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The Power of the Holy Spirit
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is an empowering for service that takes place in the life of the Christian (Acts 1:5,8). In it we are immersed in the Spirit's life and power. To illustrate, if we drank water from a glass, then the water would be inside us. However, if we went to the beach and stepped into the ocean, then we would be in the water. We receive, as it were, a drink of the Holy Spirit when we are saved, but when we are baptized in the Spirit, it is as if that initial drink becomes an ocean that completely surrounds us. Just as the indwelling Spirit that Christians receive when they are saved reproduces the life of Jesus, so the outpoured, or baptizing, Spirit reproduces the ministry of Jesus, including miracles and healings.

Why Do We Need The Baptism In The Holy Spirit?We need a power beyond ourselves for service and ministry in Christ's Kingdom. When Jesus gave the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), He knew that His disciples could not fulfill it in their own power. Therefore, He had a special gift in store for them: It was His plan to give them the same power that He had -- the power of the Spirit of God.

So, immediately after giving them the Great Commission, Jesus commanded his disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father promised, "which," He said, "you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now" (Acts 1:4-5). He further promised: "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). The disciples waited in Jerusalem as Jesus had commanded, and one day when they were all together, "suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing winds, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance" (Acts 2:3,4).

Then Peter explained to the crowd that gathered that they were seeing the working of God's Spirit and told them about Jesus. The Christian church began that day with the disciples and the three thousand people who joined them as a result of the day's events. It is God's will -- it is His commandment -- that we be baptized, or filled with the Holy Spirit: "Be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18). The knowledge and reality of the empowering Spirit enables us to reproduce the works of Jesus.

When May I Receive The Baptism In The Holy Spirit? It can take place at the moment you confess faith in Christ, as in the case of the first Gentile convert, Cornelius (Acts 10:44-46; 11:15, 16); but often it occurs some time after the salvation experience (Acts 8:12-17).

Is There Anything To Fear? Some people fear that if they ask for the baptism in the Holy Spirit, what they experience won't be the authentic working of the Spirit. But once they do ask for it, they are always glad they did. God doesn't cause us to do anything we don't want to, and all His gifts are good and perfect (James 1:17).

Jesus said, "Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will be? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luke 11:11-13). The baptism in the Holy Spirit is an even better gift than any material gift you could receive, and God wants you to have it because He loves you and wants the very best for you.

How Do I Receive The Baptism In The Holy Spirit? You only have to do two things. First, once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior you just have to ask God to baptize you in the Holy Spirit. The Bible says, "Ask, and it shall be given to you" (Luke 11:9).

Second, believe you have in fact received this gift from God. The apostle Paul, writing to the Galatians, said, "Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing with faith?" (Galatians 3:2). The answer, obviously, is faith. You have to believe that if you ask, you will receive. Pray this prayer if you sincerely desire to receive the baptism in God's Holy Spirit:

"Heavenly Father, at this moment I come to You. I thank You that Jesus saved me. I pray that the Holy Spirit might come upon me. Lord Jesus, baptize me now in the Holy Spirit. I receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit right now by faith in Your Word. And right now I receive the gift of speaking in other tongues. May I be empowered to serve you in a new dimension from this day forward. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for baptizing me in Your Holy Spirit. Amen."

Now, having asked and received, begin to practice the power of the Spirit. An ideal place to begin is where the first apostles did, praising God in your brand new tongue. To do this, begin praising God out loud in whatever words God brings to you by the Spirit's inspiration. Tell Him how much you love Him. Thank Him, worship Him, and yield your voice to Him. Now let Him give you new words of praise you never heard before. Praise Him with those words, too. You'll find that this can be a very rewarding experience of communication with God that will build up your faith. Continue to pray to God each day in the language that the Holy Spirit has given you.

If you have more questions about the Holy Spirit and His gifts, please contact our Prayer Center at 847-645-9700 so we can pray with you according to the Word of God. An anointed prayer minister is equipped to pray for you.The Prayer Center is available Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 9:00pm.