Wherever the Holy Spirit is present, He makes men of gold out of men of clay. – John Chrysostom
One of the most incredible promises that Jesus gave his followers is that we do not walk this Christian life alone. Nor do we walk this Christian road in our own strength. Just before Jesus left this earth, Jesus promised his friends that he was sending someone to be with us:
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. – John 14:16 – 17 ESV
Jesus promises his followers that he is sending the Holy Spirit to be with them and to help them in their walk of faith. I don’t know what comes to mind when you hear the word “Holy Spirit”, but sometimes people think the Holy Spirit is like some sort of “ghost” or “energy” or “force”. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. He is invisible; however, he is not an impersonal force or some ghost that lingers around; rather, he is a personal and divine being who is God. As part of the Godhead (The Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit), He is involved in all the works of God. He played a special role in the creation (Gen 1:2) and in your salvation. Even before you were a Christian, the Holy Spirit convicted you of sin. He drew you to becoming a Christian (John 16:8 – 11) and caused you to be born again (Titus 3:5). When you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit indwells you and helps you walk this Christian life. We call this the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit. This is what the Scriptures say,
But if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” – Romans 8:11
As he indwells you, he begins to produce fruit in your life as you lean into Him.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
– Galatians 5:22 – 23
WHAT IS BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a separate experience from the indwelling of the Spirit at salvation. In the early church, the disciples were instructed by Jesus to wait until they had been filled by the Holy Spirit.
“On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 1:4 – 5
Jesus instructs his disciples that before they leave Jerusalem, they’re to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Elsewhere in the early church, we see believers (Acts 8:12) being baptised by the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14 – 17). Besides the Holy Spirit dwelling within every believer at the moment of their rebirth, there is a distinct and observable event when the Holy Spirit comes upon and fills us. We call this the ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit.’ The term ‘baptism’ (which means immersion) is used metaphorically here. In water baptism, we are physically immersed in water. In the baptism of the Spirit, the experience is often so overwhelming and transformative that it feels as if we are immersed in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.” The baptism of the Holy Spirit brings a totally new dimension of God’s presence, Person and power into our lives. He also empowers us and equips us for daily life so that we can live and minister according to God’s will. We cannot fulfil the life or ministry God intends for us without the Holy Spirit filling us in this way. Surely, if this is the result, we should deeply desire to be baptised in His Spirit.
HOW TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT?
While being baptised in the Holy Spirit is a profoundly supernatural experience, we should not make it something mystical or spooky. Here are some simple guidelines
• We must be born-again believers. The Holy Spirit will obviously not empower and fill someone in this way whose life is not already given over to God.
• To be full of the Spirit is really to surrender yourself to the Person of the Holy Spirit.
• Thirst for for the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised us that if we come to Him thirsty, he will give us His Spirit.
• Ask to be filled. While we believe that God has heard and answered our request to be baptised in the Holy Spirit, we should not get into a crisis when “nothing happens” immediately, we should persevere in our thirsting & asking until there is a definite breakthrough.
• People can be baptised on their own, in a small group whilst being ministered to, or simply part of a congregation on which the Spirit is moving. It can be helpful to have people encouraging, guiding and praying for you, but this is by no means obligatory. Those ministering may exercise the laying on of hands (this is a Scriptural pattern for imparting the Spirit) but again, this is not a pre-requisite.
• Who can minister the Baptism in the Holy Spirit? – Any Christian can minister this baptism as long as they are sincere. They need not be a leader.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE GETS BAPTISED BY THE SPIRIT?
The Spirit comes on people in many different ways and how people respond. There is often a marked spiritual, emotional, mental or even physical impact when the Spirit comes upon us, but it should not surprise us: our finite being is being encountered and filled by the infinite God! But the response differs from person to person: some laugh, others cry; some are quiet, others are boisterous; some testify particularly to joy, others to peace or love or freedom. Various spiritual gifts may be given to the believer when he is baptised in the Holy Spirit; normally, these are only discovered and used later. However, people often begin to speak in tongues (one of the gifts) at the time of being baptised, such as what we see in Acts 2:4
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them – Acts 2:4
• But in some way, you will know that God has touched you.
WHY SHOULD WE DESIRE THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT?
The Scriptures say we should eagerly desire the gifts the Holy Spirit give us (1 Corinthians 12:23). The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to us to help us minister within the church (we’ll cover this next week). However, the gift of tongues is meant to build you up (1 Corinthians 14:4). It’s a language that God gives you that you do not understand; however, the gift of tongues helps you communicate with God when you are not too sure what to pray (Romans 8:26). The Scriptures make it clear that this gift is available to all. Ask God for this gift.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE BE FILLED?
Being baptised in the Holy Spirit is only the beginning of the Spirit-filled life. The Scriptures tell us to be continually filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18). Being filled with the Spirit is an ongoing, lifelong pursuit. We need constantly to be “refilled” because “We leak”! The reality is that when we minister and release God’s power into the lives of others, we get drained of His power in our own lives (Luke 8:46), by living in this world with all its pressures and demands, we can get side-tracked and start operating out of our own good ideas, no longer allowing the Holy Spirit access into our hearts. We should ask God in our devotionals or in our “quiet time” to be filled with the Holy Spirit daily.
A GIFT FROM THE FATHER
detriment. Jesus said this about the gift of the Holy Spirit when speaking to a crowd of people.
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” – Luke 11:13
Ask the Father to fill you with His Spirit.
Day 1: “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
– Titus 3:5
Day 2: “But if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” – Romans 8:11
Day 3: “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days, you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 1:4-5
Day 4: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” – Ephesians 5:18
Day 5: “”All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” – Acts 2:4
Day 6: If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” – Luke 11:13
Day 7:”In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” – Romans 8:26 – 27
- What is the significance of the Holy Spirit in the Christian faith, and how does the indwelling of the Holy Spirit impact a believer’s life and journey of faith?
- Discuss the concept of the “baptism of the Holy Spirit.” How does it differ from the indwelling of the Spirit at salvation, and what role does it play in a believer’s life and ministry, according to the text?
- In the “How to Receive the Holy Spirit” section, the text provides guidelines for receiving the Holy Spirit. What are your thoughts on these guidelines, and how might they apply to your spiritual journey?
- Speak to a Christian about your desire to being filled with the Holy Spirit
- Take time to wait on God to fill you with his Spirit