CBN TEACHING SHEETS
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Missing person: The Holy Spirit
Many people may have had an experience
like that of the little girl who heard the Holy Ghost (as the Holy Spirit is sometimes
called) mentioned in church from time to time, but so vaguely and infrequently
she could only guess what sort of ghost this might be. So one day, when she venture
down into the dark furnace room in the church's cellar, she decided with a child's
firm logic that this spooky place must be where the Holy Ghost lurked.
fact is, adult believers often act as if the Holy Spirit really was hiding in
the church cellar. They may know something about the Holy Spirit, but they don't
know Him personally or realize that He is God in the same way the Son and the
Father are God. When they read the Bible, many people are surprised to find that
the Holy Spirit was at the very dawn of time: "The Spirit of God was moving over
the surface of the waters" (Genesis1:2), and many are amazed to find out there
are approximately 100 references to the Holy Spirit throughout the Old and New
Nevertheless, the Spirit's role is fundamental both to creation
and the life of the believer. When a person comes to Jesus Christ, he receives
Christ into his heart. The Spirit of God comes and joins with the spirit of the
believer. This "indwelling Spirit" reproduces the life of Jesus in the believer's
What, Then, Is The Baptism In The Holy Spirit?
in the Holy Spirit is an empowering for service that takes place in the life of
the Christian (Acts 1:5,8). In it we are immersed in the Spirit's life and power.
To illustrate, if we drank water from a glass, then the water would be inside
us. However, if we went to the beach and stepped into the ocean, then we would
be in the water. We receive, as it were, a drink of the Holy 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.
Just as the indwelling Spirit
that Christians receive when they are saved reproduces the life of Jesus, so the
outpoured, or baptizing, Spirit reproduces the ministry of Jesus, including miracles
Why Do We Need The Baptism In The Holy Spirit?
a power beyond ourselves for service and ministry in Christ's Kingdom.
Jesus gave the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), He knew that His disciples
could not fulfill it in their own power. Therefore, He had a special gift in store
for them: It was His plan to give them the same power that He had -- the power
of the Spirit of God. So, immediately after giving them the Great Commission,
Jesus commanded his disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the
Father promised, "which," He said, "you heard of from Me; for John baptized with
water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now"
(Acts 1:4-5). He further promised: "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit
has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all
Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
disciples waited in Jerusalem as Jesus had commanded, and one day when they were
all together, "suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing
winds, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared
to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one
of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other
tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance" (Acts 2:3,4). Then Peter explained
to the crowd that gathered that they were seeing the working of God's Spirit and
told them about Jesus. The Christian church began that day with the disciples
and the three thousand people who joined them as a result of the day's events.
We can undertake making disciples of all nations with some degree of success
without the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but when we do, we are undertaking a supernatural
task with limited power.
It is God's will -- it is His commandment -- that
we be baptized, or filled with the Holy Spirit: "Be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians
5:18). The knowledge and reality of the empowering Spirit enables us to reproduce
the works of Jesus.
When May I Receive The Baptism In The Holy Spirit?
It can take place at the moment you confess faith in Christ, as in the case
of the first Gentile convert, Cornelius (Acts 10:44-46; 11:15, 16); but often
it occurs some time after the salvation experience (Acts 8:12-17).
Anything To Fear?
Some people fear that if they ask for the baptism in
the Holy Spirit, what they experience won't be the authentic working of the Spirit.
But once they do ask for it, they are always glad they did. God doesn't cause
us to do anything we don't want to, and all His gifts are good and perfect (James
1:17). Jesus said, "Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish;
he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will be? Or if he is asked for
an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know
how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luke 11:11-13). The baptism in the
Holy Spirit is an even better gift than any material gift you could receive, and
God wants you to have it because He loves you and wants the very best for you.
What Should I Do Before Asking?
The Bible says that a wise man counts
the cost before he begins to build a tower (Luke 14:28). This beautiful experience
of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a free gift, but you must be willing to submit
fully to God to receive it.
Jesus will respond to a totally yielded vessel.
He never asks anything of you that you are incapable of giving, nor does He ever
fail to give you something greater in return when you do give your all. The joy
He gives through total obedience to Him far outweighs anything you could possibly
There is one more important consideration: In Acts 8, a man named
Simon, deeply involved in the occult, wanted to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Peter sharply rebuked Simon, commanding him to repent. Therefore, if you ever
at any time had anything to do with the occult (Ouija boards, fortune tellers,
seances, horoscopes, ESP, transcendental mediation, hypnotism, or other such practices),
you must renounce and turn away from all such sinful participation, and you must
ask for God's forgiveness and cleansing.
How Do I Receive The Baptism In
The Holy Spirit?
You only have to do two things.
First, once you have
accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior you just have to ask God
to baptize you in the Holy Spirit. The Bible says, "Ask, and it shall be given
to you" (Luke 11:9).
Second, believe you have in fact received this gift from
God. The apostle Paul, writing to the Galatians, said, "Did you receive the Spirit
by the works of the law, or by hearing with faith?"
(Galatians 3:2). The answer,
obviously, is faith. You have to believe that if you ask, you will receive.
this prayer if you sincerely desire to receive the baptism in God's Holy Spirit:
"Heavenly Father, at this moment I come to You. I thank You that Jesus saved
me. I pray that the Holy Spirit might come upon me. Lord Jesus, baptize me now
in the Holy Spirit. I receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit right now by faith
in Your Word. May the anointing, the glory, and the power of God come upon me
and into my life right now. May I be empowered for service from this day forward.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for baptizing me in Your Holy Spirit. Amen."
having asked and received, begin to practice the power of the Spirit. An ideal
place to begin is where the first apostles did, praising God in a new language.
To do this, begin praising God out loud in whatever words come to you. Tell Him
how much you love Him. Thank Him, worship Him, and yield your voice to Him. Now
let Him give you new words of praise you never heard before. Praise Him with those
words, too. You'll find that thiscan be a very rewarding experience of communication
with God that will build up your faith. Continue to pray to God each day in the
language that the Holy Spirit has given you.
But this "prayer language" is
just one of the gifts that God wants to give you through the baptism in His Spirit.
The Gifts and Fruit of the Holy Spirit
The apostle Paul told the
Corinthians that the Holy Spirit would manifest Himself among them in special
gifts, of which speaking in tongues was only one: "Now concerning spiritual gifts,
brethren, I do not want you to be unaware....To one is give the word of wisdom
through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same
Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by
the one Spirit, and to another the distinguishing of spirit, to another various
kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues" (I Corinthians
Paul also wrote that the Holy Spirit produces "fruit" in the lives
of believers. These are virtues that demonstrate Jesus' righteousness in the lives
of His disciples: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22).
asking for the baptism in the Holy Spirit you are availing yourself of these gifts
for advancing God's Kingdom and allowing the Holy Spirit to further cultivate
in your life the fruit of righteousness -- two great helps in living a life God
can use mightily for His glory.
That's the way it is with God. God is offering
the baptism in the Holy Spirit to people who need only to reach out and receive
it in order to be on fire to fully serve Him.
Walking in the Spirit
By now you can see that the Holy Spirit is so much more than a shadowy figure
to pay lip-service to on Sunday morning. He can be with you and in your to bring
new life to your Christian walk. Likewise, the baptism in the Holy Spirit is more
than a single experience. It is a continual dependence on the Spirit for guidance
and strength in all circumstances. "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk
by the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25).
The baptism in the Holy Spirit cannot be earned.
You cannot become "good enough" to receive it. It is a gift from God. It is not
a "cure-all" for your problems. But the same wonderful power that enabled Jesus
to open blind eyes, to command the elements of nature, and to live a life pleasing
to the Father during His ministry on earth is also available to you. Ask, and
it shall be given to you.
Receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
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Scripture references are taken form the New American Standard
translation of the Bible.
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