Kinross Christian Fellowship

Chapter 4

Receiving the Baptism in the Spirit

God gives His gifts for a purpose; He knows that left to ourselves we would be weak and ineffective when it comes to sharing our faith. So He gives to us the priceless gift of the Holy Spirit that we might have the necessary power. The Holy Spirit is not exclusive to certain groups. He does not wait for us to be spiritually mature, or to have deep insight into Christian truths. Every Christian, however long or little they have been on the path, needs to be filled with the Spirit. In fact, the New Testament gives us no option - it is a command e.g. Ephesians 5:18 which we will look at later. It surely follows, therefore, that if we have received understanding on the subject and are not seeking to be baptised in the Spirit, then we are being disobedient. Fear of the unfamiliar is a factor which sometimes makes people hesitant but it is helpful to remember that the Lord will not lead us into something that will harm us. What He does in our lives is always for our ultimate good.

The following outline may be helpful in knowing how to receive the Holy Spirit, as a possible guide only, and may be accepted or rejected by the reader. Ultimately it is between God and the seeker, and our Creator certainly needs no guidance. However, perhaps the following may help to clarify some issues.

It is essential that you are born again - Jesus must be your personal Saviour and Lord. You should really desire the Lord to fill you with his Spirit. As we read earlier, Jesus said, John 7:37b-39 If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him." He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been received because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

It may help to find a place where you can be quiet and don't feel self-conscious. Many find it useful to pray with a Spirit­-filled Christian. Some appear to have a particular ministry in this direction and through the laying on of hands are able to lead others into the Baptism. It is usual, although not essential, that Church leaders will fulfil this role. However, these are only suggestions, (and I am not entirely comfortable with sharing them). They are not rules or regulations, and not to be considered as necessary.

You can receive the Holy Spirit alone, and do remember that Jesus is the Baptiser in the Holy Spirit. It is in Him and Him alone in Whom we place our trust.

When you are baptised in water, someone immerses you and then brings you out. You trust yourself completely to the person doing the baptising. With the Baptism in the Spirit, Jesus immerses you in the Spirit and you can completely trust yourself to Him. The analogy between the two baptisms has its limitations in that when you are immersed in the Spirit, Jesus doesn't bring you out - you remain there, a very good place to be - submerged, drowning in the Holy Spirit, never needing to come up for air.

It would also be helpful if you read the Scriptures where the gift of the Holy Spirit is promised. Luke 11:9-13 is a particularly helpful passage. "So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

These verses tell us that the Holy Spirit is a gift, the most precious of gifts, which is received when we ask in faith. The receiving of the Spirit isn't dependent on feelings - it is an act of faith where we take God at His word. After praying for the Spirit we may initially feel little change or nothing at all. On the other hand, the experience may be overwhelming, neither is right or wrong - the only certainty will be that it is exactly what God wants for us at that time. In this knowledge, is where our security lies. As previously mentioned, and do take heed of this, it will not depend on feelings. It depends only on the Master's will and your heart's desires. To repeat, "…… much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

To quote an old, but effective, adage, Faith does not follow feelings, feelings follow faith. Believe the Bible, believe the words of Jesus - and do it.






Alphagramma home page About Alphagramma First Writing A Layman's Mark The Prophet's Apprentice The Holy Spirit Contact Alphagramma