From the very beginning of the Christian life, the Holy Spirit is at work in the believer. Christians are ‘born again’ by the Holy Spirit. However, Jesus promised the disciples that they would receive a dynamic power to witness for Him when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 1:4-8).
Acts 2: 38-39 makes it clear that the Spirit is for us today and applies to us.
When Paul met ‘disciples’ at Ephesus (see Acts 19:1-7), he sensed something was lacking and asked them a very basic question, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” He knew that there was a receiving of the gift of the Holy Spirit that every believer was entitled to have. However not every believer had this automatically. He expected them to know whether they had been filled with the Holy Spirit or not. The baptism in the Spirit is a definite experience (Acts 2:1-4; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 8:12-17; Acts 19:1-7).
Jesus is the one who baptizes his followers in the Holy Spirit (John 1:29-33). In John 7:37-39, Jesus gives us simple steps to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
- If anyone is thirsty – This is a deep longing for God to meet you in this way. This desire is essential for receiving the Holy Spirit. If you are not thirsty, ask God “Why”!
- Come to me – Go to Jesus and ask. God gives to those who ask (Luke 11:13).
- Drink – Drinking is an act of faith. Lay hold of the blessing and be ready to receive.
- Faith – Jesus says the Spirit will be active in the one who believes in him. Faith plays an important role. When you come to Jesus, resist the temptation to passively wait for something to happen.
- Laying on of hands – This is a ministry to help you receive. It is biblical (Acts 8:17; 9:17; 19:6) and a channel of faith for imparting the Spirit.
We are called to restore the fullness of God’s salvation as revealed in scripture. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an important part of our new life in Christ. It is God’s desire to have a Spirit-empowered people who are his witnesses of the good news of the kingdom. One of our key values in Newfrontiers is to be “A church whose people are baptized in water and in the Holy Spirit, and brought into a genuine life in the Spirit.” Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?