October 19th

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit  

21Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit John 20:21-22 NIV 

48You are witnesses of these things. 49I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. Luke 24:48-49 NIV   

4On 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. 5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." 6So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:4-8 NIV 

1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1-4 NIV

These scriptures show that receiving the Holy Spirit and being baptized by the Holy Spirit are different events.  In John 20, Jesus breathed on the disciples and they received the Holy Spirit.  Since Jesus instructed them in Luke 24:49 to remain in the city until they had been “clothed with power from on high,” it seems that Jesus was talking about a different experience from receiving the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus explained further in Acts 1:5 that the disciples would be “baptized with the Holy Spirit.”  Soon after on the day of Pentecost, the disciples received a special “filling” of the Spirit that was characterized by speaking in tongues and giving praise to God (Acts 2:4,11).  This was the baptism that Jesus had referred to and that John also had foretold in Luke 3:16

As we think about our own experiences with God, we can ask ourselves the questions that Paul asked the believers on his way to Ephesus in Acts 19:2-6.  First, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" and second, “What baptism did you receive?” While some people may be comfortable where they are with God right now, many may desire to be clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit.  This power is exactly what we need to maximize our effectiveness in fulfilling God’s mission for our lives. 

If that is your desire, I encourage you to pray the below prayer.  You may find it beneficial to have a fellow believer pray with you and lay hands on you.  The Bible gives several examples of people receiving the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands in prayer (Acts 8:17, Acts 9:17, Acts 19:6).

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

"Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit!  Please forgive me for quenching the Spirit in any way.  I turn from my sin and thank you for the forgiveness I have through your shed blood on the cross.  Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to live in me and to help me live the new life God has for me.   Lord, I ask for the baptism of the Holy Spirit today.  Please fill me with your power and anoint me for the work that you have called me to.   (take time to pause in silent prayer and receive from the Lord)  I receive from you and now move forward to do your will.   Please help me to see where you are working around me and to join you in your work.   Thank You, Lord!  I praise you now and forever. Amen."