(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).
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 promise of the Holy Spirit is made to all believers in Christ. Every Christian is entitled to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the subsequent refillings of the Spirit as needed. It is the gift and promise of God to every believer in Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, Helper, Guide, Leader, Teacher and Counselor promised by Christ to all his disciples. After believing and receiving Christ Jesus as one’s personal Lord and Saviour, the next thing for a believer is to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
In the concluding part of Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost cited above, we see the formula for receiving the Holy Spirit laid out clearly by Peter. When the people asked what they needed to do in order to be saved and escape the wrath of God, Peter advised them to repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and then they would receive the gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He told them the gift of the Holy Spirit was for them, their children and for as many as the Lord God would call to salvation. So, every saved person is entitled to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit! When you repent and get baptised in water as a public show of your repentance and faith in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you are set to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. At the start of the Church, the baptism of the Holy Spirit was received by the laying on of hands of the Apostles on believers who had received Christ as Lord and Saviour and had been baptised by immersion in water in his name. The Apostles would pray and lay hands on the water-baptised believers and the Holy Spirit would come upon them.
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.
Beside Apostles, any other preacher of the gospel can minister the Holy Spirit to others who are yet to be baptised in the Holy Spirit. Anyone who ministers Christ and the gifts of the Spirit to a group can also be the channel through which others can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit by faith!
Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?
Galatians 3:2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
Galatians 3:4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
Galatians 3:5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?—
Apart from the laying on of hands by the Apostles and other members of the five-fold ministry, some people have been known to receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands of other Spirit-filled believers not known to be members of the five-fold ministry. We see that happening in the case of Saul (later called Paul). Ananias, the man who laid hands on Paul to receive his sight, and who water-baptised him and laid hands on him to receive the Holy Spirit, was not an Apostle. He was just an ordinary disciple of Christ. This shows that the Lord can use any Spirit-filled believer to minister the baptism of the Holy Spirit to another believer who is yet to be Spirit filled.
The Acts 9:10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.”
And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
The Acts 9:11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying.
The Acts 9:12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”
The Acts 9:13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem.
The Acts 9:14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”
The Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.
The Acts 9:16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
The Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
The Acts 9:18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.
There is also evidence in Scripture which shows that people can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit without anyone laying hands on them! Cornelius and his household, the first Gentiles to receive Christ and the Holy Spirit, got filled with the Holy Spirit while Peter was still preaching his sermon to them! While Peter was still speaking, Jesus interrupted the sermon and baptised the listeners with the Holy Spirit, without even a prior water baptism! Just by believing Christ in their hearts, God bore witness of their faith by sending the Holy Spirit upon them as a seal of their faith in Christ! God can bypass even his own rules to show he’s sovereign! And when he does that, we don’t question him! We just go ahead and accept what he’s done! Hallelujah!
The Acts 10:24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends.
The Acts 10:25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him.
The Acts 10:26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.”
The Acts 10:27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together.
The Acts 10:28 Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
The Acts 10:29 Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?”
The Acts 10:30 So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
The Acts 10:31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.
The Acts 10:32 Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.’
The Acts 10:33 So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.”
The Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.
The Acts 10:35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
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.
The Acts 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree.
The Acts 10:40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly,
The Acts 10:41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
The Acts 10:42 And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead.
The Acts 10:43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
The Acts 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.
The Acts 10:45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
The Acts 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
Then Peter answered,
The Acts 10:47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
The Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
The Acts 15:6 Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter.
The Acts 15:7 And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.
The Acts 15:8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us,
The Acts 15:9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Finally, a believer in Christ can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit directly from God by faith, without any intermediary! You can directly ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit. When you ask in faith through the name of Jesus and do not doubt, you will receive the Holy Spirit! Whatever you ask the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, he’ll give to you, as long as you ask in faith and in accordance with God’s will. And, it’s the will of God that every child of God be filled with the Holy Spirit! Ask and believe that you have received and you will have exactly what you asked God for! God is more willing to give his children the Holy spirit than our earthly parents are in giving us good things!
Luke 11:9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
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!”
John 16:23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.
John 16:24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Mark 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.
Mark 11:23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
In conclusion, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is God’s promised gift to every believer in Christ. Every Christian is qualified to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit soon after salvation. The baptism of the Spirit can be received by laying on of hands of ministers of the gospel or any Spirit-filled believer. Also, the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be received directly by an individual who has repented and has been baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Such a person can ask God directly for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He or she will receive the Holy Spirit if he or she asks by faith in the name of Jesus Christ. Whatever we ask God by faith in the name of Christ, as long as it’s in accordance with his will he’ll hear and answer. And, it’s God’s will that we be filled with the Holy Spirit. May we all ask and receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus. We need the Holy Spirit to be all that God intends for us to be as Christians!
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