Today is the Jewish Feast of Pentecost. • Because of that, we are spotlighting the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the world. • We have established that He is a Person. • And, we can have a relationship with Him. • Many people may have had an experience like the little girl who heard the Holy Ghost mentioned . . . • Sad to say, many adults act like He is a ghost and lurks in the church’s cellar too. • But, nothing could be further from the truth.
He is not lurking somewhere down there but He is very much in the center of our lives. • Today, I want focus on His empowerment work in our lives. • What actually happened on that 1st Pentecost in the Upper Roomwhen the 120 were filled with the Holy Spirit?
Acts 2:1-4 –When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (NKJV)
Just before His ascension, Jesus gave the purpose of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (NLT) • Outline of the book of Acts.
The Purpose: The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is to empower us to be witnesses for Jesus. • The Problem: Most don’t take advantage of what Jesus has made available to us. • In Greek, power = dunamis. • It is where we get the word dynamite. • It is a supernatural empowerment to live a victorious life and to be an effective witness for Jesus in the face of the many obstacles we face in life.
Notice the difference in Peter after he was baptized in the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. • He boldly stood up and preached a message of salvation where 3,000 men were saved. • But, just a few weeks before he cowardly denied he knew Jesus 3 times. • His life was radically transformed! • The question you may have at this point is: • How do I receive that power? • How is it made available to me?
In my life, the empowerment came when I was Baptized in the Holy Spirit too. • I had been a Christian … it was like a fire had been lit that ignited the Holy Spirit in me. • I became a better student, athlete, leader and a much more confident person. • Most importantly, my love for Jesus grew much deeper. • Viewing the world in Living Color vs. Black & White
What I experienced was the Spirit of Pentecost. • The same Holy Spirit who baptized Peter and the 120 in the upper room filled my life and empowered me to be a witness for Jesus. • He can do the same in your life if you have not yet experienced His infilling. • This has been more commonly called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. • What is it? • Drinking Water vs. Jumping into the Ocean
Mind Will Emotions
The Greek word translated baptism = baptizo. • It was used to describe a ship that had sunk to the bottom of the sea. • The ship was completely submerged in water. • This is a good description of what happens when we are Baptized in the Holy Spirit. • Imagine the difference it can make in your life to be totally submerged in the Holy Spirit!
The question invariably comes at this point: I thought I received the Holy Spirit when I was saved? • Yes, you did! • Because He is a Person, you cannot receive any more of a Person than you already have of Him. • The difference is the immersion. • The difference between drinking water and jumping into the ocean. • Let’s look at what I am saying from the Scriptures.
John 20:21-22 – Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you." 22 And with that He breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.” • When Jesus breathed on them, they received the Holy Spirit. • This event took place before His ascension and around 10 days before the Day of Pentecost. • So here’s the question: If they had to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to fill them, why did Jesus give them the Holy Spirit here?
This is where the disciples were born again. • They accepted Jesus and the Person of the Holy Spirit came to live in them at this point. • It was not until 10 days later that they received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit’s empowerment. • This shows that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a separate experience from salvation. • It can happen simultaneously (Cornelius’ household) or at a separate time (the disciples). • There is a connection between being sent and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Dr. Luke confirms this: Luke 24:45-49– Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. • This is the how Luke explains their salvation experience. • Is that not what happened when you gave your life to Jesus? • Before the Bible didn’t make any sense to you, but after salvation, it began to open up to you.
46 And He said, "Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. 47 It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of is name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: 'There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.' 48 You are witnesses of all these things. • Jesus sums the Bible up in 2 points: • Salvation • Preach this message throughout the world
49 And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as My Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven. • Once again, you see the connection between being witnesses & the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. • Here the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is called the Promise of the Father. • Don’t leave home without Him!
Some may say at this point that this was a unique experience for the disciples. • Let’s answer that by looking at Dr. Luke’s sequel, otherwise known as the Book of Acts. • We will pick it up at the end of Peter’s first sermon on the Day of Pentecost.
Acts 2:37-40 – 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" 38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself." (NASB)
What is the Promise? (This is Dr. Luke writing.) • How did he describe the Baptism in the Holy Spirit at the end of his 1st book? • The Promise of the Father. • He confirms this at the beginning of his sequel: Acts 1:4-5 – On one occasion, while He was eating with them, He gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift My Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
Jesus Himself states that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit = the Promise. • Who is the Promise for? • Look at verse 2:39again: The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself. • Guess what? • You are far off! • The Promise of the Father, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit,is still for us today!
Look at how the Samaritans came to the Lord: Acts 8:5-8; 12; 14-17: Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized [in water], both men and women.
You do not baptize someone in water until they have given their lives to Jesus. • Therefore, these Samaritans had received Jesus. 14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Here is a clear picture that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a separate experience from salvation. • Peter and John laid hands on them, and they received the Promise of the Father. • If it had not been considered a separate experience, why would they send Peter and John? • Now, let’s examine Paul’s experience:
Acts 9:17-18 – Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus—who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized [water].
Notice a pattern here? • There was an emphasis among the early believers that all followers of Jesus would receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit. • It was separate from salvation. • It was normal. • Also, notice that Paul received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and then he was baptized in water. • There is not a formula here. • Now, let’s see how the Gentiles at Cornelius’ house received:
Acts 10:44-48 – While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.”
Notice their pattern: • salvation • filled with the Holy Spirit • spoke in tongues • baptized in water • The order is not necessarily important except that salvation must come 1st.
How did Peter know they had been Baptized in the Holy Spirit? • They heard them speaking in tongues and prophesying. • That was the sign. • These Gentiles had a similar manifestation as the 120 in the upper room did. • When they were Baptized in the Holy Spirit, they began to speak in tongues and to prophesy.
This is the normal pattern when we are Baptized in the Holy Spirit. • We will speak in tongues. • Some do it immediately while others do at a later time, but it will happen. • It is the normal consequence of being Baptized in the Holy Spirit.
I also believe that tongues was present when the Samaritans and the Paul received even though it was not mentioned in the passage. • Paul states in I Corinthians 14:18 – I thank God I speak in tongues more than you all. • Look at one more place where this experience is mentioned in Acts:
Acts 19:1-7 – While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" • Question: If this experience was not separate from salvation, why did Paul ask this question?
They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3 So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied. 4 Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the One coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
The Ephesian 12 were baptized in the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues. • For them, it was an immediate consequence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. • What is this tongues thing? Why should I do it? • Speaking in tongues is a private prayer language the Lord offers to each of us individually. • The Holy Spirit gives the words. • You just speak them out in faith.
You control it. • You start it and stop it at your will. • Remember the Holy Spirit is a gentleman. • He will never force Himself on you. I Corinthians 14:32 – The spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet.
4 Reasons for Speaking in Tongues • Edification I Cor. 14:4 – He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. • (2 types of tongues: prayer language & ministry gift accompanied with interpretation) • Not Knowing How to Pray Romans 8:26 – In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
Perfect Prayer Romans 8:27 – And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. • Builds Faith Jude 20 – But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
When you are looking at the Baptism in the Holy Spirit from the outside, all you see is tongues. • It is a big hurdle for most people. • But, once you’ve experienced it, tongues is no longer the focus—Jesus is! • Everybody’s experience is different. Luke 11:13 –If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?