Who is the Holy Spirit? - Upon Us

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

This past Sunday we stepped fully into what the Word has to say about the Holy Spirit coming upon us through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. As you read through this post (my notes from Sunday's message) please also go and listen to the message because I do break some of this down a little more, making it more practical and understandable than even what the notes show. We believe our heavenly language (speaking in tongues) is vital for us as believers but even more so, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit are a result of Baptism but not the focus. The gifts are used to point mankind to Jesus but Baptism in the Holy Spirit has always been about filling us with boldness, power, and a passion to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus.

Have ave seen one of those old westerns where the people, threatened by a blazing building, formed a bucket brigade from the nearest well in order to fight the flames? A more contemporary example would be the lines of people at the collapsed World Trade Center on 9/11 who passed the rubble from person to person as they started clearing the site. Such a tactic may seem primitive, but in some cases it’s still the only safe way to move debris from a fallen building after a disaster.

The key to success in any bucket brigade is a full bucket. If you slosh enough half-full buckets to the front of the line to fight a blaze, you may just lose the building. If you’re delinquent in the amount of rubble you move from a collapsed building, someone trapped underneath might die.

Both the Old and New Testaments are concerned about passing spiritual experience on to succeeding generations. It’s a task that should never be carried out half-heartedly.

Deuteronomy 6:4–9 (NIV) Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

"How can we guard the spiritual deposit that has been entrusted to us? How can we give to our children and grandchildren the truths and experiences with which we were blessed? We must pass on a full bucket.” (George O. Wood, Living in the Spirit, pages 181–182).
Every believer needs to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. You and I are a part of the end-time family of God that will be instrumental in seeing the greatest harvest of souls for God’s kingdom.

We can see scripturally that the Holy Spirit comes in us for us, He is with us. However, we can also see in Acts and the New Testament church that He comes upon us for others, so that we can walk in power, boldness, and fire to see our world come to know Jesus.

Matthew 3:11(NLT) 11 “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a spiritual experience following salvation, where a follower of Jesus is immersed or filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • In the New Testament, this was a natural experience for those who desired all God had for them.
  • At salvation, God puts His Holy Spirit in each believer.

Romans 8:9 (NIV) “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.”
1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV) “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.”

But this experience of the Holy Spirit coming upon you—baptizing you—was so critical to the Early Church, that when they knew a Christian who had been saved, but not yet filled, they sent spiritual leadership to pray for that person.

Acts 8:14–17 (NIV) “When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”

The baptism in the Holy Spirit experience is evidenced by a sign called speaking in tongues.
  • Praying in the Spirit is a privilege. It’s not something I “have” to do; it is a privilege.
  • When people are baptized in the Holy Spirit, they begin to worship the Lord in a heavenly language.
  • Why is “speaking in tongues” the evidence? While we don’t know for sure, one thought is that the tongue is the most unruly member of the body (James 3:5–8). So when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, even the most unruly member of our body will show evidence of submission to Christ.

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is something we should be seeking every day.
Ephesians 5:18 (NIV) “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

Too often we have reduced the baptism in the Holy Spirit to a one-time event, but Paul said, “Keep on being filled with the Spirit.” This word for “filled” means a continual in filling, repeated over and over, not just a one-time occurrence.

Acts 4:31 (NIV) “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God Boldly.”

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a command, not a suggestion.
Acts 1:4 (NIV) “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.’ ”

This “gift” is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew that for us to effectively accomplish the Great Commission (the discipleship of all nations and peoples), we would need supernatural assistance, so He gave us the Holy Spirit.

Create an atmosphere of expectation by praising and expressing love to Jesus audibly.
  • Those who were first baptized in the Holy Spirit spent time praising God while waiting for the Spirit to be poured out on them.

Luke 24:52–53 (NIV) “Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.”

  • When the first-century believers spoke in tongues, other people heard them.

Acts 2:6 (NIV) “When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.”

  • From the practical standpoint, it is easier to speak in tongues if we are praising the Lord out loud.

Expect to experience the baptism in the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues.
Luke 11:13 (NIV) “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!”

  • Be willing to stop speaking in English or your native language. You cannot speak two languages at the same time.
  • We have to leave the known to receive the unknown.
  • Receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit just as you receive any other gift.
  • Don’t beg for the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
  • Reach out and take the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
  • Thank Jesus for the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

I want to take a moment a talk about the practical side of speaking in tongues or a heavenly language.
  • First, we do not pursue the Baptism of the Holy Spirit for the tongues, it is a gift of power and boldness to be a witness and help other encounter the love of Jesus.
  • Second, I want to encourage you to not be so focused on the outcome that it keeps you from receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The language is a result of the gift.

Here are some practical yet biblical thoughts surrounding this.
  • When you hear expressions, words, or syllables forming in your mind, speak them.
  • The pattern of Acts 2:4 (GNT) is important for us today. “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.” The same pattern is seen in Acts 19:6.
  • The Holy Spirit will not speak for us or force us to speak. We must speak the words ourselves.

“You will never speak if you keep waiting for the Spirit to put you into some kind of trance and do it all for you. It will be your mouth, your tongue, your voice, but His words.” (Doyle Jones, Be Filled with the Spirit, page 53)

“The miracle is not in the speaking but in the words that are spoken.” (Doyle Jones, page 53). In other words, Jesus won’t miraculously make you speak. When you speak, He will allow your spoken language to be tongues.
  • You may not hear the words in your mind, but when you speak they will be in your mouth.
  • Speak, even if it is only a few syllables.
  • Those words are very likely words of praise to God, so go ahead and speak them.
  • Fluency will come as you continue to pray in the Spirit. Your vocabulary will grow in this new language.
  • Speak, even if it doesn’t sound like a language to you.
  • Many languages and dialects don’t sound like languages to us.
  • Remember that we can speak in languages “of men or of angels.”
(1 Corinthians 13:1, NIV)
  • Being filled with the Spirit is not based on your ability to understand the language.
  • Realize that you control the flow of the Spirit through you.

1 Corinthians 14:32 (NIV) “The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.”
  • Continue to pray in the Spirit every day.
  • We are built up in our faith when we pray in the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 14:4 (NIV) “Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.”
Jude 1:20 (NLT) “But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit.”
  • Paul, the apostle, testified that he prayed in the Spirit more than others.
1 Corinthians 14:18 (NIV) “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you.”

  • The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gift from God for you. When you surrendered your life to Jesus, the Holy Spirit came to live inside you and serves as Christ’s mark of ownership on you.
  • If you’re saved, you’ve experienced part of what the Holy Spirit does when He convicts us of sin and turns our attention toward Jesus. But there’s more to the Holy Spirit’s activity than just that.
  • Jesus wants to baptize you in the Holy Spirit, to immerse you, come upon you, or flood you with the Spirit. When He does, the Holy Spirit will:
  1. Draw you into a daily, ever-growing relationship with Jesus, and
  2. Give you incredible power to live as a witness to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.