Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Life Shape Prayer & Discipleship Module One Block Twelve – Baptism of the Holy Spirit


Matthew 3:11  “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Key Scripture: Acts 2:39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

The “Promise” spoken of herein is the promise of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1
4  And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me;
5  for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

Luke 24:49 "Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high."

“Endued” means to be fully plunged into and completely clothed by, in this case, “power from on high”. This is a picture of baptism in/with/of …

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."

The Promise of the Father through Jesus the Son is that we shall receive Power to be a witness and manifest that witness to the whole world.

Jesus was nailed to the cross on a Friday, the day Passover was set to begin in the evening. Jesus died at about 3pm and was hurriedly prepared for burial and buried in a borrowed tomb before sundown. Three days later, on the first day of the week, a Sunday morning, Jesus rose from the grave victorious over the devil, death, hell and the grave.

For 40 days after His resurrection Jesus appeared to more than 500 of His followers giving witness to His resurrection and instructions concerning the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Jesus then ascended from the Mount of Olives and was received up into heaven with the promise that He would return in like manner.

Seven days later, the 50th day since Passover, on Sunday, which is the first day of the week and the day marking the beginning of the Feast of Pentecost, 120 Believers in Jesus were assembled together in the upper room of a house on Mount Zion, in one accord. Suddenly there came a noise as of a rushing mighty wind and it filled that upper room …

Acts 2
3  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
4  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now, having received the Promise of the Father and being endued with power from on high, these 120 Spirit-Filled Believers immediately went out from their meeting place and into the streets of their city and began testifying to the goodness and grace of Almighty God. Peter told those listening that this was merely what the Prophet Joel said would happen in the last days: God would pour His Spirit out upon all flesh.

These outpourings continued to happen to individuals, families, and groups of people throughout the rest of the New Testament.
·        It happened when Philip the evangelist went down to Samaria in Acts 8. People heard his preaching and were saved and water baptized. Then later the Apostles John and Peter arrived, laid their hands on those Born Again Believers and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
·        It happened to a Roman Centurion named Cornelius and his family when Peter went to their house in Caesarea as recorded in Acts 10. While Peter was talking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those in the house and they were all baptized with that same evident spiritual fire from heaven. Afterwards Cornelius and his whole family were water baptized and received into fellowship as the first Gentile Believers.
·        It happened to a group of disciples in Ephesus who had never before heard about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Acts 19 tells us that they were re-baptized in water and then filled with the Holy Spirit.

All of these accounts go to prove that God has a continuing plan to baptize Believers in the power of His Holy Spirit. He can and has given His Holy Spirit before, during, and after Believers are baptized in water. God can do things any way He desires without regard to what anyone else thinks.

Scriptures do clearly tell us that God gives the Holy Spirit to those who:
·        Obey Him – Acts 5:32
·        Ask Him – Luke 11:13

Important Points:
1.   The Baptism of the Holy Spirit gives power to the Believer.
2.   This power enables the Believer to manifest the Word and works of God as a witness to the world.
3.   Believers receive the Holy Spirit when they pray and obey.

After Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to His disciples and told them to wait in Jerusalem until they had received the Holy Spirit. He further told them that they would be endued with power once the Holy Spirit came upon them and charged them to manifest this power of God as a witness to the world. The first Church was birthed only a few days later on the day of Pentecost. In response to the united prayer of the believers assembled in Jerusalem, God poured His Spirit upon people and they became a great witness. Similar occurrences took place throughout the New Testament revealing how one generation became a witness to their whole known world. There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit was given to empower people to manifest the works of God. This like empowerment has happened in each generation since and must continue until Christ comes again. The Church must be birthed in every generation through the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. For this promise of the Holy Spirit is unto you and unto your children and your children’s children in their generation for as long as the Lord calls men to be saved. Have you been filled with the Holy Spirit since you believed? Offer yourself to God as a willing vessel and ask Him to fill you with the promised power of the Holy Spirit.