Baptism in the Holy Spirit
What the Bible Says About... | The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
On the Day of Pentecost visitors to Jerusalem witnessed the unbelievable sight of Spirit-filled believers declaring the glory of God in languages they had never learned. Their response to the supernatural was natural: "What does this mean?" (Acts 2:12).
Twenty centuries later the same question is being asked as the Holy Spirit is doing spectacular things all around the world, not just in one location.
One of the fundamental doctrines of the New Testament is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This experience is intended for all who profess faith in Christ and have been born again (Acts 2:39). John the Baptist prophecied that this would be part of the mission of the coming Messiah. He said, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." (Matthew 3:11).
Pentecost, a feast held fifty days after the Passover, celebrated the firstfruits of the harvest. It was only fitting that the Holy Spirit would fall on that day, for it ushered in the beginning of the harvest of the last days. "In the last days, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh..... and whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved," Peter echoed Joel's prophecy. And that day alone, three thousand new souls were birthed into the kingdom.
Why did the Holy Spirit come?
"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were 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).
Jesus and the apostles spoke often about the Holy Spirit, and what His mission would be, in the world and in the life of the Christian:
(1) The Spirit of God would help us in prayer. Paul told the Romans, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." (Romans 8:26-27). Jude instructed us to build up ourselves on our most holy faith, "praying in the Holy Ghost" (verse 20). Paul again told the church at Ephesus to pray always with all "prayer and supplication in the Spirit." (Ephesians 6:18).
(2) The Holy Ghost would reprove the world of sin and would draw men to Christ. Jesus said, "And when he is come, he will reprove (convict) the world of sin." (John 16:8). Paul said to the Corinthians, "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." (1 Corinthians 12:3).
(3) The Holy Spirit would give us boldness to witness. This gift was most evident in the life of Peter. Jesus told His disciples, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses....." (Acts 1:8). Again in Acts 4:31, we read, "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness." In Luke 12:12, Jesus tells us, "Take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: for the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say." (see also Mark 13:11).
(4) The Holy Ghost would teach us, and guide us into all truth. "But the Comforter," Jesus said, "which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things..... Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come." (John 14:26; 16:13).
(5) The Holy Spirit would glorify Christ. "He shall not speak of himself," Jesus said. "He shall glorify me." (John 16:13,14). He shall not lift up man or Himself, but everything He does will be to glorify Jesus.
After Jesus had arose from the grave, and before He ascended to Heaven, He appeared to the disciples and breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." ( John 20:22). The wind that blew through the upper room on the day of Pentecost is for you today. "The promise is unto you," Peter said, "and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." (Acts 2:39).
Do you want God's Word opened up to you? Do you want to be an effective witness for Christ? Do you want to pray effectively? You need to be baptized with the Holy Ghost! All you have to do is ask! "How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:13).