The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

What is it and why is it important to my Christian life?

As Christians, we know how important it is to grow in the Lord, but many Christians don’t know about how the baptism in the Holy Spirit plays a key role in our growth. It’s important that we learn the emphasis the Bible places on this and not man’s opinion.

The first mention in the New Testament is from John the Baptist. He tells us that Jesus is coming after him and He will baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire. (Matthew 3:11)

Jesus speaking in the temple said, “If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (This he spoke of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:37-39)

Before Jesus left the earth, He had a final command to His disciples and followers. It was a commandment, not a suggestion because He knew this would be imperative to equipping them for the spiritual and natural battles they would fight.
He commanded them they should not leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father that He had told them about. “For John (the Baptist) truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” (Acts 1:4-5)

Why was this so important?

Because “you shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) The word “power” in the Greek is dunamis which means force, specifically miraculous power, ability, abundance, might, worker of miracles, power, violence (towards evil), strength. This sounds like something I would like more of!

The Holy Spirit equips us to be a witness, a person who knows Jesus and can witness and testify to the changes He has made in our lives, from our neighborhood to the ends of the earth!

So the disciples and many other followers including women, Jesus’ mother Mary and His brothers (His own brothers didn’t believe in Him till after He was resurrected – John 7:2-5) went to Jerusalem to an upper room and there began to pray. There were about 120 of them. Now they didn’t have any idea what was going to happen or how long they would have to wait. It turned out to be 10 day prayer meeting!

The Bible tells us “when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound form heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they sitting and there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire and it sat upon each of them and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)

Now there were Jews from every nation there in Jerusalem celebrating the feast of Pentecost. And they heard all the followers speaking in languages that these Jews knew they would not have known coming from Galilee (also an area that was seen as uneducated). They heard them praising the wonderful works of God in each of their languages. Then Peter was filled with a boldness he had never had before! God anointed him to preach the good news – the guy that just a few weeks before denied Jesus at His darkest hour. And 3000 people came into a relationship with Christ!

So the power of the Holy Spirit came on everyone who was seeking God just like Jesus said. They were given a prayer language, which in this case, God used as an evangelistic tool.

So did God include a personal prayer language with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit after the day of Pentecost?

Some people have been taught that tongues or a prayer language from the Holy Spirit that passed away with the Apostles or didn’t happened after the first time. I was raised this way and thought it was crazy stuff. Again, let’s look at what God’s Word says and not our comfortable opinions.

A few years later, there is a man mentioned named Cornelius, a Roman centurion who was a devout man who worshipped God and spent time in prayer. During one of his times in prayer, he had a vision where an angel appeared to him and told him to send men to the town of Joppa and ask for Peter the apostle to come and he will tell you the next step you need to take. (Acts 10:1-6)

When Peter came, he started sharing about Jesus being the Messiah and Savior of the world and that through the name of Jesus whoever would believe on Him could receive complete remission (freedom, pardon, deliverance, forgiveness and liberty!) of their sins. While Peter said these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all of them. Peter and all the Jews Christians that came with him were astonished to see that the Holy Spirit was poured out so freely on Cornelius and his household.

How did they know that they had received the Holy Spirit?

Because Acts 10:46 says “For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” That was the clear cut evidence to Peter and his friends that they had been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

About 10 years later scholars believe, Paul met some disciples in Ephesus and the first thing that he asked them was “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?” And they answered him, “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” (Acts 19:2) Note that Paul is talking about an experience that happens after a person believes in Christ. So Paul teaches them more about Jesus and baptizes them in water in the name of the Lord Jesus. After that, Paul “laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” (Acts 19:6)

So we see from these two examples (there are more) that being baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues after you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior is important to your walk with God. God had John the Baptist talk about it, Jesus talk about it, Peter talk about it and Paul talk about over many years span.

If you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are born of the Spirit (John 3:3-7) Now God wants you to experience being baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. God is no respecter of persons. He wants you to have the power of the Holy Spirit to help you grow in the Lord and overcome every challenge that you face.

Pray this simple prayer by yourself and/or with another believer:

Lord Jesus, I ask you to fill and baptize me in the Holy Spirit and I receive the prayer language of the Holy Spirit that you have for me.

Receive by faith and allow yourself to speak in other tongues.

Stay tuned for the next blog on The Baptism of the Holy Spirit:

The Benefits of Speaking in Tongues – Why Jesus Wants You to Have a Prayer Language of the Spirit

 

 

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