The word “baptised” means to be completely immersed or submerge in something. Baptism of the Holy Spirit therefore means to dip, cover, immerse or cloth in or with the presence and the power of God through the Holy Spirit. (Ac. 2:1-4; 10:44-46). Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the ability to speak to God in an unknown language because God has made it possible. (1 Cor. 14:2)
The baptism of the Holy Spirit brings the believer into the body of Christ. It establishes an identity between Christ, who baptises, with the believer, who is being baptised. (Ac. 10:47)
Since the one who baptises is the Lord Jesus Christ, the baptism of the Holy with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues is not an event but an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.
This initial evidence of a common language being spoken by various individuals and groups of believers who were not Jewish, but Greeks and now including all those that the Lord has brought from the uttermost part of the world shows their inclusion into the family of God.
Property developers buy properties that have lost its beauty and value. Yet, they know what to keep, what to get rid of, what parts need renovation, refurbishing, or complete rebuilding.
So, it is with the believer. God has purchased the “property” of our lives to become His Temple, indwelling us by His Holy Spirit who powerfully and skilfully works to renovate, develop, transform, and give value to the Lord’s property. (Ac. 10:47)
For most other Christians the presence of the Spirit is just that, presence, for Pentecostals the presence of the Spirit in their midst implies empowerment. This empowerment often manifests itself in spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophesy, or healings (Ac. 19:6)
The baptism in the Holy Spirit comes with an enabling power which empowers the believer with an extra ordinary strength to do all that God will require of us, which our natural ability is unable to accomplish (Zech. 4:6).
The Holy Spirit baptism opens the door for us to enter the realm for the operation of the gifts of the Spirit. It also blesses our lives with a mighty deposit of divine ability. (Ac. 19:6)
Praying in tongues is not just a means of demonstrating that one has been baptized in the Spirit. It is one of the most powerful weapons against all attacks both physical and spiritual. It fills our souls with the love of God for lost humanity, and makes us much more willing to leave our homes, friends and to work in his vineyard’
Speaking in tongues is the passionate heartfelt seeking after God, instilled by the Holy Spirit. It is the kind of prayer that can leap over oceans, speed across burning deserts, spring over mountains, bound through jungles and carry the healing power of God.
Paul regarded speaking in tongues in highest esteem as a means of communicating with God. So, his reference to ‘inarticulate groaning too deep for words’ in Romans 8:26-27 is understood as referring to the necessity of speaking in tongues.
When I got born again and baptised in the Holy Spirit, the common life style and experience among newly persons baptised in the Holy Spirit was an extra ordinary deeper love for the Lord, a new freedom and love to worship and praise God which often overflows in spontaneous prayers and speaking in the new language; a concern love for lost souls and immediately we went out to share our faith. This did not come by our own ability, but through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Like the early church, ordinary man were transformed into a bold and fearless witness of the Lord (Ac. 2:15-40). Thus, the Baptism gives the believer access to the power of God for us to share our faith in Christ.
In most congregations, revivals, outreaches and prayer meetings, I witness Spirit-baptized believers exhibited their love for the Lord with all their hearts in their dedicated services, singing, worship and expressing their joy in the public assembly. The manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit was common, the Word of God was proclaimed with boldness and power and the altar call brought many who were hungry for God. We did not waste time but moved from one place to another sharing our faith and new experience.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit is only the beginning of a greater and richer encounter of the believer into the operations of the Spirit and an extra ordinary relationship with the Godhead.
Written by Pastor Charles Boadi, National Head, Eswatini (Swaziland)