Is the Holy Spirit a gift? Who is the Holy Spirit? How do I receive the Holy Spirit? And what is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is a gift from God who comes to live within a person when they receive salvation. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit is a separate spiritual experience whereby a believer receives power to be a witness of Jesus Christ on the earth.
I was raised in a Methodist church and the Holy Spirit was a word I heard maybe only a handful of times. I knew who God was and His Son Jesus, but no one taught me about the third member of the Godhead – the Holy Spirit. This lack of understanding was tragic. Although I received salvation and therefore the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, I suffered for many years in my adolescence because I did not have the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
As an adult, I searched the Scriptures for myself. What I found was that the Holy Spirit is not only an equal part of the Godhead, but the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a priceless gift from God given to any believer who asks.
What is the Gift of the Holy Ghost?
After receiving salvation, the very next step for a believer is to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. This is a separate experience from salvation when the Holy Spirit came to live inside of you.
Receiving the Holy Spirit when you were born again produces the character of Christ within us. But the gift of the baptism of the Holy Ghost produces the power for the ministry of Christ. This baptism is given to anyone who asks in faith (believing) and will empower you in so many incredible ways.
…how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! Luke 11:13
This gift of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential to living the victorious Christian life. Even Jesus was baptised in the Holy Spirit! And He did not begin His public ministry or operate in miracles, heal anyone, or cast out any demons until after this occurrence.
When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22
If the sinless Son of God needed to be baptized in the Holy Spirit before beginning His ministry, how could any of us think we can be an effective Christian without it? In fact, Jesus commanded His disciples to wait in Jerusalem and not begin their ministries until they had received the power of the Holy Spirit.
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:4-5
The Bible calls this experience of receiving the power of the Holy Spirit using different terms in different places. It is called:
|the promise of the Father||Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4, Acts 2:39|
|being endued with power||Luke 24:49|
|receiving power||Acts 1:8|
|being baptized in or with the Holy Spirit||Acts 1:5, Mark 1:8, Acts 11:16, etc|
|being filled with the Spirit||Acts 4:31|
|receiving the Holy Spirit||Acts 8:15-17|
|having the Holy Spirit fall on you||Acts 10:44|
|having the Holy Spirit come upon you||Acts 19:6|
Every one of these events occurred after a believer was born again. Receiving salvation is the only requirement!
Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is one of the three members of the God-head. The Holy Spirit is God. He is not substandard to Father and Son, but an equal part of the Trinity, who is one God manifested in three parts.
The Bible teaches us that Holy Spirit is your Comforter, Teacher, Helper, Counselor, and is the Spirit of Truth. Holy Spirit will abide with you forever.
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever John 14:16
Holy Spirit will comfort you through challenges and teach you all things. He will remind you of what Jesus has said. He’ll also tell you things to come.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 14:26
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. John 16:13
Just like God the Father and God the Son, God the Holy Spirit will never condemn you or beat you down. He keeps no record of wrongs and loves you unconditionally. He does not point out your flaws, but instead reminds you of your righteousness in Christ. Holy Spirit will be your best friend!
How to Receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
I cannot encourage you enough to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit! Outside of salvation, it is the most important decision you will ever make.
When I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, my life began to drastically change for the better. The biggest change that I noticed the quickest was that I could actually understand the Bible! My eyes were opened and I could see things from the Word that I had never seen before. The entire Kingdom of God opened up to me. I had been blind for so many years, even though I was a born again Christian.
I was able to perceive how much God loved me in a real way. Things that I had heard in church became real to me. My life was drastically different from before.
We receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the same way we received salvation- we simply ask in faith and believe we receive. When we ask God for something, we believe we receive when we pray. This is a prayer of faith. You may not feel anything, and that’s perfectly normal. Just believe you receive and start thanking God.
Prayer to Receive the Power of the Holy Spirit
God wants to give you His Holy Spirit. He loves you and wants you to have the supernatural power you need to live this life. All you have to do is ask, believe, and receive! If you want, you can pray something like this:
Father, I recognize that I need Your power to live this Christian life. Please baptize me with Your Holy Spirit. By faith, I receive it right now! Thank you for filling me with Your power! Holy Spirit, You are welcome in my life! In Jesus Name, Amen
It’s really that simple. Everything from God is a grace gift, paid for by Jesus. Just receive! You do not have to earn it or deserve it in any way.
What is Praying in the Holy Spirit?
God’s Word shows us that one of the first manifestations to occur when you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit is the ability to pray in tongues (also referred to as praying in the Spirit).
Praying in the Holy Spirit is a supernatural prayer language that is given to a believer upon receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Some syllables from a language you don’t recognize will rise up from your heart to your mouth. Begin to speak them out loud. This is your new prayer language that you can use to speak directly to God from your spirit (1 Corinthians 14:2).
Holy Spirit does not take over your mouth. You are in complete control of when you choose to allow the Holy Spirit to pray through you. You activate and stop this prayer language whenever you want. You do the speaking, Holy Spirit gives the inspiration (Acts 2:4).
If you don’t begin to pray in tongues right away, it’s OK. Many people hinder this gift because of wrong beliefs that were taught about praying in tongues. Keep practicing and you will develop this prayer language.
When I was starting out, playing worship music helped me begin to pray in tongues. I would sing and worship for a while, then begin to speak the syllables our loud that were coming up from my heart. Other people begin praying in their native language, and then switch over. Some people quote scripture for a while and then begin to pray in their heavenly language.
Once you begin praying in tongues more frequently, it will quite literally become a second language to you. You can pray in the spirit while cleaning, showering, driving, or anywhere you want, anytime you want.
There are so many benefits of praying in tongues including edifying yourself (1 Corinthians 14:4), building yourself up in faith (Jude 20), and praying the hidden wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 14:2).
When you pray in tongues, it is the Holy Spirit interceding for you. You might not know what to pray, but Holy Spirit does. You are allowing Holy Spirit to pray perfect prayers through you! You may be praying for the protection of a loved one, or prophesying your future.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26
Praying in the Spirit will keep you in tune with the Spirit and bring revelation knowledge of things pertaining to the Kingdom that will give you victory in every situation!