The first [a]account I made, Theophilus, was [a continuous report] about all the things that Jesus began to do and to [b]teach until the day when He ascended to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given instruction to the apostles (special messengers) whom He had chosen. To these [men] He also showed Himself alive after His suffering [in Gethsemane and on the cross], by [a series of] many infallible proofs and unquestionable demonstrations, appearing to them over a period of forty days and talking to them about the things concerning the kingdom of God. While being together and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Of which,” He said, “you have heard Me speak. For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized and empowered and united with the Holy Spirit, not long from now.” – Acts 1:1-5
Being baptized with the Holy Spirit is when a believer in Jesus Christ receives extraordinary power for Christ-exalting ministry
Being baptized with the Spirit is a fulfillment of the promise of Joel 2, and Joel 2 promises an upsurge of prophetic power among God’s people
Being baptized with the Spirit is described as receiving power for witness when the Holy Spirit comes upon you
Being baptized in the Spirit is being clothed with power from on high so that message of Christ can be taken effectively to all the nations of the world
The Apostles experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. It resulted in them being empowered to proclaim the Gospel and lead thousands of people to faith in Christ
To illustrate, if we drank water from a glass, then the water would be inside us. However, if we went to the beach and stepped into the ocean, then we would be in the water. We receive, as it were, a drink of the Holy Spirit when we are saved, but when we are baptized in the Spirit, it is as if that initial drink becomes an ocean that completely surrounds us.
- It was given through the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-32).
- It was proclaimed by John the Baptist (John 1:29-34).
- It was referred to by the Lord Himself (John 7:37-39; John 14:16-17; John 15:26; John 16:6-7 and 13-14; and Acts 1:8.
- It was anticipated by the Lord after the Resurrection (John 20:22).
- It was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4).
While many Christians accept Acts as historical, even inspired, they do not allow Acts to inform their doctrine and spiritual life. Fortunately, rigorous study of Luke’s writings from all points on the theological spectrum has dramatically enhanced our appreciation for Luke not just as a historian but also as a theologian who emphasizes the charismatic dimensions of the Spirit’s work prophesied in the Old Testament.
Today, all who believe in Christ are eligible for this empowerment experience. Indeed, this is an experience that God greatly desires for us to have. We must come to God in faith that He will bestow His Spirit upon us. This is what will make us effective witnesses for Christ.