The baptism 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.
Every believer who has made Jesus Lord of their life is filled with the Holy Spirit. From that very moment the believer becomes "Spirit" led. The work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is a daily, life changing work that is making us more and more like Jesus. But what is the difference in being filled with the Holy Spirit and being Baptized in the Holy Spirit?
Illustration: If you drink a glass of water the water is inside you but if you go to the beach and step out into the ocean you would be in the water. Jesus told the disciples...
"Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with* water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." (Acts 14:5)
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).
There is a marked difference in the effectiveness of the followers of Jesus after the initial Day of Pentecost and the out pouring of the Holy Spirit recorded in Acts. 2. These followers were emboldened and empowered to do the work of ministry in a dynamic way. The word Power in Acts 1:8 is the Greek word "Dunimus". That is the root of the english word Dynamite.
Who should be baptized in the Holy Spirit? The answer is...every believer. This is a gift from God.
“Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away all who have been called by the Lord our God.” (Acts 2:38,39)
HOW DO I RECEIVE THIS GIFT?
We start by believing that this gift from God is for us. God loves you and the Bible tells us...
For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. (Ps. 84:11 NLT)
"He will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right" He wants YOU to be baptized in the Holy Sprit. If you can believe this is true all you need to do to be baptized in the Holy Spirit is to ASK God.
WHAT DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT BEING BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT?
This Gift is FREE but it is radically life changing. The disciples loved and followed Jesus before they were baptized in the Holy Spirit. They were even effective in doing various ministry functions. But after the Day of Pentecost outpouring they were power filled for ministry in a way they had not previously experienced. It appears their passion level for Jesus and the work of ministry increased 10 fold. They were almost fearless in their ministry in the cities, towns and villages.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF I HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT?
When we ask Jesus to be Lord of our lives we instantly experienced change in our lives. Our desires, our hopes, our dreams, our Joy, passions all began to change. In a short time even our friends and family members saw the change in our lives our attitudes, our language and so much more. In other words there were outward signs of an inward work that was taking place inside of us.
This is also true when you baptized in the Holy Spirit. There are outward signs that the water is not just in you but you are in the water. On the day of Pentecost the believers were empowered and emboldened for the work of ministry in their community and in the world at large. Certainly it will be visible to you and to those around you when you receive this gift of the Holy Spirit.
WILL I SPEAK IN TONGUES?
And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages,* as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. (Acts 2:4)
The gift of the Holy Spirit Baptism, in at least five occasions recorded in the book of Acts, indicates the people receiving spoke in a language not their own. In most cases it appears to be a heavenly language not a man known language. Even in the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit it was recorded...
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:5-12)
It's clear from the text that the believers being baptized were speaking a spiritual language but the ears of the unbelievers were opened to hear them "declaring the wonders of God" in the language they understand. That beautiful spiritual language seemed to be a constant where believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit.
This spiritual language is different from the "Gift of Tongues" described later in the scriptures. The purpose of a spiritual language is to allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us, to be personally encouraged, uplifted and filled with the hope of God for the completion of the ministry work we have put our hands to in obedience to His call on our lives.
WHAT WILL IT SOUND LIKE? Praying in tongues is a big hurdle for some Christians. Fearful of doing it wrong or being more self than Spirit driven. In truth "Fear" often becomes an obstacle to our walk with God. We are afraid to witness to others about him. We are afraid to publicly worship Him. We are afraid to pray out loud. We are afraid to answer an altar call.
The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Why do we care what others may think? Let me encourage you with this story.. Many years ago as a youth leader I was teaching our youth about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The series went on for several weeks and each night after the youth service we prayed for those who wanted to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit. Our youth group was about 30 or so at the time and each night 2 or 3 were receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. Alfred and his wife were youth sponsors. Alfred was about 21 years old. He wanted to be receive the gift and he wanted to speak in tongues. He had not told me this and he did not respond to any of our altar calls except to help us pray for the youth who did respond. Each night after the youth service he went home and asked God to Baptize him in the Holy Spirit.
I was getting ready for work and my phone rang. It was Alfred's wife. "Pastor Alan, I want you to hear something." she said. "Alright go ahead I am listening" I responded. She put the phone up to the bathroom door where Alfred was taking a shower. I could hear him praying in a heavenly language. She got back on the phone. "He has been doing that for 30 minutes what should I do?" she asked. I was choking back tears enough to respond to her "Just let him go until him and Jesus are done".
I saw Alfred the following Sunday and he was beaming. There was a marked difference in his commitment level, his passion for Jesus and his overall ministry over the next several months.
So what does it sound like. Each believer has an individual and personal experience. There is no teaching you how to do it or if the phonics are right or wrong, it is just you and the Holy Spirit. Your tongue, your vocal chords, your willingness to call out to God and the Holy Spirits working through you. My prayer language is beautiful to me. I don't really care how it sounds to someone else. It is me talking to Jesus through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in my life. I do it most every day as I worship Jesus. I purpose to pray in English most often in public, so that everyone can understand what I am praying for and about.
If you have not yet been baptized in the Holy Spirit, I want to encourage you to ASK GOD. He loves you and wants to give you every good gift. If you want me to agree with you and pray over you for the baptism of the Holy Spirit let me know it would be my honor to pray for you.
if you want personal prayer for the baptism of the Holy Spirit contact pastor Alan at; firstname.lastname@example.org