Today’s Bible readings are 2 Kings 13:1-14:29, Acts 18:23-19:12, Psalm 146:1-10, & Proverbs 18:2-3
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions until he reached Ephesus, on the coast, where he found several believers. 2 “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them.
“No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
3 “Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked.
And they replied, “The baptism of John.”
Here we see Paul dealing with an issue that is not that unfamiliar to us today. He had to address people who loved God & wanted to follow God, but they knew nothing about the Holy Spirit. In fact, when they were asked if they had received the Holy Spirit they said they had never even heard about the Holy Spirit.
This is happening all over the world today. The Holy Spirit is talked about as a Person, but His baptism is being pushed to the back of the shelf. It is becoming less & less important in churches today. Many times, it is because churches are more concerned about numbers than they are the teaching the doctrine of Spirit baptism. They don’t want to scare people off. This leads to less of a focus on the Holy Spirit & the role that He plays in a believer’s life.
I want to make a very strong statement: “God never intended for you to do ministry without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.” He told the early church:
49 “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
Jesus was getting ready to send out His church but before He could send them He desired to fill them & endue them with the power that they would need to fulfill the mission that He was giving them. He referred to this as “the gift my Father has promised.”
Many times people hear about the baptism of the Holy Spirit & they begin to seek it out. This is a great thing. It will truly change a person’s life. I used to be a drug addict before I came to know Jesus. I have found favor in the area of helping people who have struggled with the same thing. I have seen a lot of people come & go.
Undoubtedly, the people that come & get free from drugs & STAY free from drugs for the rest of their lives are the one who get baptized in the Holy Spirit. Many times, other people spend their lives on a roller coaster ride of getting free & then falling back into the old behaviors. They never really experience true & lasting freedom.
This goes to prove that there is something to be said about being filled with the Holy Spirit. It really does give power to the one filled. I want to share some reasons why a person should be filled with the Holy Spirit.
1. Jesus wants you filled.
It was Jesus who told the church to wait until they were filled. It was Jesus who spoke to them about this throughout the NT. It was Jesus who told them that they would receive & need the power that the baptism would bring. It is a gift from God that we all should receive.
2. It will add supernatural power to your life.
I have one question to ask you. How many people do you know, or have ever heard of, who has been used of God in the supernatural who was NOT filled with the Holy Spirit? How many churches have you ever heard about that had miracles occurring in them that did not embrace the Spirit baptism? There is a direct connection with the supernatural & the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
3. It will open your mind to the deep truths of God’s Word.
Another question for you to consider: “How people do you know that are preaching revelation knowledge & are not baptized in the Holy Spirit? The greatest revelations from the Word are coming from men & women who are Spirit-filled, tongue talkers. This is not a generalization. It is reality. People who are filled with the Spirit & use the gift regularly have a greater insight to the Word. The Spirit seems to illuminate things to us.
4. It will open you up to gifts from the Spirit.
In our text in Acts, we see that after they were filled with the Holy Spirit they also began to prophesy. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life. He manifests His gifts in us for the glory of Christ. This is not the only gift that the Holy Spirit gives. There are 8 other gifts that come directly from Him. They are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. These are power gifts, revelatory gifts, & utterance gifts that change our world. It also convinces others of the reality of a holy, awesome God.
In the future, we will be talking about what to do when we receive the Holy Spirit. What are the next steps to take, what we use the gift for, how it affects our daily life, etc… God has given you a precious opportunity to receive a precious gift the will change your life for the better. Receive it & use it!