Believers need the Holy Spirit baptism for daily life, not just on rare occasions. It’s a daily, dynamic process of being continually filled, a free gift.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. (1 Corinthians 2:12)
Perhaps one of the saddest things – to me, at least – is how many believers have never been filled with the Spirit. Holy Spirit baptism is a great gift of grace and is critical to our Christian walk. Without it, it’s like climbing a mountain with one arm and one leg. I grieve each time I encounter a brother or sister who have missed this blessing, because it they are much like a boat without a proper rudder. Sadly, there are many who have misunderstood this grace or who been taught to disregard it.
Holy Spirit baptism is absolutely necessary.
If we’re in any doubt, we need only look at Christ to discover the truth of this. Apart from the references to the Holy Spirit in both the Old Testament and the New, we’re told to look to Jesus for a living example of how we, as Christians, should live. He came to earth wholly man, having set aside His divinity in order to make the ultimate sacrifice as a living, breathing, perfect man. It’s significant that before He started on His earthly ministry, He received Holy Spirit baptism as a sovereign move of God.
Clearly, He knew this was important. On earth, Jesus was not the Son of God. He was the Son of Man, completely human. He needed the Holy Spirit baptism to empower His life, His ministry, and His death. If Jesus couldn’t do it without the Spirit, what chance do we have? While none of us will have to face the full extent of suffering that Christ did, we face constant battles, temptations, trials, and confusion that only the Holy Spirit has full knowledge of. We need the Spirit to guide, teach, reveal, strengthen, empower, comfort, encourage… Everything in our Christian life requires the divine intervention of the Spirit.
Holy Spirit baptism is ordained and promised by God.
Jesus took great care to explain to His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit after He ascended into heaven. In fact, He instructed His followers to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit baptism. The message is clear – don’t do anything without Him. Back in the Old Testament we read innumerable passages when ‘Spirit of God came upon him.’ These were temporary events where Holy Spirit power was needed in specific situations. This kind of anointing still happens today – a kind of ‘extra dose’ of the Spirit which is specific to any given moment.
The big difference between the Old Testament and the New is that believers now have constant access to the Spirit through Holy Spirit baptism. We literally receive the Spirit. He doesn’t simply zap us and move on. We are indwelled by the Spirit, and He works constantly within us. It’s a constant, ongoing, daily connection that is absolutely critical to our Christian walk. It is promised by God to empower us every single day.
The practical purpose of Holy Spirit baptism.
There are wonderful teachings out there of the Spirit being the seal of salvation and a lot more besides. A study of the Holy Spirit baptism can keep us enthralled for many, many hours. Today’s verse touches on a wonderfully practical aspect of what is a deep spiritual truth. His purpose is so that we would know the things that God has given us. The word ‘know’ here is all-encompassing. It covers every aspect, from knowing the truth in the Word to applying the truth in all situations. Our position in Christ is a good example. The Spirit testifies to us that we are now sons of God, not simply servants. But the Spirit also teaches how we can use this knowledge in our lives and guides us when and how to exercise the authority this affords us.
The Bible contains limitless truths and promises given to empower our Christian lives from intimacy with God to victory over trial, temptation, spiritual attack, self, the world, and sin. But it is the Spirit who takes these truths and writes them in our hearts. He explains them to us, opens our discernment, and reveals the depth, extent, and power inherent in each one. So many have denied themselves the blessing and victory that Holy Spirit baptism brings.
Debunking the ‘only for some’ Holy Spirit baptism myth.
Many of these who have never received the Holy Spirit baptism have bought into the myth that it’s only for some, e.g. the first apostles, or contemporary Christians with ‘a higher calling.’ Joel 2:28-32 completely negates this argument. And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. There is absolutely no room for confusion or misunderstanding here.
All means all. Men, women, old, and young. We’re all included. It’s not a gift for a select few but for every single believer. Holy Spirit baptism is free. It cannot be earned, duplicated, engineered, or counterfeited. It is a gift from a loving merciful God who wants all His children to have ‘equal opportunity.’ It wasn’t limited to a specified timeframe or ministry. It’s free, it’s for all, and it’s a critical blessing every believer should grab hold with thanksgiving.
Holy Spirit baptism is designed to be an ongoing blessing.
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, (Ephesians 5:18). ‘Be filled’ here actually means ‘be continually filled.’ It’s not a one-off static event but an ongoing, dynamic, daily occurrence – a kind of daily ‘top up.’ That is the limitless measure of the grace of God – it’s rather like the water in a tap. Turn on the tap, and providing the connection to the water main is in place, water comes out. It doesn’t get ‘used up’ but refills as soon as water is drawn out. Holy Spirit baptism works in much the same way.
We can be continually filled with the Spirit, day or night, no matter who or where we are. God places no restriction or limitation on this gracious blessing. The more we use, the more we are given. How it must sadden the Father’s heart to see His children denying themselves this critical blessing so freely given. Holy Spirit baptism should be something we actively seek and never rest until we have it.
Holy Spirit Baptism is a daily, dynamic refreshing.
Sometimes, even Spirit-filled believers find the supply running low. That’s not because God has turned off the Holy Spirit baptism main supply. It’s because we haven’t visited the tap. That’s the implication behind ‘be continually filled.’ It means we should ask and receive this grace daily. We must be mindful that life with all its challenges can divert us or deplete us and consciously ask to be refilled. It’s something we can never have enough of, and it’s something we cannot do without. It’s also something that will radically change both us and our lives.
Thank You, Father, for Your great gift of grace. Fill us today with Your Holy Spirit, and keep us mindful of the truth that You gave the Spirit because we need the Spirit. Forgive us if we’ve misunderstood and help us to receive today, so that You may fill us to overflowing and touch lives, both ours and others.