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FIRST STEPS (Appendix 2)
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Two tourists, visiting Niagara Falls, were struck with awe at the spectacular view of this natural wonder. For a long time they stood at a vantage-point at the top of the falls, captivated by the magnificent sight. None of the men spoke for a while as they watched the rapids pouring over the falls, sending up clouds of mist. One of the two men, who had visited the falls on a previous occasion, said to the other man: "Come with me, I want to show you something." Making their way to the foot of Niagara Falls the man turned to his friend and said, "This is the greatest unused power in the world."
His friend thought for a while, then replied:
"With one exception! The Holy Spirit, He is the greatest unused power!"
Jesus promised His disciples that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. The Holy Spirit is a Person. He is divine. He is a member of the Holy Trinity. The New Testament speaks of a distinct and specific experience available to every believer that we call 'the baptism with the Holy Spirit'.
The Bible describes the experience of receiving the Holy Spirit in different ways, such as, "baptized with the Holy Spirit," "filled with the Holy Ghost," "the Holy Ghost fell upon them," "the gift of the Holy Ghost came upon them," "I send the promise of My Father upon you," etc. Sadly, so many Christians live their lives in the power of their own resources. The Holy Spirit gives us the power we need to be victorious and effective Christians.
In this part of the lesson we will look at the power that is available to us, from the Holy Spirit.
Read John 20:22.
As God breathed into Adam he was endowed with life. This was the creation of man. Likewise, when Jesus breathed into His disciples this was the work of recreation, or regeneration. After this had taken place Jesus gave a command to His disciples in Acts 1:4.
What was it?
According to Acts 1:5 what is the Promise of the Father?
Read Acts 2:1-4. When was the Promise of the Father given?
The Holy Spirit was given to the Church two thousand years ago. Our responsibility towards the Holy Spirit is different to that of the disciples. They had to wait until He came.
Now He has come, we do not have to wait
. Let's look at what our responsibility is towards the Holy Spirit.
We see from the Acts of the Apostles that when the gospel was preached, an invitation was given to respond to each of the three Persons of the Trinity. The following verses describe the New Testament response to each Person.
Acts 20:21; 2:38; 8:15&17; 19:2.
We are to repent towards
, believe in
the Lord Jesus Christ
the Holy Spirit
. The Holy Spirit is a gift (see Luke 11:13; Acts 2:38; 8:20; 10:45; 11:17). Every instruction in the New Testament regarding our responsibility towards this gift
is to receive Him.
Being baptized with the Holy Spirit, or receiving Him, is not the end, but the beginning of a new sphere of spiritual life.
What exhortation is given in Ephesians 5:18?
The Greek verb here is a continuous present tense. Literally, the meaning is "be being filled," "keep on being filled"
- Four dimensions of our lives are impacted by the baptism in the Spirit:
Impact 1 - Our Witness To The World.
What did Jesus say would result in our being filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:8?
Impact 2 - Our Worship Of God.
What things did those who were baptized in the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost speak, in Acts 2:11?
When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit we, receive a new tongue with which to worship God and pray to Him. This seems to be the most controversial aspect of the baptism in the Holy. Spirit in the Church today, and no wonder. Speaking in tongues is a distinctive mark of the New Testament era. It is the only one of the nine gifts of the Spirit (together with interpretation of tongues) mentioned in 1 Cor. 12 which did not operate in the Old Testament era. Thus, it is a special sign of the dispensation of the New Testament. That's why the Devil hates it
Read Mark 16:17. Who first mentioned tongues in the New Testament?
Impact 3 - Our Ability To Edify (build up) Ourselves
What did Paul say about the person who speaks in a tongue, in 1 Corinthians 14:4?
As we spend time speaking in tongues to God in our personal devotion, our spirit is being built up.
Impact 4 - Our Ministry To The Church.
There are nine gifts of the Spirit which Paul lists in 1 Cor. 12:4-11. The gifts of the Spirit are supernatural by nature and only operate when the Holy Spirit so moves through individuals. Their purpose is that through a supernatural word, revelation, or act the church may be built up.
: On the 12 June 1979 aviation history was made when a young man flew a pedal-powered plane across the English Channel. The thirty-five kilometres flight took three hours to complete and the plane flew approximately only five meters above the water! Needless to say the young man arrived on the coast of France in a state of exhaustion. Thank God for jet planes! Thank God, too, for the Holy Spirit. May he never be the unused source of power in our lives.
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