Day 5 Devotional Before United Prayer: (about 1:19min reading)
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Understanding and experiencing the baptism of the Holy Spirit is essential for the Christian to experience Christ’s continual presence in our lives. It is only as Christ lives in us that His righteousness will be manifested. If we do not understand and experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we will not enjoy the fullness of Christ living in us, we will not have His righteousness manifested in us, or have the victories necessary to become just like Jesus and be ready for His second coming (1 John 3:2). Also, our service for Him will be less fruitful.
Satan does not want us to understand or experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Ellen White was aware of Satan’s devices to hinder the reception of this gift by God’s people.
“Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is of vital importance to the church of Christ, it is one of the devices of Satan, through the errors of extremists and fanatics, to cast contempt upon the work of the Spirit, and cause the people of God to neglect this source of strength which our Lord Himself has provided.” THE GREAT CONTROVERSY, VIII
The baptism of the Holy Spirit simply describes a special infilling of the Holy Spirit into the life of the believer. This baptism is also called infilling and anointing and has been available to Christians since the day of Pentecost 2,000 years ago. Peter associated the Pentecost outpouring of the Spirit with the “early rain” prophecy of Joel (Acts 2:16-21).
Personal Reading for Discussion:
JESUS’S PROMISE AND EXAMPLE
Jesus promised that the Father would give the Spirit to all who asked (Luke 11:13). Paul tells us that we receive this gift by faith (Galatians 3:14). The reception of this gift is so important that Paul commands us to “be filled with the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18). This simply is not an option; it is a necessity if the believer is earnest about experiencing the full deliverance the gospel of Jesus Christ offers. Jesus is our example in all things. In His life we see the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a special, separate event following His baptism. This event equipped Him for victory over Satan. It was also a special anointing for ministry (Luke 4:18-19).
Christ’s experience is a divine model for every Christian. Christ was “begotten” of the Spirit (Luke 1:35). He was led by the Spirit in His childhood and early manhood (Luke 2:52). He received water baptism, which was followed by baptism in the Holy Spirit in answer to His prayer (Luke 3:21-22). From that point forward, He was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1). After this experience of Spirit baptism (infilling or anointing), He was prepared to confront Satan and gain His great victories over this enemy (Luke 4:2-13). He went forward to minister in the power of the Spirit from that day onward (Luke 4:14; Acts 10:38).
The experience of every believer is to follow Christ’s example. The Christian is firstborn of the Spirit and then baptized in water (John 3:5-8). However, water baptism is not enough; it is only the beginning. The believer must also be baptized or filled by the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16, Acts 1:4-5). This Spirit baptism became available from the day of Pentecost onward. The infilling of the Spirit is necessary for the believer to have the power to live a victorious life and successfully witness for Christ (Acts 1:8)
Jesus said the believer would do the “works” He did and even “greater works” (John 14:12). When Jesus was on earth, He could only be at one place at one time. However, after He ascended to His Father, through the Holy Spirit He was able to be in many places throughout the earth by indwelling His followers (1 John 3:24; John 14:16-18). Hence, Jesus empowers the believer to do the same works He did by the Holy Spirit, and these works will be greater because they are more widespread and powerful.
The fulfillment of Jesus’s promise was seen on the day of Pentecost and following. The gospel was preached, souls were won, unity and joy were seen in the believers, and the sick were healed (Acts 2:46-47; 5:15-16). This was the same type of ministry as Jesus’ ministry.
Day 5 Prayer Focus: Pray for
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
- Revival for yourself and the church
- God to lead the church and you to experience a daily
- Spirit-filled ministry for Jesus
- Those on your prayer list.
Day 5 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 19 to 22 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 39 to 42 of the PDF version])
- How does Satan work to hinder the work of the Holy Spirit?
- What other terms apply to the baptism of the Holy Spirit experience?
- When did the baptism of the Holy Spirit become available to Christians?
- List some of Christ’s experiences that model the experience Christians are to have? Luke 1:35 • Luke 2:52 • Luke 3:21-22 • Luke 4:1-13 • Luke 4:14 5.
- Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit an option for the believer or a necessity?
Day 5 Heart preparation/challenge:
- Throughout the day ask God to remind you what He is speaking to you in today’s reading and going deeper discussions and to help you to apply them in your life
- Read “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith pages 22 to 25 (pages 42 to 45 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 6.
- Prayerfully answer Day 6 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 6 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.