The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the single most important experience, for a believer, right after salvation. If you have not been filled or baptized with the Holy Spirit then you are missing out on the greatest part of being a son. When you give your life to Jesus the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you but there is a secondary experience that is an infilling, enduement, and an immersing into the power of God.
In the book of Acts chapter 19 Paul came upon some disciples in Ephesus and asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit after they had believed. The disciples said that they hadn’t even heard of receiving the Holy Spirit. Sad but true many believers in Jesus today have heard little to none of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The reason probably is that too few pastors and ministers have actually been filled themselves with the Holy Spirit. Paul spoke of both unbelievers and uninformed individuals in a corporate Church setting. 1 Corinthians 14:23 “Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?” The word unbelievers means disbelieving and without faith but the word uninformed means a person that is unskilled, unlearned, and private. The uninformed individual is a person that is unfamiliar and unaccustomed to spirituals, especially tongues, and keeps to himself. We have a lot of people in the church today that have not been taught the importance of the baptism in the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life and therefore think it very strange when someone speaks in tongues. Now you do not have to be filled with the Holy Spirit to be saved but to experience the power of God, to be an effective witness, you must be filled. Let’s look at why it is so vitally important to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
What is the purpose for being baptized in the Holy Spirit? Acts 1:8 states “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me….” First and foremost this is the primary reason for the baptism of the Holy Spirit; to be effective witnesses to the resurrection power of Jesus. There are other wonderful benefits of the infilling of the Holy Spirit but we will address this first. The word receive means to: take or lay hold of in order to use it, to receive what is offered and not to refuse or reject, to receive and give access to one’s self. The word power means the miraculous power, strength, and ability. Wow that is so profound. This is the key to receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. You must want it so you can both use the power for your Father and give the Holy Spirit complete access to your life. This is both receiving and giving. Receive the miraculous life, presence, and power of God and give yourself to the Holy Spirit. This is a state of such heartfelt desire that you want the infilling and enduement of your Father’s presence and power so that you can live and demonstrate the resurrection power of Jesus even if it means giving your life unto death. That is the definition of a witness. This is the mind of disciple of Jesus. This is the mentality of a new covenant son.
The Holy Spirit wants to work with and help us accomplish the work of our Father right here and right now in this world. Mark 16:20 “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs, Amen.”The phrase working with means to cooperate, help, work with, and work together. The Holy Spirit wants to help us with power, might, and miraculous ability. Jesus said that the works that He did we are to do and even greater works than He did. We accomplish this by the power of the Holy Spirit within us. We just have to be filled and empowered and then believe that we have what we need to fulfill this. The Holy Spirit does His part by supplying the power but we have to actually do the work. We have to preach, pray, lay hands on the sick, work the miracle, and use our mouth to command. The Holy Spirit is here with the power; we just have to learn to use it. As sons of God that puts the responsibility on us to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons. It’s time to believe who we are in Christ and who Christ is in us by the Holy Spirit. We are complete in Christ and we’ve been given everything we need to be like our Father. We just have to start acting like it.
The gospel must be preached or presented with the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul stated in the book of Romans chapter 15 that he had fully preached the Gospel of Christ with mighty signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit of God. We must have a gospel that has power. If we indeed have a risen Christ then we must have a risen gospel. If the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells within you then demonstrate the risen Christ with power. Paul also said in 1 Corinthians 2:4 “And my speech and preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power.”Our speech and our preaching must demonstrate the power of our Father so thus the need to be endued with power from on high. You must be filled with the Holy Spirit. If your gospel doesn’t have power then it’s not a complete gospel.
There are personal benefits to being filled with the Holy Spirit. As I stated earlier the Holy Spirit is here to help and empower us to be witnesses for Jesus. We are to work together with Him. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit you are given a spirit language to pray in and this is known as speaking in tongues.
Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
This is the first example we have of believers being filled with the Spirit. We have another example in Acts chapter 10 when Peter was preaching to Cornelius’ household. Those who heard the Word of God were given the gift of the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. What is the reason that our Father has chosen speaking in tongues as the evidence of the infilling? Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians chapter 14 that he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks mysteries unto God and he also edifies himself in the spirit. The word mystery means a hidden thing, a secret, a counsel, a hidden purpose. As sons of God we need to build ourselves up in the Holy Spirit daily. Speaking in tongues is one of the main ways our Father has chosen to accomplish this. Even though you may not understand what you are praying, you speak the counsel and will of your Father over your life. You may also be praying for someone else. Either way we need to make ourselves available for the Holy Spirit to use. Sometimes we do not know what we should be praying and this is when the Holy Spirit helps us.
Romans 8:26 “ Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses, for we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
We are not to live this life in Christ alone. We’ve been given a helper. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to help and empower us and not grieve Him. There is another powerful purpose for being filled with the Holy Spirit and that is for guidance.
John 16:13 “ However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
Hallelujah! What a wonderful promise we have, as sons, from our Father. The Holy Spirit gives us an advantage by leading us and guiding us into all truth and showing us things to come. He is here to help us. In the book of John it mentions several times that the Holy Spirit is a helper, counselor, and comforter. The meaning for those words in the Greek translation is one who comes along side and helps. So be filled and allow the Holy Spirit complete access to your life and grow in the benefits and the help of His indwelling presence and power.