|Baptism Defined (10/05/2014)||Pentecost & Baptism of the Holy Spirit (10/05/2014)|
|My Testimony (27/06/2013)|
Pentecost is recorded in Acts 2.
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
For 2014, Pentecost will be celebrated on Sunday 8 June. Pentecost originates from Greek and literally means the fiftieth day. As it suggests, Pentecost is indeed 50 days after Resurrection Sunday & Easter. Jesus is recorded as having spent 40 days before His Ascension, so there was a short 10 day gap between His bodily departure and the arrival of God’s third person – the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is the first recording of the Holy Spirit indwelling believers. Ever since, the Holy Spirit has been here on earth, dwelling within the hearts of believers.
The presence of God in our lives as the Holy Spirit helps believers grow closer to God, empowers them to preach the Gospel and enables speaking in tongues. Whilst we are all encouraged to be filled with the Holy Spirit, it is not in itself a measure of validity of our faith. As believers, following God and obeying His commands would lead us to encountering Him and receiving the Holy Spirit. One good analogy is published on the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry website.
If you were to step outside into a soft mist, it would take a long time to get completely wet. On the other hand, if you were to step into a torrential rain, you’d be drenched quickly. Those who have not experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (meaning a sudden and powerful experience) are not second-class citizens by any means. They are the ones in the gentle mist who experience the Lord over a long period of time and get just as blessed as those who suddenly step into the torrent of the Spirit’s presence.
Being baptised in the Holy Spirit is very much a matter of the heart. Our sincere faith and seeking to connect with God will lead us to be baptised in the Holy Spirit. Retreats and camps are often great opportunities that many churches organise where believers can receive and be filled by the Holy Spirit. However, being baptised in the Holy Spirit is a personal experience and does not require the presence of others to achieve. Being with other believers however does create opportunities for the Holy Spirit to work, and often by being intentional in the pursuit of encountering God as a communal activity, God will work and encourage via fellow believers. Being prayed over and anointed by Pastors and Leaders can help induce God experiences; the use of worship create environments conducive to having the presence of God intimately and intensely felt by all participants.
Being filled and baptised by the Holy Spirit also means that we can lose the presence of God within our lives. Pursuing after God requires effort on our part, to keep ourselves Holy and set apart for God’s purpose. Numerous books and studies are available, so I’ll end this article by listing just a few of these resources:
- Spirit Filled: The Overflowing Power of the Holy Spirit, Jack Hayford
- Spirit Filled Living: An Overflowing Life, Discover the Book Ministries
- Be Filled with the Holy Spirit, Cru/Campus Crusade for Christ