The Baptism of the Holy Spirit Helps Us to be Faithful Witnesses for Jesus Christ
GWEA Monthly Message - November 2021
REVEREND GORDON WILLIAMS
What difference does the Baptism of the Holy Spirit make in a believer’s life? Is it for everyone? Yes it is! Receiving the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit’ is not optional (Lk. 24:49; Jn 3:5; Mk 1:6-8). Until we receive the Holy Spirit’s power and the “Person of the Holy Spirit”, we cannot be faithful witnesses for Jesus Christ.
Before the Day of Pentecost, the disciples were like spiritual yo-yos. One day they were faithful and the next day they were failures - one day never denying Jesus and the next denying Him. Paul said it best, “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate... I can will what I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do” (Rom. 7:15-19). The solution is “thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 7:25). The Baptism of the Holy Spirit allows Jesus to be our Lord (1 Cor. 12:3). John the Baptist knew that we required both water baptism (Salvation) and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Lordship) (Matt. 3:11; Lk. 3:16).
There was a big difference in the disciple’s lives after they received the infilling of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Before that day, Jesus gave the disciples all authority to go out and do ministry. Yet when they returned, they were all excited about the wrong things and there was not one person saved. “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Lk.10:20).
But after the disciple’s “were all filled with the Holy Spirit” as described in Acts 2:41, three thousand people were saved! By the end of the week, the number rose to about five thousand! (Acts 4:4) That is the difference that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit makes! When the disciples began to speak in tongues (other national languages that they had not learned) it was proof that the Holy Spirit had control as to what was coming out of their mouths and what they were saying.
Effective witnessing and leading people to Salvation through Jesus Christ requires that Christians receive their spiritual “tongues” language. This makes it possible for the Holy Spirit to put the right words into our mouths (Mk. 13:11) when we minister to others. Paul encourages the correct and effective use of tongues in our worship services. When an interpretation is given “tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers” (1 Cor. 14:22).
All of the “gifts of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:8-10) when used under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, lead people to Salvation and are designed to meet their needs. The “signs following” (Mk. 16:17-18) are given to every person as proof of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and what I call the “introductory ministry package”. The introductory ministry package allows us to cast out demons, pray in tongues (which is God’s unique prayer communications system); gives us protection when we preach the Gospel, and gives us a healing ministry by means of “laying on of hands” (Mark 16:15-18).
I am often asked, “Is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit for everyone?” The answer is “Yes! It allows Jesus to not only be our Saviour, but the Lord over our lives as well”. Along the same lines many ask, “Is tongues for everybody?” The answer is still “Yes! Tongues gives us control of what we say and enables us to ‘pray with the Spirit’ and ‘pray with (our) mind’ (1 Cor. 14:15)”.
Another question that I’m frequently asked is: “If I come to have prayer to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, will I speak in tongues?” My answer is always “Yes! No problem!” The only thing that can stand in the way of us receiving God’s grace gifts is ourselves: “What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matt. 7:9-11).
So if you, or a family member, friend, neighbour, co-worker, etc., have not yet received Salvation, or the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues (the “signs following”), we invite you (and them) to come to our weekly Holy Spirit Zoom Meetings to receive like the first disciples did on the Day of Pentecost!
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