Acts 2:38 says, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”Salvation consists of repentance, which is a turning away from sin. After repentance, one should be baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ. Following water baptism, one should pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues. In the Christian world, there has been much confusion and misunderstanding concerning speaking in tongues. What does the Bible say about tongues?
After Jesus resurrected from the dead, He appeared to His disciples many times. When He ascended into heaven, He gave them instructions to go into Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit.Luke 24:46-49 says,
And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out in the upper room in Jerusalem. The people who heard the disciples speaking in tongues were confused and even accused them of being drunk. Peter stood up and began to explain what was going on. Acts 2:14-18 says,
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
Peter was sent to the house of Cornelius to share the gospel message. Acts 10:44-47 says,
While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
The evidence of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues.During His ministry, Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as living water. John 7:37-39 says,
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Jesus said one of the signs that would follow believers is tongues.Mark 16:17 says, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.”
Jesus assures us that if we ask for the Holy Spirit, He will give it to us. Luke 11:9-13 says,
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Baptism of the Holy Spirit means that we have the very presence of God inside us. It transforms us and gives us power to live a righteous life. Many people today seem to be afraid. They are searching for a sense of security. Many people feel an emptiness inside, which they try to fill with different things. We seek fulfillment and meaning in life. This emptiness only can be satisfied by a relationship with Jesus Christ. When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, it brings joy, peace, and love. Romans 14:17 says, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
The Holy Spirit is the power that raised Jesus from the dead. Romans 8:11 says, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove. Jesus did His supernatural works through the power of the Holy Spirit. He performed miracles, healed the sick, raised the dead, and cast out devils.If we have the same Holy Spirit that Jesus had, we are also able to do the works that Jesus did. In John 14:12-13 Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we receive the potential to operate in the power of God. Jesus gave us the authority to do the works of the ministry. Luke 9:1-2 says, “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.”Luke 10:1-2 says, “After these things the LORD appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”
Luke 10:17-20 says,
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
The Holy Spirit gives us power do the works of the ministry, to witness to others, and to reach the lost. The Holy Spirit gives us boldness to spread the gospel. The disciples prayed for boldness in Acts 4:29-31:
And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
The Holy Spirit helps us to pray. When we pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit prays through us.Romans 8:26-27 says, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
The Holy Spirit teaches and guides us.Jesus says, “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you”(John 14:25-26). In John 16:13 Jesus says, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.”
God wants us to be filled with the Holy Spirit and led by the Spirit. Romans 8:14-16 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”
The baptism of the Holy Spirit opens the door to the gifts of the Spirit. Having the Holy Spirit makes you eligible to receive spiritual gifts.It is like the entryway to the supernatural realm of God. First Corinthians 12:4-11 lists the gifts of the Spirit:
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues, is for all people who believe. The supernatural power of God that we read about in the Bible is for today. God is able to use you just like He used the disciples.