but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit in just a few days.’ …when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power to testify about me with great effect, to the people in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, about my death and resurrection.” (TLB)
Why do I want to be baptized in the Holy Spirit?
- The only prerequisite for being baptized in the Holy Spirit is to first have made Jesus the Lord and Savior of your life. As a person who has chosen to receive Jesus, the Holy Spirit is within you. (John 20:19-22)
- Beyond having the Holy Spirit within you, He wants to empower you even more by filling you to overflowing with His power.
- Jesus promised His followers that when He went to be with the Father, that He would send a helper for us. That helper is the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1)
- The day when the Holy Spirit first came to fill followers of Jesus is called, “The Day of Pentecost.” You can read about this in Acts 2.
- When a person is baptized in the Holy Spirit, there is an evidence or proof that fills us. We call that evidence, “Speaking in tongues” or “praying in the Holy Spirit.” It is a language that we can speak with our own mouths that cannot be understood by our minds.
- In our natural lives, we can only speak words that we can understand. When we pray in the Holy Spirit, they are words that only He understands.
- If you have received Jesus in your life and you desire to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, it is His gift for YOU! All you need to do is ask, and He will give it to you. (Luke 11:9-13)
The evidence of speaking in tongues.
Acts 2:4: “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
Acts 10:44-46: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.” (NIV)
Why is speaking in tongues important?
- Speaking in tongues is a gift to empower us for life.
- When we pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit Himself is praying the perfect prayer through us. (1 Corinthians 14:2, 14-15) Even when we don’t know what to pray, we can trust that He always knows exactly what we need. As we allow Him to pray through us, He has our very best in mind.
- It edifies us and builds us up. It repairs us, restores us, and rebuilds us from the inside out. (1 Corinthians 14:4, Jude 1:20)
- The Bible says that the Holy Spirit is our comforter. (John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:13) When we pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit comforts us in ways that go beyond our mind’s understanding. He gives us peace on the inside, no matter how things look on the outside.
- The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses and keeps us in the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27) When we need help in any area, praying in the Holy Spirit is like calling the one who knows all the answers and letting Him show us what to do.
- When we pray in the Holy Spirit, God is working things out for our good. (Romans 26-28)
- Praying in tongues helps us to control our tongue. When we give Him control over our tongue, it doesn’t leave room for us to say things that may not be true or things that we will regret. Instead, He is speaking life and truth through us. (James 3:3-8)
Receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit
Luke 11:9-13: “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
How do we receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
- Just like when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we simply ask. When we ask to receive this baptism, we are asking in faith. This means that we believe that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do. He promised that we could have the Holy Spirit. However, though He promised that we could have it, He never forces Himself on us. By asking to receive, we accept His promised gift and believe that it is now ours.
- Now we need to yield ourself to His Spirit. This means that we are trusting Him to do what we cannot do while we do the part that we can do. We are allowing Him to speak through us, even though we don’t understand the words. Our part is to move our mouth and use our voice and trust that the Holy Spirit will speak through us. (1 Corinthians 14:14-15)
Prayer to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit
If you have received Jesus into your life and you have the desire to be baptized in His Holy Spirit, you can do so right now. Simply ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit to overflowing. When you ask, you can be confident that He will give to you.
Now, begin to move your mouth, tongue, and lips–just like if you were speaking words that you know–but trust and allow Him to speak through you. It may sound funny to you at first, but as you continue to do this through your days, we know that you will begin to experience the presence and power of God in a whole new way.