(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is God’s gift to believers in Christ. Its aim is to empower Christians to be bold and effective witnesses for Christ in terms of soul-winning, as well as to build up the body of Christ. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is something God wants every believer to experience. Christ specifically ordered the Apostles to wait until they were filled with the Holy Spirit before launching out in their ministries. The disciples were told to wait to receive the power of the Holy Spirit before embarking on the mission of evangelising the world. Without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the success of the great commision given to them by the Lord was not guaranteed! That’s the message Christ transmitted to the disciples after his resurrection! We shall examine the Scriptures to see how important the baptism of the Holy Spirit is in the lives and ministries of believers in Jesus Christ.
Luke 24:46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,
Luke 24:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luke 24:48 And you are witnesses of these things.
Luke 24:49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
The Acts 1:4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me;
The Acts 1:5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
The Acts 1:6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
The Acts 1:7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.
The Acts 1:8 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.”
During his own earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus gave power to his disciples to assist him reach areas he could not go to. He transferred some of his own powers to them, to enable them preach the gospel with power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit. In giving them power to preach the gospel, he commanded them to heal the sick, raise the dead and cleanse lepers (Matthew 10:1-3). It’s instructive to note that Jesus not only gave such powers to the twelve apostles, he also empowered seventy other disciples to carry out such power-packed ministry (Luke 10:1-2). Jesus thus showed that effective preaching of the gospel cannot be done without the anointing of the Holy Spirit and power! As Jesus was about leaving the apostles following the end of his ministry, he promised to send the Holy Spirit to them so that they too would, collectively, do even greater works than he himself had done. While on earth, Jesus operated entirely by the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. He promised to anoint his followers in the same manner, so that they too would achieve tremendous success in their own ministries. We find that promise fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples. The great works the Apostles accomplished thereafter, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is testimony to the transforming power of the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the lives and ministries of ordinary men and women.
John 3:34 For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.
John 3:35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.
The Acts 10:36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—
The Acts 10:37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached:
The Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
John 14:13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 14:14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—
John 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
The Acts 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
The Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
The Acts 2:3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
The Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.
The Acts 2:6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.
The Acts 2:7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?
The Acts 2:8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?
The Acts 2:9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
The Acts 2:10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
The Acts 2:11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”
The Acts 2:12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”
The Acts 2:13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”
The Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.
The Acts 2:15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.
The Acts 2:16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
The Acts 2:17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
The Acts 2:18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
The Acts 2:19 I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
The Acts 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
The Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.’
The Acts 2:32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
The Acts 2:33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.
The Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
The Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
The Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Acts 2:39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
The Acts 2:40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.”
The Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
From that initial baptism of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost and the great works it enabled the disciples to accomplish in Jesus’ name, every where else believers were found, the necessity of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was emphasised. The Apostles made the baptism of the Holy Spirit the most important issue for every believer, after salvation. The first question they asked any believer, upon meeting them, was if they had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Nothing else was considered of more importance in the lives of believers than the baptism with the Holy Spirit! The reason should be obvious to all- without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we can’t fulfil our ministries and the great commision! The preaching of the gospel is not to be done with the energies and stratagems of the flesh, and certainly not with the enticing words of human wisdom! We’re not to use oratorical skills or psychological gimmicks to win people over to Christ. The gospel is to be preached with the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit, so that the faith of God’s people would not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God! It is only the gospel preached by the power of the Holy Spirit that produces the greater works prophesied by Christ, and only such works will stand the test of time and of God’s judgment!
The Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.
The Acts 8:6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
The Acts 8:7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.
The Acts 8:8 And there was great joy in that city.
The Acts 8:9 But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great,
The Acts 8:10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.”
The Acts 8:11 And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time.
The Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.
The Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
The Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
The Acts 8:15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
The Acts 8:16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
The Acts 8:17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
The Acts 19:1 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples
The Acts 19:2 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.”
The Acts 19:3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”
So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
The Acts 19:4 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.”
The Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
The Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
The Acts 19:7 Now the men were about twelve in all.
1 Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.
1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.
1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
1 Corinthians 2:5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Every believer in Christ needs the baptism of the Holy Spirit to manifest his special gift and ministry to the Church and the world. The baptism of the Holy Spirit comes with the distribution of the gifts of the Spirit to individual members of the body of Christ. The individual gifts of every member are needed for the building up of the entire body of Christ. A church lacking in the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a church lacking in power and the gifts of the Spirit. Such a church will be weak, feeble and carnal, and will not achieve its mandate or fulfil its mission. A church without the baptism of the Holy Spirit and his gifts upon it will neither grow nor be edified. Such a church will not attain spiritual maturity. Without the baptism of the Holy Spirit and his gifts upon the church, the church will remain human and ordinary, and neither will it be able to do the greater works of Spirit-powered evangelism and witnessing as promised by Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
1 Corinthians 12:2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.
1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
1 Corinthians 12:6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
1 Corinthians 12:8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
1 Corinthians 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,
1 Corinthians 12:10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
1 Corinthians 12:11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.
Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
Ephesians 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
Ephesians 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Ephesians 4:8 Therefore He says:
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”
Ephesians 4:9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?
Ephesians 4:10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
Ephesians 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Ephesians 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
Ephesians 4:14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
Ephesians 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
Ephesians 4:16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Romans 12:3 Serve God with Spiritual Gifts
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Romans 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
Romans 12:5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
Romans 12:7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
Romans 12:8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Romans 12:11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
Romans 12:13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
In conclusion, the most important need of believers after salvation is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and power. The singular most important thing the church needs to fulfil its mandate and accomplish the great commission of evangelising and discipling the world for Christ is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and power. No believer or ministry should take off without seeking and receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Preaching is to be carried out in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit, so that the faith of the people converted will not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. The baptism of the Holy Spirit releases the gifts of the Holy Spirit into the lives of individual believers, and empowers them for victorious Christian living as well as effective witnessing for Christ. It also enables the edifying and building up of the body of Christ to spiritual maturity. It is therefore understandable why the first question the Apostles asked any new group of believers they met was if they had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We need the baptism of the Holy Spirit and power more than ever today, to be able to do the greater works Christ promised to the Church! And, by God’s grace, we all can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, for God is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to his children who ask him, than we are to receive him.
Luke 11:10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Luke 11:11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
Luke 11:12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
Luke 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
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