BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Although people refer to this step in various ways, terminology is irrelevant. Let us not get tripped up on semantics. Instead, let us focus on the meaning. First of all, The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit lives within us once we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
Peter replied, “Each of you must turn from 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.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you do because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
We recognize that once we are saved, we are indwelled with the Holy Spirit. Is that it or do we need something more? This topic confused me for years. I, personally, was taught that we received all we needed at salvation. Views vary widely on this subject. Nevertheless, when I prayed for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, my life changed. The power of the Holy Spirit was limited for a season because I was still burdened down with doubt and fear. However, when I relinquished control of my life to God and asked Him to fill me more and more each day, He did just that. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is actually a reference to the first time you ask to be filled. Unlike salvation which you ask for and receive one time, being filled is a daily thing. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that equips us for service.
As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new Christians to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers and they received the Holy Spirit.
Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who had heard the message. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles, too. And there could be no doubt about it, for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from Heaven.
For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks. You fathers, if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.
Sample Prayer for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Dear Jesus, thank you for saving me and for being my Lord and Savior. I love you so much. I now ask that you do as you have promised in your word and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Please fill me with power so that I can do good works for you. Please give me whatever spiritual gifts you would like for me to have, only for your glory. Thank you Lord for answering. I pray all of these things in your precious name, Jesus, Amen.
The Holy Spirit can and will give each of us spiritual gifts as He deems fit. And, yes, we should request them. Let us always remember, however, that the spiritual gifts are to EQUIP us for service. The gifts are given for a purpose. May we never focus our eyes on the gifts but GOD who is the giver of the gifts.