Summary: This is a short sermon that outlines some important facts about Baptism with the Holy Spirit. I pray you are blessed by it.
We are in a period of spiritual intensity. It requires an intense spiritual response. For us Christians, that intensity does not come from ourselves for we can of ourselves do nothing. Without Christ, we can do nothing. It is the period after the resurrection and His appearances over a period of 40 days before He ascended into heaven (see Acts 1:1-11). During that period, He had different kinds of interactions with the disciples, taught them specific things, gave them the Great Commission, and then gave them a charge to wait until they received the Promise of the Father. From Acts 1:12-14, they returned to Jerusalem and waited in prayer and were in total unity. These are the events that led to Pentecost.
John the Baptist said in Matthew 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." This anchor verse was repeated by the Lord Jesus Himself in Acts 1:5. Peter in Acts 11:16 referred to the statement as being said by the Lord. In this verse, we see a few things.
a. There is not only one type of baptism
b. There are different types of baptism and they are done by different personalities. There is baptism WITH water, there is baptism WITH the Holy Spirit and there is baptism WITH fire. See Matt 3:11 in the New American Standard version also. Three types of baptism referred to in one verse. The Bible talk about other types of baptism but we shall limit this discussion to those mentioned in Matt 3:11.
c. John said he baptises with water.
d. Man baptises with water. Pastors and church leaders who are born again baptize with water. This is the work of man.
The concept of baptism, no matter which form it takes, requires preparation. We prepare candidates for water baptism. Baptism WITH the Holy Spirit also requires waiting and preparation. You can wait alone and you can wait with other believers as the apostles and the others did. Jesus Himself was baptized in water to show how important it is to do so.
Below, I want to share ten facts about the baptism with the Holy Spirit with you briefly.
1. It happens only to people who are born again, people who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and personal Saviour. Once you are born again, you are a candidate for this great blessing.
2. It is done only by Jesus Himself. It is not the work of man (Matthew 3:11). Man baptises with water. As for the baptism with the Holy Spirit, it is something Jesus does.
3. You can receive it when someone full of the Holy Spirit lays hands on you. That does not mean the person baptised you. It only means that the power of God flowed through them to touch you. They are channels only. It is still Jesus who did the baptism. This happened on many occasions in the days of the apostles.
4. You can receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit when no one has laid hands on you - either in a worship service or when you are all by yourself. At Pentecost, no one laid hands on them (Acts 2:1-4). There was wind, flames of fire, they were ALL filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke in tongues.
5. It turns you from doubt to faith, from timidity to great boldness, from fearfulness to fearlessness, and from being impulsive to becoming stable and collected. Peter is a classic example. You can study Peter before Pentecost and Peter after Pentecost.
6. It revolutionalises your prayer life and turns it around. You get stamina in prayer. Peter and the other disciples slept while Jesus prayed in the garden. In Acts 4:23-31, these same people, after the baptism with the Holy Spirit, prayed and the place was shaken! They could spend time praying at midnight. They were constantly in prayer...at the sixth hour when Peter saw a vision in Acts 10:9, and so on.
7. It enables you to do the work of God in the power of God. Jesus gave them the Great Commission but asked them to wait till they were baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5), or endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49). Do not attempt to go out and do the work of God without the power of God. If you try, you will be frustrated. Not any other power, but the power of God. The work of God includes everything from the pulpit to taking care of our kids at home. Every pastor needs it, and every mother needs it.
8. It is the fulfillment of the promise of the Father (Joel 2:28-29). Jesus asked them to wait for that very promise in Luke 24:49. After Pentecost, when the people around were confused, Peter explained to them that the promise in Joel 2 was what they were seeing.