After 46 years of enjoying the indwelling Holy Spirit though the Baptism I am still surprised at the large numbers of believers who pooh-pooh the whole idea. The main purpose of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is to open up the spiritual man to more revelation and effectiveness. God wants you to learn to think in a new way, look at the world a new way, and get your fragile and often erroneous emotions out of the way as they will ruin you every time. You can be over-intellectual too.
Years ago Don Basham wrote a small but complete paperback Handbook on Holy Spirit Baptism also now in kindle if you want more study, but for this article, a few simple facts. First, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gift.
My daughter-in-law once asked me, “Do you have to have the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?” “No,” said I, “you don’t HAVE to – you GET to.” It is not some odious chore foisted upon you by an angry God. It is a great gift (other gifts included) to help you be a fulfilled Christian, live a life that glorifies Him and frees you from carnal mindedness.
What follows is a group of scriptures that describe the benefits of an active Holy Spirit. (He can easily be inactive in your life. Your choice. )
- If there is anything people want it is peace! (NKJV) Romans 8:6 “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
- The frustration that comes with not being able to live in the promises of God often leads us back into Egypt and under the thumb of carnality and worldliness which Egypt symbolizes. Here is Paul’s carnality list in The Message – quarrels, jealousy, flaring tempers, taking sides, angry words, vicious rumors, swelled heads, and general bedlam. (2 Cor 12:20) Numbers 14:4 So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”
- Holy Spirit shows us how to avoid legalism and understand how the law aids spiritual living. Romans 7:14 “For we know that the law is spiritual.”
- How much easier to have the author of the Bible living inside. John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
- If there is anything modern man wants it is truth. We certainly can’t trust our media, or its manipulators. And we all want clues about our future. John 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
- All the works of Christ are available to us to perform to glorify God, including handling the demonic, and as we hear about rapes and beheadings in Europe and even here in the USA which are demonic, more and more we’ll need these skills. Matthew 12:28 “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
- Wouldn’t you wish to know more of the Bible without confusion and straining? John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”
- Another Christian complaint – I need power, and here it is. 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.” Another Christian complaint – I need power, and here it is.
- Please don’t turn up your nose at tongues. The devil can’t understand one single word of it, and how much better for you to be praying and him be ignorant! 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.”
- After you get the Holy Spirit you can expect more spiritual dreams to guide your decisions and increase your faith. 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.’
- How often have you asked for more love in your life? more love for other? Here is the answer. Romans 5:5 “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
- The presence of Holy Spirit gives us an assurance of our salvation and we lose that nagging apprehension that we have not lived up to God’s demands. Romans 8:16 “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”
- When you pray in tongues you can be sure that God is receiving your prayer and that you are doing God’s will. James (4:3) warns us that we can pray amiss. Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
- Working with natural men can be exhausting as we don’t know why they are thick headed. The indwelling of Holy Spirit helps you understand them better. 1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
- Are you frustrated with legalistic people who remind you of the rules? They are living under the law, not seeing the spirit. And yes, it is a problem everywhere. 2 Corinthians 3:6 “who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” Are you frustrated with legalistic people who remind you of the rules? They are living under the law, not seeing the spirit. And yes, it is a problem everywhere.
- You will be surprised when the Spirit enters how you actually feel freer, because you are. It will be easier to obey the moral law and to realize God’s plan for your life. 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
- We all want to see more fruitfulness in our lives. How great to anticipate this being worked in you if you just relax and let God do it. Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.”
There are 600+ references to the spirit in both Old and New Testaments so I just picked up a few. We are limiting what the Holy Spirit can do in us and through us when we reject the Baptism.
In the early church converts who went down into the waters of baptism were expected, and they expected it too, to come up out of the water speaking in tongues, the early proof of the Holy Spirit baptism. But there are eight other gifts of the Holy Spirit as well and you should expect some of them to be revealed as you walk in the spirit.
These days whenever you ask someone about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit you get confusion, because many people who do not have the Baptism in the Holy Spirit are commenting on it. You can be pretty sure someone who gives you a wrong answer either does not have it or may not even want it. It’s tasteless, colorless, and odorless, and you can’t see it either. No wonder there is so much confusion about Holy Spirit. (In fact it is not “the” Holy Spirit at all, as Holy Spirit is the proper name.)
Many pastors are embarrassed not to have the information so they clam up or worst yet – reject the idea entirely. The scripture calls this “despising the Holy Spirit” and it is a shame because it keeps many away from the very power they and we need to live a victorious life.
In all good things there is also a warning. Rejecting Holy Spirit has a penalty:
Revelation 22:18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
We almost never talk about our life in heaven, but rejecting God’s words will result in less of heaven’s blessing. Our personal prayer should be, “Lord, don’t allow me to miss a thing you have for me in your Word.”