After Jesus died, rose again from the dead and ascended into heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit to his disciples as he had promised. "When the day of Pentecost was fully come they were all with one accord in the one place, and suddenly there came the sound from heaven as of a rushing, mighty wind and it filled the house where they were sitting. There appeared to them cloven tongues like of fire and it sat on each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:1-4).
This was the first time the Holy Spirit had been poured out in such a way. It overflowed (or baptised) the believers and the "sign" of the overflow was that the Spirit took control of their tongues, giving them a supernatural language (Mark 16:17; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Corinthians 14:2).
We must realise that without the "Baptism" in the Spirit, we are not "anointed" and therefore not part of the Body of Christ (The anointed ones).
I believe it is possible to be "saved from the wrath to come" without this anointing, but we must remember that God is presently preparing a group of people who are to reign with Jesus in the Age to come. This group is the Body of Christ - The Anointed Ones. So this "anointing" by the Spirit is important in this preparation.
The best way to explain the difference the Baptism in the Spirit makes in a person's life is to show by example. There is no better documented example in scripture for us than Peter.
It was Peter who first saw that Jesus was the Messiah (Matthew 16:16) yet it was Peter who rebuked the Lord for wanting to fulfill the will of God (Matthew 16:23). It was Peter who had faith enough to walk on water, yet he also nearly drowned (Matthew 14:23-33). It was Peter who boldly stated that he would die with the Lord, yet it was Peter who denied the Lord before a serving girl.
This is how it is for those who are "born again" but have not been "empowered from on high" by the Spirit Baptism. There are moments of great insight and moments of great confusion. There are moments of great faith and moments of great failure also.
When we consider the great boldness and ministry of Peter after Pentecost we see the contrast. Peter preached boldly on the day of Pentecost. The people brought out their sick so that even the shadow of Peter might pass over them and they be healed. Peter first took the Gospel to the Gentiles. He was consistent and powerful in his witness for the Lord. The Holy Spirit brought Divine fire into his spirit.
This is why the Spirit Baptism is so important. He creates stability and power in our witness. It is our personal "commission" from the Lord to be his representative on the earth.
How do we get it? "Ask and it shall be given unto you... If a son asks bread of any of you who are fathers will you give him a stone?... If you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give you the Holy Spirit if you ask him" (Luke 11:9-13). We must ask for the baptism in the Spirit, "but let him ask in faith, not wavering... a double minded man is unstable in all his ways." (James 1:6-8). In other words, we must be "fair dinkum" and persist in our asking.
Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.