I believe that when one is born again, or saved, that the Spirit of the Living God comes to take up residence within your very body. “What, know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you…” 1 Cor. 6:19.
I also believe that there is another work of the Spirit within a person’s life that is separate and distinct from salvation. It is called my many names, but the one that I prefer is the one that Jesus used. In Acts 1:4, 5, He said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
There are basically three relationships we can have with the Spirit of God. First, He is WITH us. As those coming to Christ, He woos us to Himself. He convicts us of our sin and our need for forgiveness in Jesus. He is WITH us.
Secondly, He is IN us. Again, whenever we trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit, who IS God, comes to live IN us. He takes up a literal residence within our lives.
Thirdly, and this is the experience that most Christians are trying to live without, He wants to come UPON us. This is represented by the Greek term “epi” in the New Testament. John the Baptist said that there was One coming after him that would Baptize us in/with the Holy Spirit. When we as new Christians are saved, the preacher baptizes us in water. When we get saved, the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). When we allow the Holy Spirit to “baptize” us or come UPON us, it’s Jesus baptizing us in/with the Holy Spirit. Do you see the difference.
The Baptism or coming UPON us of the Holy Spirit is a promise of the Father (Acts 1:4, 5) for several wonderful reasons:
First, for Power: “after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you, you shall receive power…” Acts 1:8
Then, for the gifts of the Holy Spirit’s power as we live out HIS life within us: (1 Cor. 12-14)
Then, that we might display the fruit of the Spirit: (Gal. 5:22, 23)
The sign or assurance that you have the Holy Spirit’s power is FAITH, demonstrated by love first, power secondly.
There are those who are unhappy about the term “baptism of the Spirit”. It is the same term that John the Baptist used in all four Gospels (Luke 3:16) and the term Jesus Himself used in Acts 1:4, 5.
Actually, there are 4 baptisms (Hebrews 6:1, 2) spoken of in the New Testament.
1. The Positional Baptism. This is the baptism that happens when you trust in Jesus and are born again. 1 Cor. 12:13 speaks of the SPIRIT baptizing you INTO the body of Christ (which is what happens when you are saved). This puts you in the “position” of being born again.
2. The Pictorial Baptism. This is the PICTURE produced when we are water baptized. Jesus commanded us in the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and The Son and the Holy Spirit….Water Baptism is a picture of us getting IN Christ by faith as we identify with His death and burial when we go into the water; and the its a picture of our trust in His resurrection as we come up out of the water!
3. The POWER Baptism. This is the same as the Baptism of Acts 1:4, 5, 8, and 2:4. This is what Jesus was talking about when He told them to stay in Jerusalem until they were endued (or clothed) with power. This is what John the Baptist talked about in all four Gospels when He said that One mightier than he would come and Baptize us with the Holy Ghost and fire. This is different from salvation’s baptism as recorded in 1 Cor. 12:13. There, You are baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ. Here, in the power baptism, you are baptized by Jesus with or in the Holy Spirit. This is the “epi” experience we talked about earlier.
4. The Persecution Baptism. This is what Jesus was talking about when He asked the disciples if they could be “baptized with the baptism I’m about to be baptized with….” This is a coming upon one of great grace to endure persecution and martyrdom. You see this exhibited in Stephen’s life in Acts 7 when he is stoned for his preaching. Great Grace! To endure, to serve unto death with a baptism of love, power and grace.
We are encouraged to “seek the Lord and His strength…” We are told that He WILL baptize us with the Holy Spirit and power. This is part of what we are to seek in Him.
Then we are encouraged to walk in the Spirit. To be “filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).
Here’s how you might enjoy the power of the Holy Spirit’s filling or baptism:
1. Know that you are saved. This is an experience for saved people who have the Holy Spirit living within already.
2. Repent of sins (Acts 2:38). This means to have a change of mind about sin and to turn to God in preference over those sins in your life. He is, after all, the HOLY Spirit.
3. Ask for the Holy Spirit’s baptism. (Luke 11:11, 12). Did you not ask to be saved? Then ask to filled.
4. Receive the Holy Spirit’s filling by FAITH (just like you received your salvation by faith!) Gal. 3:2-5, 14 (We believe the promises of GOD and thus receive their fulfillment as we ask for them in our lives by faith, JUST like you were able to receive your salvation by faith.)
5. As a believing “receiver”, now open your mouth and praise the Lord, thanking Him for His glorious gifts to you. In EVERY single case in the New Testament, when someone was filled with the Spirit, they SPOKE something: The Word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31); new tongues (Acts 2:4); Songs, hymns and spiritual songs, making melody in their heart unto the Lord (Eph. 5:18-21); Prophesying (Acts 19:6). SO Open your mouth and praise the Lord who has now filled you with the fullness of HIMSELF (Eph. 3:14-19)!
I hope you know Jesus and have been born again by His marvelous grace. His death, burial and resurrection from the dead paid for your sins and made the promise of Eternal life a reality for you. Turn to God and trust in Jesus and Him alone for your forgiveness and everlasting life. He has done all that needs to be done for you. It’s NOT about what you can do for Jesus, but all about what HE has ALREADY done for you.
Then, ask for and receive by faith the fullness of the Holy Spirit so that you can have power to be a witness unto Him, so that you can walk in the fruit of the Spirit, and so that you can praise Him worthily, walk in power in spiritual warfare, and live a holy life for His glory!
Bless you as you live for Jesus through the strength of HIS power as the Spirit works within you!