Unless you’re brand new to the Christian faith, you’ve heard about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit or, more likely, you’ve heard about “speaking in tongues.”
Because the “tongues stuff” is usually the first thing people think of when they hear of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Why is that? Yes, speaking, or praying, in tongues—or in the Spirit—is evidence that a person has received the baptism, but it definitely doesn’t sum up everything that happens.
So why do so many people immediately define it that way?
Because they think it’s weird.
I’m just telling it like it is. Because for too long we’ve been convinced by religion that getting the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was only for the people alive in Biblical times, or we’ve been taught it’s just for those “overly emotional, holy rolling, kooky religious types”, or someone told us it’s a bunch of junk, or that it’s from the devil himself.
And that’s just what the enemy wants you to think.
Because if you think the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is weird, or spooky, or that it’s an evil tool from the devil, you’ll stay away from it won’t you? You won’t ask anyone about it, you won’t talk about it, and you definitely won’t look into what the Bible says about it.
And there—the enemy has won. He’s succeeded at keeping you from the most powerful tool God uses in this earth.
The Holy Spirit is a Gift
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you.” – John 14:16-17 AMP
Notice the first thing Jesus said was that He would ask God and God would give them the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit was a gift from God, just like Jesus was.
Who doesn’t like gifts?
We look at the gift of salvation that God gave us through Jesus and we think it’s amazing. We sing songs about Him. We give testimonies. We thank God. We live different lives because of the gift of Jesus. We should look at the gift of the Holy Spirit the same way.
The Holy Spirit Will Live IN You
Jesus also told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would live in them. Here is where I can understand why the disciples might have been confused. After all, they had Jesus in their midst. He was real. They could see him, talk to him, and touch him. So it was probably really hard for them to wrap their minds around Jesus saying that His replacement was going to live IN them instead of WITH them.
But we don’t have that same excuse, because we weren’t around when Jesus was; we didn’t get to walk with Him and learn from Him in person. We talk about accepting Jesus ‘into our hearts’ and we act like we understand what that means. It shouldn’t be that big of a leap for us to think of the Holy Spirit—Jesus’ replacement—living in us.
The Promise of the Holy Spirit IS for Today
Now plenty of people read what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit and dismiss it as something that was only for the disciples, or only occurred during Biblical times. In fact, whether or not the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is relevant is something that has been argued about in Christian churches across the world for centuries.
Take a look at this:
For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, [even] to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself.” – Acts 2:39 AMP
Isn’t it interesting how God put that right in there? The promise of the Holy Spirit is for you and your children—it’s for every single person that comes to God.
No matter what century or generation you’re born in, the promise of the Holy Spirit is to and for ALL of us.
Back in the early 1970’s when the charismatic renewal broke out we used to have certain churches we’d sneak out to—churches that taught about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. We’d sneak out of our church and into that church. We wanted some of what they had. We just didn’t know how to get it.
But if we had just had our Bibles, we would have seen that it says no one was left out. In Acts 2 verses three and four we read,
And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them. And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues), as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression [in each tongue in appropriate words].
God came on all of them—each and every one of them. God promised it to everyone—regardless of what century you live in, what denomination you’re under, or what background you come from.
If you believe, He promised the Holy Spirit to you.
Watch for Part Two of this post next week!
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