Last Updated on July 26, 2020 by Rayna
Blog post by: Rayna Piazza
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon youActs 1:8, New King James Version
Today I want to talk about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. But, before doing so I want to quickly review the basics on salvation and water baptism in Christ. Salvation is when we make a decision to believe in Christ and accept Him as our Lord and Savior.
You see, before you repent your sin separates you from God. The wages (what you earn) of sin are death or eternal separation from God (see Romans 6:23). And, God did not want to be eternally separated from you! He provided a gift for you which gives you eternal life in Jesus Christ; it gives you a way out! In His love for you, God sent His only son Jesus to die in place of your sins. This is the gift! Literally, Jesus’s death on the cross was the sacrifice for your sins. Jesus died for you so you could live in communion with God.
It starts with a prayer
Because of Christ’s sacrifice, you can now receive eternal life. How? By accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior through prayer. You do this by confessing your sins and declaring Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Here is a prayer you can pray:
Prayer: Father God, I choose to repent of my sin today and I turn to You for forgiveness. I believe You sent Your only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for Me on the cross. I know that You can hear me right now as I speak and I ask for salvation. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior today and I ask You to fill me with Your Holy Spirit and teach me how to serve You. I dedicate my life to You and I ask You to use me to do Your will on this earth. Amen.
As soon as you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior you live eternally with Father God and the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you. This is the beginning of your intimate relationship with God.
Water baptism in Christ is another act of intimacy in that your water baptism is a public declaration that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. The one requirement for water baptism in Christ is your belief in Christ. You can read more about water baptism in Christ here.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a step further into your relationship with God. We can see in the book of Acts that there was a distinct difference between being baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Let’s review some verses from chapter 19 in the book of Acts.
Paul at EphesusActs 19: 1-6, Amplified
19 It happened that while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul went through the upper [inland] districts and came down to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2 He asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed [in Jesus as the Christ]?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he asked, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John performed a baptism of repentance, continually telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, [to confidently accept and joyfully believe] in Jesus [the Messiah and Savior].” 5 After hearing this, they were baptized [again, this time] in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in [unknown] tongues (languages) and prophesying.
So, as you can see here, there is a significant difference between baptism in Christ and baptism of the Holy Spirit. Baptism of the Holy Spirit results in the believer now having access to the nine gifts of the spirit as God wills. More to come on that later. For now, let’s look at how Jesus described the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Introduces Holy Spirit
Before he went to the cross, Jesus told His disciples about the Holy Spirit in an obscure way. Now it is significant for you to understand that Jesus’s disciples did not really understand what He was talking about because He had not died yet. But, nonetheless, He told them that they would not only do the same things that He did (heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons) but they, his disciples or today’s believers, would do even greater things than Him.
12 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, anyone who believes in Me [as Savior] will also do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these [in extent and outreach], because I am going to the Father.John 14:12, Amplified
How would they do these greater things? They would do them with the Holy Spirit. Jesus goes on, in John 14, to explain the role of the Holy Spirit, who the Holy Spirit was, and why it matters to us. I highly encourage you to read the entire chapter of John 14 to get a full understanding. Here’s an excerpt from verses 25-26.
25 “I have told you these things while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.John 14:25-26, Amplified
The Holy Spirit is described by Jesus as our Comforter, our Advocate, our Intercessor. He’s also described as our Counselor, our Strengthener, and our Standby. God sent us (believers) the Holy Spirit in Jesus’s place to teach us all things. Here are the definitions of the words used to describe the Holy Spirit from Merriam-Webster’s dictionary:
- Comforter – one that gives comfort; comfort means to give strength and hope to or to ease the grief or trouble of
- Advocate – one who pleads the cause of another; one who defends or maintains a cause or proposal
- Intercessor – prayer, petition, or entreaty in favor of another
- Counselor – a person who gives advice
- Strengthener -to make stronger
- Standby – one to be relied on especially in emergencies
9 Gifts of the Spirit
The Holy Spirit releases his gifts individually to each one as He wills. We all receive a different set of gifts. These gifts are released during the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. As the body of Christ, each person has different gifts that they bring to the table. God designed it this way! God has a place for everyone and for each of their individual gift mix. Here are the nine spiritual gifts:
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the (1) word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another (2) the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another (3) faith by the same Spirit, to another (4) gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the (5) working of miracles, to another (6) prophecy, to another (7) discerning of spirits, to another (8) different kinds of tongues, to another the (9) interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.1 Corinthians 12:7-11, NKJV, (Emphasis mine)
Baptism of the Holy Spirit: How It Works
So, how exactly do we get baptized in the Holy Spirit today? Let’s read these next few verses in Acts chapter 8.
14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.Acts 8: 14-17, NKJV
You can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit by asking a believer (who is already baptized in the Holy Spirit) to lay hands on you and pray for you to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. But, this is not the only way. Another question you may be asking is who is the baptism of the Holy Spirit for? Is this for me? Let’s read a few verses from Acts chapter 10.
The Holy Spirit Falls on the GentilesActs 10: 44-46, NKJV
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
We can see here that God intended for the baptism of the Holy Spirit to be available to ALL believers, which included Jews and Gentiles. In Acts 10:45, the Jewish people who believed in Jesus were astonished as they watched the Holy Spirit fall on the Gentiles. Likewise, they then heard the Gentiles speak in tongues and magnify God. The Jews had never seen that before! In the past the Spirit of God had only manifested in Jews, but after Jesus died on the cross and through the baptism of the Holy Spirit everything changed.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a gift for all believers in Jesus Christ today. As in right now! This is great news and I encourage you to pursue the gift of baptism of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:8 Jesus said, “8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…” This power is available to every believer today.
Receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
On a side note, if you prayed the salvation prayer above I encourage you to ask the Lord to show you a local Bible-based church to attend. If you need help finding a church in your area message me on my Instagram or Facebook page. Also, check out my other blog posts to learn more. Your next step? Get water baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus and then go on to ask for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. God has a great plan for you!
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11, NIV
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