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.
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.
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:
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.
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?
Before He was taken up into Heaven, Jesus told His disciples that they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit.
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
The disciples received the Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus and the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit. They were told to go out into all the nations to preach the good news and the gift of tongues allowed them to preach in other languages that they had not known before. Jesus didn’t tell just the Apostles to go out and witness, but He tells each one of us to go out and fulfill the great commission. We are to be witnesses to everyone that we meet. Is this too much for Christ to ask of us? I don’t think so. He gave His life for us so that we are assured of having eternal life in Heaven with Him. Christ suffered on the cross, and took all of our sins on Him because He loves us so much, that He doesn’t want any to go to Hell. All we have to do is accept His free gift. Acknowledge and believe that Christ died on the cross for our sins and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead on the third day and we will be saved. We then become one of His disciples and are expected to go out and witness to others. Jesus even helps us to do this by baptizing us with the Holy Spirit. He gives us the power to break down the walls of Satan to reach others for Christ. Jesus doesn’t send us out unprepared. He gives us all the tools that we need. He gives us His Holy Word and the Holy Spirit. If you haven’t received the Holy spirit, pray with the Pastor that you would receive the Holy spirit as Peter and John did for the Samaritans.
14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them.
15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit,
16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
There may be other reasons that you are not feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit in your lives.
1 Cor 6:18-20
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
If we have sin in our lives, then the Holy Spirit is hindered in His work. Before me, I have a empty glass, a pitcher of water and some pebbles. Let us imagine that the glass represents our body before we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. It is empty and not being productive. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. The water in the pitcher represents the Holy Spirit. As I pour the water into the glass up to the brim, this represents Christ filling us with the Holy Spirit. As the glass in now filled with water, we are filled with the Spirit. Sometime we let sin back into our lives. These pebbles represent sin. As I began to drop pebbles into the glass of water, water begins to run out of the glass. As I continue to drop pebbles into the glass, we see that there is less and less water, until the glass is filled with pebbles and there is only a small amount of water left. The same is true with us. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. As we let sin back into our lives a little at a time, we are forcing the Holy Spirit out of our lives. At some point we will be completely filled with sin and the Holy Spirit can no longer work in our lives. Is this the reason that you do not feel the Holy Spirit in your life? If so, repent now. Recommit you lives to God. Come back to your first Love. In the Scriptures that we read we saw that the Ephesians had not received the Holy Spirit until Paul came to them. Then they were filled with the Spirit and did mighty works. In the second chapter of Revelation, we see that Jesus holds one thing against the Church of Ephesus.
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.
5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
We see that over a period of time the Ephesians had let sin back into their lives. They had forgotten the love that they had for Jesus at the beginning. They lost the power of the Holy Spirit. Keep the love of Christ foremost in your lives and you will feel the Holy Spirit working in you. Keep sin out of your lives. If you focus on Christ and serve Him and worship Him every minute of your life, then sin cannot come into your life.
20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
21 Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22 Be merciful to those who doubt;
23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-- hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy--
25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
If you are a Christian filled with the Holy Spirit, I want to ask you a question. How are you serving your Lord and Church? There are many people in our community that needs the saving Grace of Christ. Are you witnessing to the lost on a daily basic? Are you serving your Church? We have need for many workers, drivers and teachers. Are you willing to serve? If you are come forward during the invitation.
If you are a Christian here today, but you don’t feel the Holy Spirit working in your life, then come and have the Pastor pray with you during the invitation.
If you are here today and you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior, but you feel God’s calling on your life, then come now and publicly accept Christ as your Savior. Come and accept Christ as your Lord and be filled with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. God is calling you, but if you don’t accept today, there may not be another opportunity. None of us knows when our life will be taken from us. As Christians we do not fear death because we have the promise of eternal life in Heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ. If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, your destiny is eternity in Hell. You may say that you don’t believe in Hell, but what if you are wrong? Come now!