Last week, I told you how you have access to THE MOST POWERFUL tool in the earth—the Holy Spirit.
Why It’s Critical That You Get It
Now that we’ve cleared up some of the crazy things you might have heard, or even thought, about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, let’s dig deeper. Because getting past the idea that it’s spooky or weird isn’t enough. Accepting that the Holy Spirit is a gift and that it’s for today is a step in the right direction, but that’s not enough either.
You need to know what God’s point was.
You need to know why it matters.
You need to know what Jesus said.
Jesus Said Don’t Leave Home Without It
In Acts 1:4-5 we read:
And while being in their company and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised, Of which [He said] you have heard Me speak. For John baptized with water, but not many days from now you shall be baptized with (placed in, introduced into) the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus told the disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit. He emphasized it. He made sure the disciples knew it was critical. We see how critical they thought it was in Acts 8 where we read that Phillip went to Samaria to preach. Verses 14-17 say:
Now when the apostles (special messengers) at Jerusalem heard that [the country of] Samaria had accepted and welcomed the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. And they came down and prayed for them that the Samaritans might receive the Holy Spirit; For He had not yet fallen upon any of them, but they had only been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then [the apostles] laid their hands on them one by one, and they received the Holy Spirit.”
How important did the church think the Holy Spirit was in their lives? Did they say, “Hey, good for you that you received the Word of God, but listen, we’ll talk to you a few years from now?” Was that their attitude? Did they talk and say, “We’ll get up to Samaria at some point?”
No! Not only did they leave for Samaria as soon as they got word, but they sent Peter and John.
This was a big deal. They didn’t send some lowly, little guy there. When the apostles found out the people of Samaria had received the Gospel they sent their best guys there immediately to make sure the people got the anointing from God. They knew what Jesus had told them—they knew how important it was.
We see this urgency again in Acts 19 when Paul went to Ephesus and found some disciples. Verse two says,
And he asked them, Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed [on Jesus Christ]? And they said, No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
Notice Paul didn’t make small talk. He didn’t ask them if they needed money. No, the very first question Paul asked them was about the Holy Spirit. Why? First, Paul knew how critical it was to their lives. He also knew it was possible not to have the Holy Spirit despite being born again.
So what did he do? He shared the Gospel with them and when he placed his hands on them the Holy Spirit came on them.
Born Again and Filled with the Holy Spirit – Right Away
This New Testament model is shown very clearly—a person is born again and immediately they should receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Why? Because Jesus said it was critical. Notice that they didn’t separate the event.
You receive Jesus—you’re saved—and right away you need to get the Holy Spirit.
Today we say, “Okay. You received Jesus as your Lord and Savior. That’s good enough for now. Maybe a few months from now we’ll talk to you about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.”
They didn’t do that. It was essential. It was a separate event, but they took care of it immediately.
There is a Difference
We read in Acts 19 where Paul asked the believers in Ephesus if they had received the Holy Spirit since they believed. We also see several examples in Acts that show there is a clear difference between being saved and being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Acts 8, verses 15 and 16 say:
And they came down and prayed for them that the Samaritans might receive the Holy Spirit; For He had not yet fallen upon any of them, but they had only been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Right here we have evidence that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is different from being saved. People think they have everything when they’re saved, but they don’t. They need the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and they need it right away.
We see in clear black and white in the Bible that the people of Samaria had been saved but they had not received the Holy Spirit. The disciples laid hands on them and that changed.
We see it again in Acts 9 when Jesus blinded Saul of Tarsus before he became the apostle Paul. Three days later Jesus sent Ananias to lay hands on Saul. Verse 17 says:
So Ananias left and went into the house. And he laid his hands on Saul and said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, Who appeared to you along the way by which you came here, has sent me that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 19:5 shows another example. We read that the disciples in Ephesus were baptized in Jesus’ name. Immediately after, as we read in verse six, Paul laid his hands on them and the Holy Spirit came on them.
Why the rush? Why did Jesus emphasize its importance to the disciples? Why did he send Ananias to get it to Saul? Why did the disciples think it was critical enough to take care of it right away after a person was saved?
Because they knew something that we don’t know: they knew what was missing.
Watch for Part Three of this post next week!
I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of God’s help in my life.
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