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Summary: What does it mean to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and can you be a Christian without it?

Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Why is it that we seldom hear a sermon on the Holy Spirit in some of our churches today? Is it that we are afraid of the actions of our members if they do let the Holy Spirit lead them in worship? I believe to be a true Christian we must be baptized with the Holy Spirit. We keep praying for a revival, but without the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we will never see a true revival. We go through the motions on Sunday mornings, but during the rest of the week we look and act just like the rest of the world. I have talked with many people who believe that you must be baptize with water to be saved, but when asked about the Holy Spirit, they will say that only some people receives the Holy Spirit. I think John the Baptist answered this question quite clearly.

Let’s read:

Matt 3:11 (quickview) 

11 "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

(NIV)

John the Baptist is saying that he is baptizing the people with water for them to repent of their sins. This means that by being baptized by water they agree to turn from their sins and to start living a righteous life. John also tells the people that one is coming who is greater than he is. He is talking about Jesus. John tells us that Jesus will baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire. The Greek word for fire in this verse is "pur" which actually means lightening. Lightening is probably the most powerful force of nature. It lights up the night skies and breaks down the strongest trees. John is telling us that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we will be baptize with the Holy Spirit and with a force as great as lightening. With the Holy Spirit in us, we will light up a dark and sinful world and have the power to break down the power that Satan has in this world. Do we see this kind of power in our lives? We should! Some ministers have told me that being filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean that you will have this warm fuzzy feeling inside. If you claim to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and don’t feel different inside, then maybe you have just received the baptism of John.

Let’s look at where this actually happened:

Acts 19:1-6 (quickview) 

1 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples

2 and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."

3 So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John’s baptism," they replied.

4 Paul said, "John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus."

5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

(NIV)

The disciples in Ephesus were believers but they had not been baptized with the Holy Spirit. After the Holy Spirit came on them, you saw a change in their lives. Even when the disciples received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, they began to act different, so much so that they were accused of being drunk. When being filled with the Holy Spirit, how can you not feel different inside? We should have a feeling of joy, peace and confidence. This to me would be a warm and fuzzy feeling. And when we worship in the Spirit, we should be filled with joy and awe for our Creator. If the Spirit leads us to lift our arms toward Heaven, then don’t be ashamed to do it. If the Spirit leads you to shout praises to God then do it. Are you more concern about what other will think or about truly worshipping our Lord?


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