Earlier this month, we celebrated Easter – Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Before He went back to heaven, Jesus told His disciples to wait for God’s promised gift – in a few days, they would be baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5). In Acts 2, we see this promise fulfilled. While they were gathered together on the day of Pentecost (a Jewish holiday), a violent wind seemed to fill the room they were in. What appeared to be tongues of fire came and rested above each of them, and they began to speak in other tongues! This was the first time believers experienced baptism in the Holy Spirit.
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes and lives inside of us. When we receive baptism in the Holy Spirit, it’s like what’s inside of us comes out and manifests in ways such as speaking in tongues (as happened to the early believers mentioned in Acts 2) and other gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:8-11).
Acts 1:8 says that when the Holy Spirit comes upon us, we receive power. Through His Spirit living inside of us, God is able to show us things we couldn’t know on our own, and enable us to do things we couldn’t do by ourselves. Look at the example of Peter. While Jesus was being put on trial and condemned to death, Peter denied Him three times. After being baptized in the Holy Spirit, Peter had the courage to speak boldly for Christ, and explain what was going on to the people who witnessed the believers speaking in tongues. Baptism in the Holy Spirit had an impact on Peter, and it has an impact on us as well!
Those who were staying in Jerusalem for Pentecost when this all took place heard the wonders of God proclaimed in their own language through the believers speaking in tongues. This demonstrates how baptism in the Holy Spirit can enable us to minister to others more effectively.
Do you want to experience baptism in the Holy Spirit? Just like salvation, it becomes ours by simply believing, and receiving it from God. Ask Him, and He will give it to you, for He promises to give it to those who ask (Luke 11:13)!