Posted by: pastortomvabeach | July 19, 2012

Thought for the Week July 22, 2012

We have been discussing the baptism in the Holy Spirit. A few “thoughts” ago, I mentioned that Jesus had “given” the Holy Spirit to the disciples during one of the post-resurrections appearances. John 20:21-22, records Jesus words, “Peace be to you: as my Father has sent me, even so sent I you.” And when he has said this, He breathed on them, and said unto them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Yet a few days later, just prior to His ascension into heaven, Acts 1:4-5 records, While staying with them He (Jesus) ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, He said, “You heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” What is the difference in being “baptized” in the Holy Spirit and what happened when Jesus said, “Receive” the Holy Spirit? Why two experiences or events?

The Scripture is very clear that everyone who believes in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins based on His death and resurrection, everyone who trusts Him “receives” the Holy Spirit in their lives the moment they believe. Yet, Jesus said to “wait” for a “baptism” and the early church leaders thought it was so important that, upon hearing that people in Samaria had come to faith in Christ, sent Peter and John to pray for them that they might “receive” the Holy Spirit (Acts 8 ESV). Didn’t they already receive the Holy Spirit? Yes, they did, but they were not baptized in the Holy Spirit. Again, why two different experiences?

I showed a short video that I had made on Sunday that sort of illustrated the difference between “receiving” the Holy Spirit and being “baptized in” the Holy Spirit. I took a water pitcher full of water and then filled an empty glass with water. The glass was filled with water, had received water, and I even poured in some more to show it could be overflowing with water. This illustrates you and me, we receive the Holy Spirit when we come to Christ, we may be full to the brim with His presence to the point of overflowing. This makes a great difference in our lives.

But the baptism is something altogether different. “Baptize” means “to dip or immerse”. So once the glass was full, I lifted it and dropped it into the pitcher until it was totally immersed in the water in the pitcher or baptized. The water was then inside the glass, around the glass, and completely covered the glass. This is a picture I get of “baptism” in the Holy Spirit. It’s not just the Holy Spirit in me, it’s me in the Holy Spirit. Some preachers say when we get saved we have the Holy Spirit but when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, He has us.

After the service someone came up to me and said that I missed a very important part of the illustration. He noticed that when the glass was immersed in the pitcher it became virtually invisible. All you would see was the pitcher and the water inside! That is a further application of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. When we are baptized this way, we no longer take center stage, our efforts no longer make things happen. We are immersed in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, so that really supernatural acts can occur and we are hidden so that God, the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the only one who gets the glory because He is doing the work! This is fantastic and wonderful.

With this in mind, let’s take this week and draw near to the Lord. I have had the experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit, but I’ve also noticed that I need to continually be “filled” with the Spirit, to walk in the power of that baptism, if I am to be invisible and He is to increase. If you’ve also been baptized in the Spirit, are you invisible? Are you letting His power work in you to be like Jesus and do what He did? Who is leading, directing, empowering? I would love to get to a point where I walk in the presence and power of the Spirit every day. What about you? I believe that this is possible through the Spirit. Let’s see what happens! Just a thought.

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