Baptized in the Spirit (part 2)
Our last time together we spoke to you about receiving the Holy Spirit or being BAPTIZED IN THE SPIRIT.
According to John, Christ came to the world, not to give His life as a ransom for our sins, but also to baptize us with (or in) the Spirit! If we have received His atonement, shall we not also receive His baptism?
Just to be clear, the baptism with (or in) the Holy Spirit is an experience that occurs subsequent to salvation. In other words, Spirit baptism is something we receive AFTER we have believed.
For the Samaritans, receiving the word (gospel) and being water baptized did not make them recipients of the Holy Spirit. Receiving the Holy Spirit was something they received on a separate occasion. Meaning, they had to pray and specifically seek God for it.
The same was true concerning the disciples at Ephesus.
Here again, the Apostle Paul did not take it for granted that these disciples were baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. He asked them if they had “received” the Spirit SINCE believing? He discovered that they did not, so he proceeded to pray for them and lay hands on them ().
Notice the “sign” or evidence that they had indeed received the Spirit was that they “spoke with tongues and prophesied.” The Biblical evidence that the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon a person is they will “speak with tongues” or prophesy (; ).
Again, this has ALWAYS been the evidence of the Spirit’s anointing, namely that the one who receives the Spirit is given inspired utterance. In the Old Testament, the inspired utterance came in the form of prophecy, rather than other tongues.
This is a story of when God anointed Saul with His Spirit in order to operate as king over all Israel. In that day, only priests, kings and prophets were anointed with the Holy Spirit. The work they had to perform required that they be empowered by the Spirit of God. The evidence that accompanied their reception of God’s anointing was prophecy.
Again, when the Holy Spirit came upon the Old Testament prophets they spoke “as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Whenever someone received an outpouring from the Spirit the result (evidence) was that they would speak as they were moved (inspired) by the Holy Spirit (, ).
According to Joel, prophecy (inspired utterance) will continue to be the evidence of the Spirit’s outpouring or anointing. Now, how does this relate to what we hear in Pentecostal circles, namely that “speaking with tongues” is the evidence of the Spirit’s anointing today?
According to Peter, “this” (speaking with tongues) is equivalent to “that” (prophesying). In other words, speaking with tongues is a form of inspired utterance just like prophecy.
Before we close, I want to remind us of the conditions the Bible gives for receiving this blessed gift.
The first condition for receiving the Spirit is you must “repent.” You cannot receive the Holy Spirit if you have not turned from your sins and received God’s salvation in the person of His Son Jesus Christ.
The second condition for receiving the Spirit is you must “ask” (). God doesn’t give the Holy Spirit to people unless they ask for it. You don’t receive the Holy Spirit just because you’re born again or hang around Holy Ghost meetings. “You have not because you ASK not.”
The third condition for receiving the Spirit is you must “believe” (). Believing is really “receiving” and you can tell when you have truly believed (received) because you will enter into a “rest” ().
Have you ever order a package online? I have ordered so many packages online that after I make the purchase I begin looking for it. Faith doesn’t just rest; it expects. If you are not resting and expecting, then I doubt that you are truly believing.
The final condition for receiving the Spirit is must “obey” (). You may ask, “Why is obedience a prerequisite for receiving the Spirit when we need to Spirit to obey?” We must remember that Jesus told His disciples to go into all the world “teaching them to observe (obey) whatsoever I have commanded you.” One of the things Jesus commanded His disciples to do after His resurrection was to “wait on the Spirit” (). Therefore, God gives the Spirit to those who obey the same command Jesus gave to His disciples. Those who obey will receive!
Waiting is a normal procedure for receiving ANYTHING from the Lord (, ). Waiting says to God that you are earnest (serious) about what you are asking Him for. And God releases gifts/power to thos freely to those who earnestly and diligently seeks Him (; ).
Notice how the disciples were in continual prayer (asking) for the Holy Spirit. They were also in faith (