When we’re born again we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives. This is the greatest blessing and miracle, the salvation of our souls and guarantee of life eternal. However, as believers there’s yet another extremely great blessing that awaits us in Christ. The baptism in the Holy Spirit. This is transference to a dynamic, supernatural and powerful plane in our relationship, calling, service and walk with GOD. Our whole life receives an immersion and transformation in the Spirit, just as the Word says ‘from glory to glory’. Our Lord Jesus strictly forbade His disciples to go on without this blessing of the baptism with the Spirit. He himself received it before He began His earthly ministry. Needless to say, as our Head, we need to follow His example.
John the Baptist was unambiguous about it in Matthew 3:11. Speaking to the multitude that seem to always gather around him, he publicly proclaimed that after water baptism for the remission of sins, there was yet another baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire. His assertion and divine promise found fulfillment at Pentecost where the disciples of the Lord were eagerly waiting for this blessing after they were commanded by the divine to wait in the city of Jerusalem until they received it. The Spirit indeed came upon them in a most glorious way, they spoke in tongues and glorified GOD as the Spirit gave them utterance and clothed them with power (Acts 2:1-4). There is a difference between being baptized in the Holy Spirit and gifts of the Spirit. A person can receive the gifts of the Spirit without being baptized with the Holy Spirit. However, one may also receive both the Spirit and the gifts at the same time. Having said that, one may be Spirit baptized but don’t have the gifts of tongues, and/or interpretation (1 Corinthians 12:30). Second only to salvation, the next greatest blessing is the baptism with the Holy Ghost.
Ref: Acts 2:37-39 KJV
Up until this time, the Holy Spirit had fallen only upon the 120 disciples that waited for Him. Holy Spirit baptism is not baptism for the remission of sins. A person is first saved and forgiven before they’re baptized in water. The water is a symbol of what has already taken place. Jesus cannot be your Lord until He has saved you. When you receive Christ as your Savior, you still need baptism in the Holy Spirit. Yet, with or without the baptism in the Holy Spirit you are a believer, but the Spirit baptism is an absolutely necessary greater blessing for a child of GOD. When you believe you receive Jesus, but there is another blessing and experience, which is receiving the Holy Spirit. It was so necessary for the Apostles that after a person had received Jesus as Savior and Lord, he or she had to be filled or baptized with the Holy Spirit. If therefore our gospel is not on par with the gospel of Scripture in this sense, it is lacking a very vital aspect.
Ref: Acts 9:10-12, 17-20 KJV
When Ananias encountered Saul, Saul was already a believer. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is for believers. Every believer can be used as a vessel to lay hands on another, but only under instruction from Jesus. It is only Jesus who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. Saul was baptized with water after receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit. It is not a prerequisite that a person be baptized in water before the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Saul immediately preached Christ in a very hostile environment, the Jewish synagogue. You may ask how? It was because of the Spirit baptism he received as a new believer three days after he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Whosoever believes shall receive remission of sins, whether or not they are baptized with water (Acts 10:47). The speaking with other tongues when one is baptized with the Holy Spirit is a sign.
Ref: Acts 11:12-17 KJV
The church leadership of today does not remember that Jesus said the church shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit. The Pentecost of the Apostles is still the same Pentecost even today. If we say we have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we have to reference it to what happened at Pentecost. It is absolutely necessary for a believer to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. This is the perfect will of GOD. The church must not be like Apollos who was “an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures…fervent in the spirit…spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John,” Acts 18:24-25 KJV. There is another baptism, greater and more glorious, an absolute necessity. As Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:26) discipled Apollos in this regard, it would seem we have need for yet a more earnest and urgent discipling ourselves. Unless the word of GOD is expounded and understood, we cannot receive the blessing. Only obedience and faithfulness will stand before Jesus. The baptism with the Holy Spirit was promised and given at Pentecost, and right now it is given for all of us to receive.
Second only to salvation, the next greatest blessing is the baptism with the Holy Ghost.