Receiving the Baptism in the Holy
By Scott R. Erickson
1. The seeker should be spiritually
Acts 2:38,39 says: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the
name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive
the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and
for all who are far off — for all whom the Lord our God will call”
(NIV). We are spiritually prepared for the Baptism if we are born again. This
promise from God was not just for the Day of Pentecost, but for everyone thereafter
who would believe. The spiritual birthright of every Christian is to seek,
expect and experience the same baptism in the Holy Spirit that was promised
and given to the New Testament Christians.
2. The seeker should realize
that the Holy Spirit has already been given.
The disciples were initially commanded to wait in Jerusalem (Acts 1:4) before
beginning their ministry. This was the beginning of the Holy Spirit’s
new relationship with believers. Once the Holy Spirit had been poured out
in the Upper Room, believers no longer needed to wait in the same way for
this fullness. The Book of Acts records after the Upper Room narrative four
times when people were filled immediately by the Spirit of the Lord, with
the evidence of speaking in other tongues either explicitly stated or implied
by the context (Acts 8:14-19; 9:17; 10:44-48; 19:1-7).
Thomas E. Trask & Wayde I. Goodall
in the Spirit
Frank M. Boyd
The Greatest Gift
here or call
3. The seeker should
be aware that the Holy Spirit is received by faith.
Several instances in the New Testament remind us that the baptism
in the Holy Spirit is a gift. All of us have received gifts from
loved ones, parents or individuals who wanted to show us kindness.
Gifts are something we don’t earn; we simply accept them
and acknowledge the kindness of the giver. Galatians 3:14 says,
“He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham
might come to the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, so that by faith
we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” Faith is the
means through which we receive the gift.
4. Seekers should know that
the Holy Spirit enables, but the believer does the speaking.
In every instance in the New Testament where people received the gift of the
Holy Spirit, they were the ones who spoke in other tongues as the Spirit enabled
them. The Holy Spirit does not control a person like a puppet. We find this
clearly in Acts 2:4: “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and
began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” He “enabled.”
He did not coerce.
5. Seekers should not fear that
they will fall prey to a counterfeit experience.
The Word of God teaches that God gives only good gifts to His children. “If
you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who
ask him!” (Luke 11:13). God will not allow another spirit to interfere
with His sincerely seeking child.
Not everyone receives the Baptism
immediately. Even the disciples waited in the Upper Room for 10
days before being baptized in the Spirit. Waiting is not cause
to give up. Remember, the Baptism is promised to every believer.
Many believers are baptized soon after leaving an altar where
they had sought the Baptism. They may be at home or going about
their business the next day. The important thing to receiving
the Baptism is to continue to seek the Lord in faith. God’s
desire and promise is to baptize each believer with the Holy Spirit.
R. Erickson is senior pastor of The Peoples Church (Assemblies
of God) in Salem, Ore.
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