Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Pr. K. A. John
The “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” is understood to be a second baptism spoken of by Jesus in Acts 1:8. Specifically, it refers to the experience of believers on the Day of Pentecost described in the book of Acts (Acts 2:4). The following verses provide evidence that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a distinct and separate experience from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that occurs at salvation: John 7:37-39; Acts 2:37-38; Acts 8:15-16; Acts 10:44-47.
When we meet Christ and put our trust in Him, we are “born again” (John 3:3) and we receive the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Before Jesus ascended to heaven He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the “promise of the Father” had come (Luke 24:49). He told them that if they would wait there they would be “clothed with power from on high.” In Acts 1:8 Jesus told His followers that they would receive “power” to be His witnesses. So the disciples waited in Jerusalem for many days. On the day of Pentecost something amazing happened. The Holy Spirit was poured out on the early church. This is described in Acts 2:1-4. The Bible says that when the Spirit came, the disciples were filled (another word is “baptized”) with the Spirit.
This shows us that there are two separate experiences we can have with God. One is salvation, in which we receive God’s amazing forgiveness. There the Holy Spirit comes as a person to live inside us, and He becomes our Teacher, our Comforter and our Helper. The second experience is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, in which the Holy Spirit who is already in us overflows. The disciples had the Holy Spirit as a person within them when Jesus told them to wait for the Holy Spirit. “Baptized in the Spirit” means “completely immersed in the Spirit.”
When we have this experience, the Holy Spirit’s power fills us so full that He spills out. Also when we are baptized in the Spirit, unusual “gifts of the Holy Spirit”-which are listed in I Corinthians 12:8-10 begin to be manifested in our lives. We begin to experience His supernatural power. These gifts include prophecy, discernment, miracles, healing and speaking in unknown tongues.
When people were baptized in the Holy Spirit in the New Testament church, the Bible says they all spoke in tongues (see Acts 2:1-4, Acts 4:31, Acts 10:44-48 and Acts 19:1-7). A lot of people get hung up on speaking in tongues because it seems like a weird thing. It’s actually not strange at all. Speaking in tongues is simply speaking in a language that only God understands—even you won’t understand it. This happens as the Holy Spirit speaks through you about things you do not know. The Holy Spirit was sent to be our Helper. So when you speak in tongues, what actually happens is that the Holy Spirit searches your heart and speaks through you the perfect will of God (Romans 8:26-27). You actually utter the secret truths and hidden things which are not obvious to the understanding of your mind (I Corinthians 14:2,).
You need to realize that speaking with an unknown tongue is the voice of your heart. Speaking in a known tongue is the voice of the human mind. The Holy Spirit of God will give you utterance, the same as your mind gives you thoughts to speak (Acts 2:4). The Apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 14:14, “For if I pray in tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unproductive.
Notice that it was Paul who did the speaking. Ask the Holy Spirit to take charge of your tongue, then yield your tongue to His use. When your voice and tongue begin forming syllables around the expression that your heart desires to release, you will also speak in tongues. It will be your tongue, your breath, your vocal cords and you will be actively forming words. You will supply the sounds, but the Holy Spirit will supply the words—words unknown to you. It may seem awkward to you at first, but continue. Like a child learning to speak, you will grow.
The number one reason why some Christians do not properly receive this is
Baptism of the Holy Spirit is important because it is the promise of God to us, it is the power of God for us. It is important because it gives boldness. What keeps a Christian from witnessing about Jesus is the fear of being let down or the fear of being harassed. Prior to the day of Pentecost Peter was a man with a big mouth and a cowardly heart. But followed by the day of Pentecost the same man started preaching in public out of a tremendous courage and boldness identifying himself with Christ. It’s the same with the church. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit and His power you become fearless. You find that you cannot sit and wait quietly anymore.
One main reason why people do not receive it because they have not been properly prepared to receive it. To really receive this gift, before asking you have to know exactly what it is you are receiving, and then you have to properly prepare yourself to receive it. Once those two things have been properly done, then it becomes very easy to receive this gift. This is a gift that God wants all of His children to have, just like His gift of eternal salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. . Many have tried to receive this gift at an altar call at their local churches, but they have failed to receive it. They then walk away thinking that maybe there was something wrong with them or they were not worthy enough to receive this gift from the Lord.
Here are the simple steps you can take to be filled with the Holy Spirit:
1. Prepare your heart. The Holy Spirit is holy. He is compared to a fire (see Matt. 3:11), which means He purifies sin and burns up that which is not Christlike in our lives. Make sure you have confessed all known sin and made your heart ready for His infilling.
2. Ask Jesus Christ to baptize you in the Spirit. You do not need to jump through hoops to get God’s attention. He is eager to answer your request. Jesus is the one who baptizes us in the Spirit, so ask Him—and expect Him to answer.
3. Receive the infilling. Begin to thank Him for this miracle. The Holy Spirit’s power is filling your life. If you feel your mind is clouded with doubts, just praise the Lord. Focus your mind on Him and not on yourself.
4. Release your prayer language. The moment you are filled with the Spirit, you will receive the ability to speak in your heavenly prayer language. You may feel the words bubbling up inside of you. You may begin to hear the words in your mind. Open your mouth and began to speak, trusting the Lord to give you this new, supernatural language.
5. Step out in boldness. After you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, one of the first things you will notice is a new boldness. The Holy Spirit does not like to hide. He wants you to speak about Jesus to those around you-and He will give you surprising courage
There are reasons why many believers are not baptized in the Holy Spirit:
(1) They have been intellectually convinced by some theological argument that they were baptized in the Spirit when they were born again. And even though they are defeated, powerless, empty and fruitless, they continue to believe this theological deception.
(2) They feel that they are not worthy enough to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The fact of the matter is that the more unworthy you feel and the greater the sinner you consider yourself to be, the more fit you are to receive the Holy Spirit - because God’s gifts are given only to those who feel themselves most unworthy to receive them. If you have repented of your sins, it doesn’t matter how unworthy or unfit or useless you are.
(3) They do not thirst. They are not desperate enough. Jesus spoke a parable of a man who kept on knocking at his neighbour’s door, until he received what he wanted. Then Jesus went on to say that our Heavenly Father would also give the Holy Spirit to those who asked, sought and knocked like that man ( Luke 11:13 ). Since the days of Pentecost, the whole church has put aside every other work and waited upon Him for ten days, that the Spirit’s power might be manifested.
(4) They wait for some experience similar to the one they heard someone else testify to. They are not willing to leave it to God to decide what gift or manifestation is best for them to have. The Holy Spirit is received by simple faith.
Ask and ye shall receive (Gal.3:2; Luke 11:9-13). Don’t wait for feelings. But ask God to give you an assurance. Leave it to Him as to how He gives you that assurance. Didn’t He give you an assurance that your sins are forgiven and that you are His child? In the same way, He can also assure you that He has filled you with the Holy Spirit. What you need is not mere an experience, but power (Acts 1:8).
Being baptized in the Holy Spirit is not something you have to qualify for. Any Christian can ask, and Jesus is ready to do it. You can pray by yourself or you can ask someone else to pray for you.