Doing ONE 2 ONE, the chapter on baptism was the most challenging for me to share when I started making disciples. What does it mean for someone to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit? In this continuation to our Back to Basics series, we give tips on sharing about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I always hear that the person in the Trinity we tend to overlook most of the time is the Holy Spirit. And I totally agree with that. We just read about Him in the Bible, but we may not necessarily live out the power that He gives. It is not surprising for someone to ask us: “Who or what is the Holy Spirit?” “Is He like a force or something?” Or maybe we just receive a weird look from the person as we talk about Him.
I also had a challenging time explaining the baptism of the Holy Spirit to people I did ONE 2 ONE with because it’s not something we casually talk about every day and it is supernatural in nature. People don’t get it right away because they’ve never experienced it or seen anything like it.
I remember the first time I did ONE 2 ONE with someone when I was in my 2nd year in college. I couldn’t explain that chapter clearly and just told her, “Let’s wait for your Victory Weekend and you’ll understand.” Yes, it was that hard for me.
Thankfully, I have learned eventually through reading and studying the Bible and through the guidance of our leaders. So here are things that helped me understand this chapter in ONE 2 ONE that hopefully can help you discuss it with others:
The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity. He is described by Jesus as the “Helper” (John 15:26). In the original Greek, this is Paraklētos, meaning counselor, sent to assist another, an advocate, intercessor, or one who encourages and comforts. He helps us live our Christian lives. Through the Holy Spirit, we can obey the word of God and follow Jesus, forgive people, put to death our old self, and become witnesses of Jesus to our family, friends, and spheres of influence.
He is God, not a mere force like in Star Wars. We can talk to Him and even pray to Him. He did not just exist when Jesus ascended into heaven, but He is already present even before the creation of the world (Genesis 1:2).
As we received Jesus as Lord and Savior, we also received the Holy Spirit. This is what we call His indwelling—Him being permanently present in us. Our bodies are now His temple.
He is the Spirit of God breathed into us that brought us to life and produces spiritual fruit in us—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
John the Baptist said to the people (even before Jesus started His ministry on earth) that Jesus would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit.
If water baptism symbolizes the personal declaration of our union with Christ and His Church (Back to Basics: Tips on Sharing about Water Baptism), then what does it mean to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit means the Spirit comes and fills us. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is accompanied by extraordinary gifts and power for Christ’s ministry. It may come in various ways throughout our lifetime and it does not necessarily mean that it will happen just once after conversion. We can always ask to be filled by the Holy Spirit again and again.
Several accounts in the New Testament showed that the disciples of Jesus spoke in different tongues as the apostles laid their hands on them during baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is one of the most common spiritual gifts that we can see in the Bible, but it is definitely not limited to this.
Luke described in Acts 1:4 that “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
He described that as we experience being filled with the Holy Spirit, we will receive power to be witnesses of Christ to our family, friends, and other people. God makes available to us the courage to pray in front of our family during mealtimes, to minister to our friend who needs help, and to even start doing ONE 2 ONE with others.
Spiritual gifts are apportioned to each disciple of Jesus as He wills. It is freely given by God, but we can earnestly desire them just like what Paul said. God has given us different gifts to be used not just for ourselves, but mainly to serve others (1 Corinthians 14:7–11).
So let us always tap on to the power that is readily available for us every single day. The Holy Spirit sustains our lives and enables us to do specific tasks for the Lord. Ultimately, these gifts stem from the love of God that overflows to His people.
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