The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
in the Holy Spirit is the empowering for service that takes place in the life
of the Christian. It can take place at the moment of faith in Christ as in the
case of the first Gentile convert, Cornelius; but traditionally and experientially
it follows repentance, saving faith, and baptism (see Hebrews 6:1-2).
a believer to witness to the Lord's salvation and to demonstrate one or more of
the nine gifts, or manifestations, of the Holy Spirit (see I Corinthians 12:7-10).
Just as the indwelling Spirit reproduces the life of Jesus, the outpoured, or
baptizing, Spirit reproduces the ministry of Jesus.
To illustrate, if I had
a glass of water and took a swallow, then the water would be inside me. If, on
the other hand, I went down to the beach and stepped into the ocean, then I would
be in the water. We receive, as it were, a drink of the Spirit when we are saved,
but when we are baptized in the Spirit, it is as if that initial drink becomes
an ocean that completely surrounds us.
When we give ourselves to Jesus, the
Holy Spirit comes to live within us. The Holy Spirit places us into Jesus. In
turn Jesus immerses us in the power of the Holy Spirit, and from the experience
comes the ability to reproduce the works of Jesus, including miracles and healings
(see John 14:12-16, Acts 1:5,8).
Just as there are nine attributes of the fruit
of the Spirit, there are nine gifts of the Spirit. Before He ascended into heaven,
Jesus said, "John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the
Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:5). He also said, "You shall receive power when the Holy
Spirit has come upon you: And you shall be witnesses to Me" (Acts 1:8). When the
day of Pentecost came, Jesus' apostles were all together in the same house. There
was the sound of a mighty wind, and then tongues of fire sat upon them. They "began
to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4).
subsequent instances, when this experience came upon the people, it seemed as
if the Spirit of God activated their speech. First of all, this showed that they
had been empowered to witness for the Lord. Second, their higher speech centers
had been brought under the control of Jesus Christ. As James said, "If anyone
does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man" (James 3:2). The tongues of these
people had been brought under the Lord's control.
Finally, by the words they spoke,
they were able to do miracles. That is because the spoken word brings about healings,
miracles, and the works of power that Jesus did. All of this is encompassed in
the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
How Do I Receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?
You need to do a number of things in order
to receive this blessing.
First, you need to be born again. The person who
is going to be filled with the Spirit must have the indwelling Spirit and must
belong to Jesus.
The second thing you have to do is to ask. The Bible says,
"Ask, and it will be given to you" (Luke 11:9).
The third thing you have to
do is surrender. The apostle Paul made this need clear in the book of Romans when
he said, "Present your bodies a living sacrifice." (Romans 12:1)
must be willing to obey the Spirit. God does not give this power to someone and
then say, "You can take the part you like and leave the part you do not like."
If you want to be immersed in the Spirit, you need to be prepared to obey the
Fifth, you need to believe. The apostle Paul, speaking to the Galatians,
said, "Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of
faith" (Galatians 3:2)? The answer, obviously, is faith. You have to believe that
if you ask, you will receive.
Finally, you have to exercise what God has given
Having asked, having received, having been willing to obey, and having believed,
you need to respond in a biblical fashion. The Bible says those baptized with
the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost "began to speak with other tongues, as
the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4). This means they spoke the words that
the Spirit gave them. The Holy Spirit gave the words, but the apostles and disciples
There was action based on faith, not merely passive acceptance
of the blessing.
For example, suppose someone came to me and asked, "Could
you let me have a dollar?" and I said, "Certainly." Then I reached into my pocket
and handed him a dollar. What if he just looked at me and said, "You don't understand.
I'm terribly desperate. May I please have a dollar?" I would offer the dollar
again and say, "Here's the dollar." But what if, instead of taking it, he said,
"Oh, please, don't you see I'm starving? Let me have a dollar." We could keep
that up forever! The person would go without, and my arm would grow tired of handing
him the dollar. He would never receive it, and I would never give it.
minute he said, "Thank you," took the dollar, and put it in his pocket, that would
be the moment the blessing was received.
That is the way it is with God. God
is offering the baptism in the Holy Spirit to people who need only to reach out
and take it and then enjoy the blessing.
Would you like to receive the power of the Holy Spirit in your life? Call
our 24-hour Prayer line at 1-800-759-0700 and a caring friend will pray with you and send you some literature to help you better understand this wonderful gift of God.
Learn more about the Holy Spirit
Dr. J. Rodman Williams on the Holy Spirit
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Find a Church Near You
The Nature and Purpose of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Pat Robertson's Perspective -- Kingdom Power
Dr. J. Rodman Williams on "The Pentecostal Reality"
Dr. J. Rodman Williams teaches on The Holy Spirit
Understanding the Gifts of the Spirit
Baptism of the Spirit
I Told God No
Bible teaching on Spiritual Life
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