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How to Receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

When we wait and submit we will be filled, bringing us to the third principle of receiving the Baptism:


They Were Empowered

Acts 1:8 is very clear that the baptism is an empowering for service. Before Jesus was resurrected, the disciples met behind locked doors for fear of the Jews (John 20:19). When the apostles submitted to the Holy Spirit, they received the power that Jesus spoke of in Acts 1:8. With the power of God coursing through their spirits they were ready to take on the world.

Now, being full of the Holy Spirit, Peter stood before a crowd of at least 3,000 and preached the gospel. Infused with the power of God they took to the streets of Jerusalem and preached Christ, not fearing the wrath of those whom they recently feared. On at least two occasions, some of the disciples were called before the Sanhedrin, the quasi-political religious council that ran the daily affairs in Jerusalem, for preaching as they did. Far from cowering, they were fearless. Cho writes that the baptism in the Holy Spirit gives “believers the power of God to preach Christ” (Cho, p. 103.). Taylor’s assessment that empowering for service is one of the main reasons to receive the Baptism is right on target (Taylor, p. 47).

Erlie Reyes, a seminary student, said that receiving the baptism changed her life from being rather shy and timid to being a firebrand for Christ (interview, September 12, 1999). Arun Sarkar, who believes that receiving the Baptism is essential for ministry, reports that the baptism gave him the assurance of his call to the ministry (interview, September 14, 1999). Kaye Cole said that it was a turning point in her relationship with the Lord. The Holy Spirit lit her on fire for the Lord. Though shy, she began witnessing to people and getting active in her church (interview, September 13, 1999).

Other things happen as a result of the baptism of the Holy Spirit that are related to this empowerment. For me, the Bible became a new book as the Holy Spirit gave me insights I had never seen before. Also, the Lord set me free to be myself, and I realized that wearing false masks was not necessary for pleasing Him. Tess Himenez said that prayer became easier for her (interview, September 14, 1999). Along this vein, Phil Taylor, an Assemblies of God pastor writes:

The baptism in the Holy Spirit leads to a renewing of worship and praise to the Lord, a new dimension of prayer and intercession, a deepened understanding of the word of God and its application to our life, a deeper understanding of our place in Christ and of His power at work in His church, and a heightened boldness to witness and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world.

(Taylor, p. 49)

Notice that every one of the elements mentioned by Taylor is connected to being empowered for service. New dimensions of prayer, intercession, and a deeper understanding of the Word of God serve to strengthen the empowering given to us for service in God’s Kingdom. The baptism in the Holy Spirit gave Erlie Reyes a more intense desire for more of God and gave her greater boldness in her witness (interview, September 13, 1999).

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Category: Spirit, Winter 2000

About the Author: Dave Johnson, M.Div., D.Miss. (Asia Graduate School of Theology, Philippines), is an Assemblies of God missionary to the Philippines. Dave and his wife Debbie have been involved in evangelism, church planting, and Bible school and mission leadership. Dave is the Managing Editor of Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies, the director of APTS Press in Baguio City, Philippines and coordinator for the Asian Pentecostal Theological Seminary's Master of Theology Program. Facebook Twitter

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