We have been discussing the baptism in the Holy Spirit in relationship to Romans 1:11 “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—”
If you need to play catch up you can do that on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE.
The question I want to discuss today is this, If the baptism in the Holy Spirit is such an important part of the Christian experience, how does one obtain it?”
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gift, a promise. In one sense there is nothing we can do to obtain it. Jesus said, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49
According to this, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit and He clothes us with the Holy Spirit (baptizes us). Our job or part according to Acts chapter 1:4 is to wait for it, to put ourselves in a resting position focused on Christ until He baptizes us.
In my own experience I waited for two weeks. I spent time every day waiting quietly before the Lord, worshiping both at the church altar and at my bedside. I believed that it could happen and one day when I was worshiping I felt this great emotional swelling from the pit of my stomach. I can’t say why exactly but I knew this was it. I opened my mouth and began to speak words that came to mind. They were not English words. I don’t know what they were but I knew the experience was changing me. The feeling in the pit of my stomach just grew stronger and brighter and I was filled with a new certainty a deeper certainty of the reality of Jesus.
There are many misconceptions about tongues:
Some think that talking in tongues is a sign of being out of control. Not so. When I speak in tongues I am aware of what I am doing. I can start and stop at will. Many times now I even understand what I am praying about in the foreign tongue. I can even control the volume and the timing of it. Not being able to control tongues is actually a sign of inner carnality.
Some would say that tongues is a sign that you have arrived and are on a higher spiritual plane than other believers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tongues is a manifestation of the Spirit but does not indicate a person’s actual level of sanctification. The baptism in the Spirit can lead a person deeper into spirituality but only if that person allows the Spirit to move beyond the display of tongues into the work of inner sanctification. Many choose to stop at the side show and go no further. They allow themselves to be satisfied with making people think they are spiritually superior rather than actually growing in the things of the Spirit.
Tongues according to Paul in 1 Corinthians is the least of all the gifts. I consider it the gateway to the other gifts and a passage way to a higher level of sanctification. I need to go through the gate to get to what Paul calls the greatest gifts 1 Corinthians 13. If I choose to go through the gate and then hang out at the gate though I accomplish little (and believe me there are plenty of tongue talkers hanging out at the gates).
My goal in receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit was not to talk in tongues but to become strong in the Lord and the power of His might and that thought will lead us on to tomorrow’s discussion in Romans 1:12
I know some of my thoughts are controversial even among conservative Christians. That’s Ok. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts on Holy Spirit.