6-1 Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Jesus’ Miraculous Power in Us

When we were born again, we received the Holy Spirit into our lives to change us – to guide, sanctify and regenerate us. When we receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit – God’s Holy Spirit provides miraculous (dunamis) power, the power that enabled Jesus to do His miraculous works and can enable us to do what He has destined for our lives.

After His resurrection, Jesus spent 40 days on earth and spoke with and taught His disciples and was seen by many others as recorded in secular history. In Mark 16:15-18, He told his disciples to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone everywhere. He said anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. He added that these signs would accompany those who believe. They would:

  • Cast out demons in His name
  • Speak in new languages…
  • Lay hands on the sick and God will heal them

Later He made an even more powerful statement. He said that anyone who believed in Him would do the same works He did and even greater things! (John 14:12)

What were these works? He healed blind eyes and deaf ears. He cast out evil spirits. He healed lepers and cripples. He raised the dead. (Read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)

Just before He ascended to heaven, Jesus commanded the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received what the Father had promised, the gift of the Holy Spirit. He said John baptized with water but in a few days you will be baptized by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:4-5)

It Happened at Pentecost

On the Day of Pentecost, 120 were praying in an Upper Room. They had prayed for several days not really knowing what to expect. Suddenly there was a great wind and a sound from heaven and what appeared to be tongues of fire settled on each one and they began speaking in other languages (tongues). Visitors from other countries heard the gospel being spoken in their own language and were astounded. Peter preached and invited them to repent and be baptized. Thousands believed in Jesus that day and the church of the Lord Jesus Christ was born. (See Acts 2)

The disciples changed markedly after the happenings at Pentecost. From proud but indecisive individuals constantly bickering about who was the greatest, they became powerful men, dedicated to God and ready to die for the cause of Christ. The baptism of fire cleaned up their soulish natures and they received other gifts of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12: 4-11)

Some of the Disciples’ Accomplishments

After they received the miraculous power, Peter and John used Jesus’ name to heal a man who had been crippled for 40 years. Afterwards, they preached boldly and defended the power in that name, claiming “There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them.” (Acts 4:12)

Stephen, full of God’s grace and power, performed many miracles and signs. He addressed the High Council eloquently. But the greatest sign of his spiritual strength came as he was being stoned to death. He saw a vision of Jesus at the right hand of God and cried out for God to forgive his enemies. (Acts 6:8, Acts 7)

Believers received persecution and fled Jerusalem, but they continued to preach boldly about Jesus. Philip went to Samaria and did many miracles. He cast out spirits, healed the lame, and preached with power and effectiveness. (Acts 8:4-8)

Peter healed Aeneas, the paralyzed man, and brought faithful servant Dorcas back to life. So great was Peter’s healing gift that as he walked by individuals, his shadow would heal them and cast out evil spirits. (Acts 9:32-43, Acts 5:15-16)

Believers also received changed hearts and minds. They shared everything they had. They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need so there was no poverty among them. They shared meals and met together constantly at the temple and at each other’s houses. Their kindness and generosity was a powerful witness to others, helping to bring new believers to the church. (Acts 2:44-47)

The Apostle Paul’s Conversion

On the road to Damascus, Saul, who later became the Apostle Paul, was struck down and physically blinded by the power of God. When Ananias prayed for him, he was baptized by the Holy Spirit and healed of both his physical and spiritual blindness.

This encounter transformed him from an enemy of Christ and a murderer of Christians to one of God’s most faithful and anointed servants. Paul performed many miracles and is credited with writing 13 or 14 of the 27 New Testament books. (Acts 9:1-19)

Tongues – A Most Powerful Gift

Speaking in tongues, also called praying in the Spirit, is referred to as our personal prayer language. The Apostle Paul taught more about tongues than any other subject and was its greatest proponent. Tongues is considered the evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:4)

Paul said he spoke in tongues more than anyone and cautioned the Corinthians not to forbid speaking in tongues. (I Corinthians 14:18, 39)

When we speak or pray in tongues, God, through His Holy Spirit, releases His mighty power within us. This produces rivers of living water flowing from our innermost being, revitalizing our faith and recharging our spiritual batteries. (John 7:38-39, 1 Corinthians 14:4)

By praying in tongues our spirit comes alive to God’s will. Our spirit is praying, but we don’t understand what we are saying. We are talking directly to God not to people. (I Corinthians 14:14, 1 Corinthians 14:2)

Paul urges us to pray in words we understand and in the Spirit (tongues) and sing in the Spirit (tongues) and in words that we understand. Also, we are to pray in tongues when we don’t know what to pray. (1 Corinthians 14:15, Romans 8:26)

Although we don’t understand what we are speaking, we do see the results. For example, we get the idea to call a particular person or do something and we know the idea was inspired by God.

The Gift of Tongues is different than our personal prayer language. When God wants to bring a message to a church or body of people, He may give someone a message in tongues. They can feel it welling up in their belly. Unless there is someone who can interpret the message, the church will not understand what is being spoken. Paul tells us that it is much more important for us to prophesy so we can bring a message directly to the church. (See 6-3 Tongues vs Prophecy)

For much more about the amazing gift of tongues, see 6-2 Tongues – Key to the Gifts and Power of the Holy Spirit.

How to Receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

In Luke it says you fathers – if your children ask for a fish, will you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! If you sinful people 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 11:11-13)

God wants us to have this same Holy Spirit power so we can fulfill our purpose and calling with confidence and boldness. Are you ready to receive? You can expect opposition and persecution. If you are not already born again, you must ask forgiveness for your sins and commit your life to Christ. You must be ready to obey and renounce all involvement with the occult.

You may ask a pastor or trusted Spirit-filled friend to lay hands on you and pray. (Acts 8:17) Or you can pray the following:

Dear Heavenly Father:

I love You and I know You have a purpose for my life.
Baptize me and fill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit.
Give me the gifts I need to do the tasks that You have ordained for me to do.

I know You want to use my past, including all the pain
and all the things I have been through, to minister to others in Your Holy Name.
I receive all that You want to give me with a humble heart.

Equip me to serve You and do Your will for Your glory!  



To start speaking in tongues, you must initiate the sounds. It may sound like grunting or baby talk at first. However, as you continue to use this gift, your language will mature. Tongues can be prayed audibly or under your breath by letting your tongue click against the roof of the mouth so that you can pray while doing many tasks. God calls us to pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Yield to the Holy Spirit. Pray study, listen, and learn. This is only the beginning!


DLH  –  First draft January 19, 2006
Modified July 15, 2015