Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit

“John baptized you with water,” he reminded them, “but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit in just a few days.” The Living Bible

In Ephesians 5:18, Paul exhorts us not to be drunk with wine, but to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our Friend, our Comforter, and the One who gives us supernatural ability to live the Christian life.

When a person is baptized in the Holy Spirit she is given an outflow of power to minister to others. The Spirit convicts us of sin and gives us the ability and boldness to tell others about Christ. When we accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, we become candidates for the infilling of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead, the third Person of the Trinity. He wants to lead you and me in our daily walk with Christ. He wants to use us to bring miracles to others. He wants us to flow in the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12).

Many Christian leaders teach that the baptism in the Holy Spirit occurs at salvation, but the New Testament clearly shows us that salvation and the infilling of the Spirit are two separate events. In Acts 8:12-17, Philip, the evangelist, prayed for a group of new believers. They received the baptism in the Holy Spirit after they had already become Christians. The initial sign that is common to all those who receive the outpouring of the Spirit is the gift of tongues. Tongues is an individual prayer language given by God to all that receive this empowerment of the Spirit.

When an individual becomes born again, he receives the Holy Spirit in his heart. This is like taking a drink of the Spirit. When that same person becomes baptized in the Holy Spirit, he becomes immersed into the body of water that is the overflowing power of the Holy Spirit.

The good news is that God wants all of His children to receive this experience. Jesus said that if we would ask for this gift, He would give it to us, not based on our works, but based on His finished work at the cross. All we have to do is to ask in faith, with the desire to please the Master. If you haven't already, would you like to pray to receive this gift? Will you take the plunge?

Dear Jesus,

I come to You and ask you to forgive me for all known and unknown sin. I turn to You and ask You to baptize me in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Come Lord and fill me. Come and immerse me in Your presence. Use me to minister to others in the power of Your Spirit. I thank You Lord for doing this for me. Amen.

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