Saturday, January 06, 2007

How to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit (Part 5)

And He would have given you (John 4:10)

I grew up in a town where the baptism in the Holy Spirit was a controversial topic. Because of the excesses of some in our community, many of the traditional churches saw the baptism in the Holy Spirit as something not from God. There were even those who felt that tongues were actually demon tongues. However, as a young Christian, as I read the book of Acts, I realized that the disciples in the early church had received something that I had not received. I read verses like the following.

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues , as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:4)

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.” (Acts 10:44-46)

“And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.” (Acts 19:6)

And it wasn’t just what happened the moment they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, but their lives were dramatically changed as a result of their baptism. They lived out what the prophet Joel spoke of those who would be baptized in the Holy Spirit. “It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29)

While I was surrounded by those who doubted the baptism in the Holy Spirit, I realized that, say what you may, the believers in the early church had received something from God that I had not yet received. They had received something from God and I was convinced that that same God, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, wanted me to have too. This lead me to pray and ask for the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and I prayed until I received what my brethren in the early church also received.

Here is the point, setting aside all your own theology on the baptism in the Holy Spirit, have you received what they received in the book of Acts? You can call it what you want, but have you received it? If not, then simply ask. This gift, this baptism, is for all who believe, for “you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” (Acts 2:39) Go ahead and ask, for in asking, you too will receive.

David Robison

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