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July 26th, 2010

Baptism of The Holy Spirit

Baptism of the Holy Spirit

What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

It is the immersion of a Christian in the full power of the Holy Spirit, empowering that person for mission. In this pamphlet the Baptism of the Holy Spirit refers to any time of empowerment by the Holy Spirit and should not be a singular event in a believer’s life.

How does one receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

At the time of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) the disciples were together in one place waiting and praying. In later instances in the New Testament church, the Holy Spirit was received when the apostles prayed for people and laid hands on them.

In Acts 10, however, there is no indication that Peter laid hands on the people he prayed for. It appears that those in the audience received the gift of the Holy Spirit while Peter was speaking. Some examples of receiving the Holy Spirit are: John 20:22, Acts 2, Acts 8:4-25, Acts 10, and Acts 19:1-7.

What is the purpose of the gift of the Holy Spirit?

The gift of the Holy Spirit is given to enable and empower God’s people for mission and ministry. The basic pattern is found in Acts 2. The Spirit is given (verses 1-4) and then powerful ministry follows (verses 5 and following). Trying to get the Holy Spirit in the wrong way, such as by buying the gift, or for the wrong purpose can be extremely dangerous. (See Acts 8:4-25).

“But it is the Spirit who does all this and decides which gifts to give to each of us.” – 1 Corinthians 12:11

How can I know whether I have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

The reception of one or more of the gifts of the Holy Spirit makes the internal, spiritual work of the Holy Spirit apparent in the life of the believer. Try to identify at least one gift of the Holy Spirit that you are using for service. Sometimes a brother or sister in Christ can help you identify your gifts.

Is speaking in tongues the only sure sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

No. In the New Testament the gift of tongues almost always accompanies those cases in which the baptism is explicitly described. In many, even most, cases, the gift of tongues will accompany the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

But in describing the gifts and how they are given, Paul indicates that not everyone will receive any specific gift (1 Corinthians 12:30) and that the Holy Spirit gives out the gifts as He decides (1 Corinthians 12:11).

The best indication that one is filled with the Holy Spirit is that one acts to carry out the gospel commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

Can someone be saved without receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Yes. Salvation is a result of the action of the Holy Spirit, and one receives the Holy Spirit, but one can always receive a new empowerment.

Paul told the jailer at Philippi: “Have faith in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved!” (Acts 16:31). But to be obedient to the Lord, one must also engage in ministry. Why would one refuse the power God offers to engage in ministry?

Do not pressure people to receive the Holy Spirit, but always encourage them to take hold of everything that God offers them to aid in their Christian life.

What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

  • Words of Wisdom and Knowledge
  • Faith, Healing, Miracles
  • Prophecy
  • Discerning spirits
  • Speaking in tongues
  • Interpreting tongues
  • Leading and Helping

In addition, God has called various members of the body to different offices in service. The gifts and the offices are different, even when they relate to the same activity. A gift equips for a ministry; an office is that ministry in the church. For example, one can have the gift of prophecy while not exercising the office of prophet in the church.

Is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit a one-time event? Is it possible to receive more of the Holy Spirit?

The Christian life is a journey. Paul says: “I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize.” (Philippians 3:12) This applies to all aspects of the Christian life.

We can always come closer to God and receive more of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

What is the relationship between holiness and the gifts of the Spirit?

The book of Hebrews describes the requirements for the priests to approach God and then calls for us to approach God boldly through Jesus Christ. “So let’s come near God with pure hearts and a confidence that comes from having faith. Let’s keep our hearts pure, and our consciences free from evil, and our bodies washed with clean water.” (Hebrews 10:22)

When we experience the Holy Spirit we experience the presence of God. Jesus told his disciples that this was even better than his physical presence (John 16:7).

Also Read – How To Receive The Holy Spirit

July 19th, 2010

Speaking By Holy Spirit

Speaking By The Holy Spirit

Jesus said “David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.” – (Mark 12:36)

Jesus tells us that David’s great Psalm 110 is Spirit-inspired. And that Psalm speaks to the greatness of the Messiah — the greatness of Jesus! He is Lord. Lord of the nations. Lord of all. Lord of even David. He will rule. He will triumph. And the power of this testimony is the Holy Spirit.

Speaking By Holy Spirit. Yes, the Spirit gave this testimony about Jesus being Lord through the King David a thousand years before Jesus came. When the Holy Spirit is present, Jesus is praised and his identity is proclaimed and this has been true for centuries!

The Holy Spirit speaks to us primarily through the Scriptures that he inspired to be written and canonized. This is our foundation of faith and life, the word that everyone has access to, the word that can be studied and discussed most objectively. Often the word that we need to hear has already been written, and the Spirit simply needs to bring it to mind. When Jesus was tempted by the devil, for example, his responses were quoted from Scripture. He had studied and memorized those words, and in each situation the Spirit led him to the appropriate response.

With Scripture, there is the potential for nearly constant communication with God, as we read and pray and live consciously in God’s presence. As we pray, we should also listen, for God may use our meditations to help us understand what we should do. We have the responsibility to read and study, for the Spirit usually works with words that are already in our minds. He works with our vocabulary, with our ways of reasoning, with the desires and values he has given us.

Today we are free to preach the word of God with little hindrance from political or social forces. The operation of God’s spirit in our new mind, through a knowledge of God’s acts, provides a pattern of action. In John 6:39 Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scriptures said, `From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’ But this he spake of the spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive; for the spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

Prayer : O Father, I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Lord. I believe the Holy Spirit gave testimony to this truth through inspired witnesses thousands of years before he came. I trust that as I draw close to you and I am filled with the Holy Spirit that my life will also be a testimony to the greatness of Jesus Christ my Lord, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Please read Speaking Boldly with the Holy Spirit

July 15th, 2010

Don’t Take Holy Spirit From Me

Dont Take Holy Spirit Away

Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. – (Psalm 51:11)

This desperate cry is from King David to God in his deep sorrow for his sin with Bathsheba and his cry for God’s forgiveness. The king before David, Saul, had blatantly disobeyed God and sought to rationalize his sin. God took his Holy Spirit from Saul. So David’s cry is understandable: in the Old Testament, God’s Spirit didn’t come to dwell in his people permanently.

However, I believe that the New Testament teaches that when the Holy Spirit comes into a person at his or her conversion, this gift of the Spirit is permanent. They can grieve, quench, resist, and ignore the Spirit’s influence, but God doesn’t take the Spirit away from them. Jesus promised that the gift of the Spirit would be with us forever (John14:14-16). Paul talks about nothing separating us from the love of God in Christ Jesus in the context of a chapter focusing upon the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:37-39).

We shouldn’t have the concern David voices as followers of Jesus in whom the Holy Spirit lives. Instead, when we hear David’s heart-wrenching cry, we need to be reminded of two things.

First, we need to be thankful for this precious gift of God’s presence within us to be with us until we return home to the Father (Eph. 1:13-14; 2 Cor. 2:2). Second, we need to be reminded of the hurtfulness of sin to the Spirit of God living within us and commit to honor God with what we do, think, and say (Eph. 4:30; 1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Prayer : O Father, I cannot fully comprehend the wonder of you coming to live inside me through your Holy Spirit. I commit to live my live more aware that every breath, every thought, every action is part of my worship to you as the Temple in which you live by the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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