But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you . . . .
       —Jesus, Son of God

Is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit for Everyone?
To do God's work, we need God's power. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for all who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, and who are children of God through Him (Act 2:38–39).

What Is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs when the Spirit of God comes upon a believer. The Holy Spirit fills the believer's mind with a genuine understanding of truth, takes possession of the believer's abilities, and imparts gifts that qualify the believer for service in the body of Christ.

The Holy Spirit also speaks to the hearts of unbelievers, showing them their need for salvation (John 16:7–11). When a person accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit dwells inside him or her (John 14:15–17; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:13). But believers also need the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5–8).

Why We Need the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
The purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to empower believers for service, witness, spiritual warfare, and boldness in their testimonies (Acts 1:8; 4:19–20, 29–31; 6:8–10; 1 Corinthians 2:4).

Jesus commanded the disciples not to begin the work to which He called them until they were baptized in the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:48–49; Acts 1:4, 8). When the apostles met other believers in Christ, they at once asked whether the believers had received the Holy Spirit. If not, they made sure they received Him (Acts 8:14–16; 19:1–5). 

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity in every Christian's life for the service to which God has called us.

How to Receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Jesus said, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:13). God fulfills His promises in a variety of ways, and no two human beings are alike in how they receive spiritual things.

The New Testament tells us that some believers received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the moment of their conversion, such as Cornelius and his family (Acts 10). Others, such as the believers in Ephesus, received it at a later time (Acts 19:1–5). We should never limit God by our own expectations. He is sovereign and will work in whatever way He chooses.

(Also see: "What We Believe: The Holy Spirit.")

Used by permission Harvest Christian Fellowship Pastor Greg Laurie.