Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Being born again, gives us the most absolutely amazing priviledges anyone on the face of the earth could have. One of those priviledges is having a special relationship with the Holy Spirit!
WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He is God, and He is the One who does the amazing work of "renewal" in our lives in order to make our spirit alive, or "born again". Titus 3:5 says:
"It's not by works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to His mercy He saved us,
through the washing of regeneration
and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
whom He poured out on us abundantly
through Jesus Christ our Saviour."
As a matter of fact Rom.8:9 affirms the truth that as Christians, we have the Holy Spirit,
"But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit,
if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His."
He also, empowers us with amazing abilities to know God better and do what God asks of us to do! He's wonderful!
Listen to what Jesus told us in John 16:7:
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth.
It is to your advantage that I go away;
for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you;
but if I depart, I will send Him to you"
Then in verse 13 he continues,
"However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come
He will guide you into all truth;
for He will not speak on His own authority,
but whatever He hears He will speak;
and He will tell you things to come."
And finally in Gal.5:22-23 the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit produces His character in us:
"The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentlesness, self-control."
Wow!! Isn't that cool! Did you notice, Jesus called Him He, and not it!! "When He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you..." Treat the Holy Spirit as a person. He is the person of God living on the inside of you. Scripture teaches us by posing to us a question in 1 Cor.6:19:
"Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?"
HE IS OUR HELPER
John 14:26 says:
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the father will send in My name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your rememberance all things that Isaid to you."
Jesus referred to Him as the Helper!
God has given us His Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us through this life. To remind us of God's truth when we need to make right choices. Whenever we need wisdom, understanding and direction, we can look to the Greater One on the inside of us to help us.
The Holy Spirit also helps us become better people. After we become born again, God wants us to be changed from the inside out! Changed into the likeness of God in character so that we can love God and people the way God loves us! When we go through the list of characteristics in Gal.5, we find out real quick how much we lack these qualities. How many of us could use a little more patience? Kindness? Gentleness? Self-control? Love? Well, when we allow the Holy Spirit to have control of our lives, He gives us the ability to become like Him!
BEING FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT /
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Bible goes on to teach us of a subsequent event to the born again experience. After Jesus death, burial and resurrection, we see in John 20:22, Jesus breathing on His disciples to receive the Holy Spirit. This was the disciple's new birth. (It couldn't have happened before Jesus went to the cross.) So then after the disciples new birth experience, and just before Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9), Jesus went on to tell them that they would be "baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." (Acts.1:5). Then in Acts 1:8 He said,
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
As a Christian, God wants you to tell others, and demonstrate to others the wonderful good news and His life transforming power! But you need the power of the Holy Spirit to do that!
It was 10 days later on the day of Pentecost that we read in Acts 2:1-4 about God pouring out His Holy Spirit on born again followers of Jesus Christ (don't forget this is happening to the same disciples Jesus breathed on to be born again in John 20):
"Now when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
Did you notice what happen after they were filled. They spoke in other tongues or a different language. That's a gift of God. It's a wonderful gift to have and every spirit-filled believer has the ability to speak in tongues for the purpose of praying to God! It encourages and builds you up!
(see 1 Cor.14:4 and Jude 20).
This is the first occasion where born again followers of Christ were baptized with the Holy Spirit. It happen to the same disciples again in Acts 4:31:
"And when they had prayed the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness."
And just one more verse to show you that this is a separate event to the new birth experience. Look at Acts 8:5-17. We won't read the entire passage, so let me summarize it for you. A follower of Jesus, named Philip, was preaching the good news about being born again through faith in Jesus in a place called Samaria. As a result, many people believed him, accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, thus becoming born again.
As a result, they were water baptized (vs.12). Although the Bible doesn't directly say they were born again, it implies it, since the Bible said "they believed" what Philip was preaching and "they were water baptized". We don't have the time to teach on water baptism, but one very important truth we know about water baptism is that it's reserved only for those who are born again believers, or followers of Jesus. (see Acts 8:36-37) This is very important to understand. So we can conclude we are now talking about Samaritan Christians.
Stay with me now. Look at verses 14-17 of John chapter 8:
"Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit."
There you go! As a born again Christian, you have the Holy Spirit's work of renewing you spiritually, and also living in you. But now God wants to fill you with His Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 says:
"...be filled with the Spirit."
HOW ARE YOU FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT?
"I (John the Baptist) indeed baptize you with water unto repentance,
but He who is coming after me is mightier than I,
whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.
He (Jesus Christ) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
Here's what is necessary:
- You must first be born again. If you're not click here to find out how you can be born again!
- Humble yourself. Humility simply means, recognize and admit your short comings and acknowledge God as the one who can help.
Jam.4:6 tells us that:
"God resists the proud, but He gives grace (His ability) to the humble."
- Ask God to fill you with His Spirit.
Listen to Luke 11:11-13:
"If a son asks for bread from any father among you,
will he give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
READY TO BE BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT?
Go ahead and humble yourself, and then ask God to fill you with His Spirit. If you're ready to do that, you might want to pray a prayer similar to this:
Dear Heavenly Father, I recognize the need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. I therefore ask Jesus to baptize me with the Holy Spirit, so that I can receive your power to be effective at sharing your love, truth and power to those who need you! I want to speak in tongues, so that I may pray to you that perfect prayer, and use it to build me up. I thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit. Help me to get to know Him everyday! In Jesus name Amen!!
God Bless you as you grow in your faith!