Summary: The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is God's promise of His empowering presence.
Why Is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit So Important?
1. Illustration: Since the days of Pentecost, has the whole church ever put aside every other work and waited upon Him for ten days, that the Spirit's power might be manifested? We give too much attention to method and machinery and resources, and too little to the source of power. (Jeremy Taylor)
2. Throughout the history of the Assemblies of God one of the doctrines that has been key for us in the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
a. We have referred to it as our "Distinctive Doctrine."
b. However, over the years it has sometimes been down played or pushed to the side.
c. Perhaps it is time that we rediscover our source of power.
3. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is important for three reasons...
a. It is the promise of God to us.
b. It is the power of God for us.
c. It takes the limitations from us.
4. Read Luke 24:49
Proposition: The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is God's promise of His empowering presence.
Transition: The first reason that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is so important is...
A. Power From Heaven
1. After Jesus resurrection, He poured himself into his disciples.
His mission was complete, but the work of the Kingdom needed to continue.
a. Now that the work of redemption had been completed someone had to take the message of God's grace to the world.
b. Jesus gave this task to his disciples.
2. As you might imagine, this probably seemed a daunting task to Jesus' disciples.
a. How are we going to tell the whole world about this?
b. What makes you think they will listen to us?
c. He tells them that He was going to send them the Holy Spirit to help.
3. He tells his disciples, “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
a. I want you to pay special attention to the phraseology that Jesus uses to tell them about the Holy Spirit; He uses the word promised.
b. The word being used here in the Greek means "to announce with certainty in advance as to what one will do (Louw and Nidda, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains).
c. Every time that Luke uses this word it is usually a reference to the Holy Spirit.
d. What Jesus is saying is that like the predictions about Him that came from Scripture came to pass, so would the promise of the Holy Spirit.
e. Jesus is telling them that the task before them may seem daunting, and they were not yet ready for it. However, help was on its way!
f. He tells them to wait here until the Holy Spirit comes, and when he does He would clothe them with power from heaven.
g. In essence, He is saying that when the Holy Spirit comes they would wear power from heaven like a suit of clothes.
h. That just as clothes become a part of your body, so power from heaven would become part of them.
4. Many Bible scholars believe that the Book of Acts is the Gospel of Luke part II. Once again we see Jesus teaching and preparing his disciples for their mission. Luke reiterates Jesus instructions to them when he writes, "Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, 'Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before.'"
a. Luke again goes to the time immediately preceding the Ascension.
b. Jesus was "eating with them." At that time He repeated the command, emphasizing that they were not to leave Jerusalem.
c. Again we see that word "promised."
d. They were not yet ready to accomplish the mission he had given them, but he assured them help was on the way.
e. Jesus began His ministry in the power of the Spirit; so must they.
f. It is especially significant to the "promise of the Father" that Jesus gave His instructions through the Holy Spirit (v. 2).
g. The resurrected Jesus was still full of the Spirit, as He had been during all His previous ministry.
h. Just as the Father bore witness to His Son when the Spirit came upon Him (and into Him) in a special way, so the Father bore witness to the faith of the believers by pouring out the promised Holy Spirit giving them power for service.
i. All the preparation and training that knowledge and experience can bring are useless without the proper might. Power had to accompany truth.