What is Baptism in the Holy Spirit?
- It’s a personal Pentecost (Acts1:8)
- an encounter with Jesus’ love for you personally
- a release of the power of the Holy Spirit into your life
- an experience of deeper communion with God
- a release of the gifts of the Holy Spirit
Why would I want to be Baptised in the Holy Spirit?
- It’s an opportunity to deepen my walk with God
- It’s an opportunity to be equipped with gifts and abilities beyond my natural ability by receiving the same grace and power Jesus’ disciples received (Acts1:8)
- It’s an opportunity to be used by God for his purposes in ways I have not been used before
Where is Baptism in the Holy Spirit in the Bible?
Every gospel records the words of John the Baptist pointing to Jesus saying that, while he was baptising with water, the one who came after him, Jesus, would baptise in the Holy Spirit and fire. (Matt 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33) The word ‘baptise’ simply means to ‘drench’ like tropical rain or ‘immerse.
After his resurrection Jesus had commissioned his disciples to go out to all the world but before they went he instructed them to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father, ‘for John baptised with water but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ (Acts 1:5)
At Pentecost it happened. The promise of the Father was fulfilled. ‘Tongues as of fire rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 2:3)
Then it happened again while Peter was speaking to Cornelius and his household and his companions were amazed (Acts 10:44-48; 15-17). It is still happening and still amazes people today.
Is this for me?
Someone once said that Baptism in the Holy Spirit is for the thirsty. Are you thirsty? Do you desire to see the gifts of the Holy Spirit like tongues, healing and prophecy operating today? Are you searching for more? A deeper walk? A personal encounter with God? Do you want to love and serve God but you know you lack something?
A group of young people who began to experience it form themselves wrote this, ‘Our faith has come alive, our believing has become a kind of knowing. Suddenly, the world of the supernatural has become more real than the natural. In brief, Jesus Christ is a real person to us, a real person who is our Lord and who is active in our lives.’ (p15 BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services Doctrinal Commission)
Is this something new?
At Pentecost, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in this way was something new and it caused exponential growth in the early Church, even under persecution. Nevertheless, for many centuries it has not been a part of the daily preaching and faith of the Church and it was largely lost, though still experienced.
In the last 100 years, there has been an explosion, a RENEWAL of the grace and gifts of the Holy Spirit. The word for gift in the language of the Bible is ‘charism.’ So it is called a charismatic renewal. This Renewal has not just been for any one Christian denomination, but for ALL, Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Anglican, Presbyterian, Salvation Army and many more. There are thousands of denominations and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is being embraced by all as the Holy Spirit, without discrimination has embraced all of them.
Drunk or jubilant?
One criticism of the first Pentecost was that the disciples were all drunk, “They have had too much new wine.” (Acts 2:13) Not much has changed. It is acceptable to be loud, enthusiastic and exuberant when a sports team scores a goal, but can you be that way about God? Loud, jubilant and enthusiastic praise and worship has become a hallmark of those who have been baptised in the Holy Spirit. Why? Because it’s an external expression of the internal reality of having encountered God’s love. Is it a new thing? No. It’s as old as the Psalms. ‘Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music.’ (Psalm 98:4) However, deep awe and reverence is also expressed in charismatic worship.
You will receive Power
Something unique and unexpected happened while John was baptising Jesus with water. He noticed the Holy Spirit come down on Jesus. It was then that Jesus was anointed with power. He cast out demons, healed the sick and raised the dead. Without the power Jesus’ words would likely be forgotten. Without power, there is no good news. Through the same anointing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1: 8), believers are meant to exercise that same power. (Mark 16:7)