“…He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” Acts 19:2-4
Were you baptized?
If so, were you baptized in water and in the Holy Spirit?
These events may have happened to you in different order.
Or, only one of these baptisms may have occurred in your life.
Often, I ask people if they were baptized in the Holy Spirit.
The most common response to this question is, “Yes, I was baptized.”
Then, I point people to these verses in Acts 19:2-4.
One way to look at these events is to consider the difference between Jesus being Savior and the Lord of our life.
Jesus as Savior saves us from our sins at the cross.
Jesus as Lord guides our lives by His Spirit living within us.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a unique and separate event from being born again.
Pastor Chuck Smith in his book, “Calvary Chapel Distinctives” puts it this way,
“We believe there is an empowering experience with the Holy Spirit that is separate and distinct from conversion…This ‘coming upon’ has been referred to as the baptism of the Holy Spirit, or the overflow of the Spirit. What kind of overflow would that be? It would be like a torrent of living water flowing out of the life of the believer. So it’s one thing to be filled with the Spirit, and it’s quite another to have the Spirit flowing out.”
When I first heard the gospel, my first reaction was, “I need this!”
I had no hope, no love in my life, and especially no peace with God.
The gospel changes everything.
The Love Of Christ Is The Game Changer
When you hear that God loves you and demonstrated His love for us by dying on the cross, it changes the way we look at life.
It changes the way we see other people. It changes the way we look at the future.
It helps us forgive others and ourselves for the past.
It helps us live in the moment and ascribe value to the person in front of us that needs help.
When I received Jesus Christ into my heart, it was just the first step of a work he began in me.
“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6
At this point in my life, (41 years old), I had never heard the gospel.
I had only read a few verses in the Bible.
And, only attended Sunday School when I was a kid.
Three days after hearing and receiving the gospel, I was driving in my car.
While passing through Eagle Rock California, where my parents grew up, I was listening to the personal testimony of Zig Ziglar (an old-school motivational speaker who is now with Jesus).
In the middle of his story, he quoted Romans 10:9,
…If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
The simplicity of the gospel hit me.
I took it into my heart, and suddenly, I was filled, as an empty glass is filled with water.
God’s Holy Spirit poured Himself into me from my toes to the top of my head.
I knew I had become something entirely new.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
It was spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical, all at once.
I experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I have never been the same since that day, January 30, 1998.
I didn’t understand it at the time.
But, I learned to appreciate it later because some tough times were ahead.
But God got me through all of them with a strength that I would never have had on my own.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
Are You Baptized In The Holy Spirit?
The Bible mentions three different acts the Holy Spirit performs with us. In the Greek, they are termed “para”, “en,” and “epi.”
The “para” is His coming alongside us and knocking on our hearts to receive His love.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20
The “en” is his coming inside and taking residence in our heart. “I will dine with him.”
The “epi” is the overflowing of the Holy Spirit when He comes “upon” us.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Act 1:8
So, what do we do with this new knowledge?
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Act 19:5, 6
We pray to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Just where you sit, you can receive the Holy Spirit.
Repeat this simple prayer,
Father, I come to you, In Jesus name. And I ask You, Lord, to fill me with the Holy Spirit. Fall fresh upon me. Help me to sense Your presence in every facet of my life. Be my Lord. Let my life glorify You and Speak of Your good gospel. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.
God bless you.
May the power of the Holy Spirit give you peace and the boldness to preach Christ!