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The Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Part2)

by Johannes Justus — posted in Holy Spirit, Pentecost, Works of the Holy Spirit on May 22, 2015

One can justly state that being born again into a new life is the basic work of the Holy Spirit. However, the logical consequence of being born again is the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

If we want to take the texts in the book of the acts of the apostles seriously, we must distinguish between being born again and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. First people believed in Jesus Christ, then they were baptized with the Holy Spirit – this is evident in the events in Samaria and Ephesus (Acts 8:12-17, 19:1-7), for example. However, from the biblical accounts we cannot develop a system how the baptism in the Holy Spirit should manifest. One thing is obvious, though: It will always be perceived. When someone received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, this was always accompanied by signs that could be perceived, usually by speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4, 10:46, 19:6), but also by power (4:31), prophecy (19:6) and praise (2:11, 10:46).

Are there other prerequisites to receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit? Yes. I would say that our expectations and faith play important roles. Only the thirsty will drink and only the one believing will receive. When I began to reach out for the baptism in the Holy Spirit, critics around me warned me. One even said: “You better be careful. You might even receive an evil spirit.” But I trusted in the wonderful words of Jesus: “If you then, being evil, 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!” (Luke 11:13).

Quite often Christians allow to be robbed of the blessing of the baptism in the Holy Spirit – through unbelief, doubt, fear of man, anxiety, indifference, lack of interest, etc. However, those who want to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, should desire and look forward to it – like a child looks forward to unwrapping a birthday present. Of course: The baptism in the Holy Spirit also challenges our faith. It makes us dependent on God and on the work of his spirit. Nevertheless, we can appreciate the baptism in the Holy Spirit as a wonderful gift from God. We need this empowerment to be witnesses, because God desires all men to be saved (Acts 2:38, 1. Timothy 2:4).

In addition to being baptized in the Holy Spirit for the first time the bible speaks of being filled with the Holy Spirit regularly (Ephesians 5:18). When we allow our innermost being to be filled with the Holy Spirit, other unprofitable things will be flushed out and God’s spirit can fill us, mould us und guide us. Living out of the fullness of the Holy Spirit will make us strong to face the challenges of everyday life and lead us into a deeper understanding of the word of God and the person of Jesus (John 16:8-11, 14). Thus, in the era after Christ’s ascension the Spirit of God is an important component in the lives of the believers.