People seek to be complete as a person, a parent, an employee, a citizen, etc. – but do we seek to be a complete Christian and Church?
“If you then, being evil [original sin], know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those [His children] who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is an interesting thing in the Church today, mostly because a whole lot of Christians have no idea what the Baptism is or have been taught to ignore it because their salvation does not depend on the Baptism. This is partially true, BUT if you had the opportunity to be better and fulfilled and complete, wouldn’t you want that? And if the Pulpit does not teach this, how can you know?
“He [Paul] said to them [Disciples in Christ], “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” (Acts 19:2)
Just as in the Church today, the Apostle Paul sensed a deficiency, or better said, a lack of knowledge pertaining to not just being baptized in the Holy Spirit but who He is and His POWER. The people Paul is addressing are disciples in Christ but were not taught the fullness of what they can or should be as Christians:
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper [Holy Spirit], that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive [without knowing Christ as Savior], because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:15-18)
Some would suggest that the scripture referenced previously in Acts 19:2 means that to be saved you must be baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4), as the Apostolic sect maintains. Others will say that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not for today….if that were true, why then would Christ’s last words before he was taken up, be:
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem [keep in prayer and supplication], but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5)
AND: “For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:39)
The Greatest Gift: We cannot repay the debt for what Christ did for us, and in spite of that, Jesus gives us the Gift of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and we don’t accept it or seek it? How He must grieve our disobedience and lack of faith besides the reluctance of fulfilling what He has for us. However, even those that are baptized in the Holy Spirit – spirit filled Christians – have one more step to take, one that is seldom thought of…and that one step is SO important to maintain a Christian’s walk:
“Though I [Paul] speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not LOVE, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, BUT HAVE NOT LOVE, I AM NOTHING.” (1Corinthians 13:1-2)
We can’t keep glossing over the fundamentals of Christianity 101 BECAUSE we are Spirit-filled: “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing,” (1Corinthians 13:3). When the Apostle Paul spoke this, he was a Spirit Filled Christian that had to learn to LOVE just as we do. The order is this:
- Paul was a sinner
- Paul had to be born-again
- Paul needed to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit
- Paul realized he needed to learn to LOVE both the brethren AND the unsaved
- Paul preached as Christ commanded (Mark 16:15).
As you can see, just as Paul, we have to follow the same order or we cannot be effective as Christians, Ministers, Preachers and Pastors.
How can I get this precious Gift? Seek for it in prayer and supplication, “And when Paul [the Apostle] had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” (Acts 19:6)
SUMMARY: Pastors and Preachers that are preaching only part of the Bible are not going to affect the Body of Christ as a whole body. The body has many members as noted in 1Corinthians 12:12-31, and every member has a 1)function, 2)needs Christ as their Savior AND 3)the Baptism of the Holy Spirit so that the Nine Gifts (1Cor 12:8-11) of the Spirit can work and flow FREELY…Paul said that he would not have us ignorant! But ignorance of what, who and how the Holy Spirit works is prevalent in the Modern Church even though the Bible says otherwise which can border on being blasphemous. The Church today is much like the lame man at the Gate called Beautiful (Acts 3:2-11); expecting alms but nothing to show for it.
*Notes in [ ] and emphasis in bold and italics are mine.