The greatest gift God has given us is the gift of Salvation. When we accept this gift, we have the assurance that we will go to heaven one day. Along with salvation God has given us a variety of gifts and one of those gifts is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
The reason for the gift of the Holy Spirit is to receive power.
Acts 1:8a But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you...
Why do we need this power...to do what Jesus did? Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, calmed the sea, walked on water. He did this because He was full of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to:
Speak boldly and to witness….as was evident after the 120 received the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 and Acts 4:31.
Perform miracles and signs and wonders….Acts 2:43, Acts 5;12-15, Acts 6:8, Acts 8:6.
Have supernatural ability….Acts 8:39-40.
To operate in the gifts of the Spirit….1 Corinthians 12.
All of this is so that power of God may be shown and to bring glory to God.
Jesus tells His followers:
John 20:21-22 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that, he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit."
He is sending us to do the things He did; notice in the next verse He said, receive the Holy Spirit. To do the things He did we need to be baptized in His Holy Spirit.
Why are great signs and wonders not very evident in the body of Christ? The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a subject that is not taught in the church today. However, the early church recognized the importance of this gift in Acts chapter 8. Philip brought the message of salvation to Samaria….they received the gift of salvation….then notice what happened next:
Acts 8:14-16 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
The reason Peter and John were sent was “that they would receive the Holy Spirit.” One thing to point out in these scriptures it shows the gift of salvation and the gift of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit are two distinct gifts.
Many Christians are not operating on all cylinders and the reason why...they have not been Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Remember Jesus commanded that we be filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:4. As I leave you today please understand the gift of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is still a gift God wants to give to believers...it’s a gift He wants to give to you.