When the believers in Acts 2 were baptized in the Holy Spirit, they began to speak in tongues. In numerous other places throughout Acts and the rest of the New Testament, God’s Word talks about speaking in tongues. It is something that God desires for all of His children to experience today, and willingly gives to all of them who will accept it.
Acts 2:4 says that the believers began speaking in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. In other words, when we speak in tongues, we’re simply speaking out words that the Holy Spirit gives us. Even though we won’t recognize or understand what we’re saying, it’s from Him. Our job is to just open our mouths and speak out the words He’s giving us.
Speaking in tongues comes along with baptism in the Holy Spirit, and is important in our lives as believers. When we pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit can pray through us about things we don’t even know to pray about, or pray exactly what needs to be said about situations we aren’t sure how to pray for. Praying in tongues can help us to connect with God in a way that aids us in hearing what He has to say to us. These are just some of the reasons why praying in tongues is important for us as followers of Christ.
Speaking in tongues is something God makes available to all believers. If you’ve accepted Jesus as your Savior, then it’s for you! Are you open to this gift that God wants to give you?
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)!
Week 16 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is nearing its end. This week’s reading was Acts 1-5. These chapters speak mainly of Jesus’ ascension, the first instance of baptism in the Holy Spirit, which took place on the day of Pentecost, the beginning of the Church, and several other instances in early church history.
In Acts 1, we read of there being a sound as of violent wind, tongues of fire coming to rest upon those who were gathered together, and the Holy Spirit coming upon them. They then began to speak in other tongues, as they were enabled by the Spirit (Acts 2:4).This was the baptism of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had spoken of in Acts 1:5, which He told the disciples not to leave home without (Acts 1:4).
Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a part of God’s plan for believers, and is a separate experience from salvation. When we receive salvation, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within us. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is simply an overflowing of that which is within us. It is typically accompanied, as in this instance in Acts 2, by the ability to speak in tongues. Romans 8:26 speaks of the Spirit interceding for us when we don’t know what to pray. This is, in a nutshell, what takes place when we pray in tongues – the Spirit interceding for us.
Luke 11:13 says that if parents know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more will our Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. If you have never received baptism in the Holy Spirit, and would like to do so, simply ask God for it, receiving it in faith, just as you did with salvation. Those who ask will receive (Acts 7:8). Know that God is both ready and waiting to give this gift to you!