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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

How Do I Receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?

You need to do a number of things in order to receive this blessing.

First, you need to be born again. The person who is going to be filled with the Spirit must have the indwelling Spirit and must belong to Jesus.

The second thing you have to do is to ask. The Bible says, "Ask, and it will be given to you" (Luke 11:9).

The third thing you have to do is surrender. The apostle Paul made this need clear in the book of Romans when he said, "Present your bodies a living sacrifice." (Romans 12:1)

Fourth, you must be willing to obey the Spirit. God does not give this power to someone and then say, "You can take the part you like and leave the part you do not like." If you want to be immersed in the Spirit, you need to be prepared to obey the Spirit.

Fifth, you need to believe. The apostle Paul, speaking to the Galatians, said, "Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith" (Galatians 3:2)? The answer, obviously, is faith. You have to believe that if you ask, you will receive.

Finally, you have to exercise what God has given you. Having asked, having received, having been willing to obey, and having believed, you need to respond in a biblical fashion. The Bible says those baptized with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost "began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4). This means they spoke the words that the Spirit gave them. The Holy Spirit gave the words, but the apostles and disciples voluntarily responded. There was action based on faith, not merely passive acceptance of the blessing.

For example, suppose someone came to me and asked, "Could you let me have a dollar?" and I said, "Certainly." Then I reached into my pocket and handed him a dollar. What if he just looked at me and said, "You don't understand. I'm terribly desperate. May I please have a dollar?" I would offer the dollar again and say, "Here's the dollar." But what if, instead of taking it, he said, "Oh, please, don't you see I'm starving? Let me have a dollar." We could keep that up forever! The person would go without, and my arm would grow tired of handing him the dollar. He would never receive it, and I would never give it. But the minute he said, "Thank you," took the dollar, and put it in his pocket, that would be the moment the blessing was received.

That is the way it is with God. God is offering the baptism in the Holy Spirit to people who need only to reach out and take it and then enjoy the blessing.

Does A Person Have to Speak in Tongues in Order to be Saved?

The work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the mercy of God bring salvation and the indwelling Spirit, and that does not involve speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues, from all indications in the New Testament, is the consequence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It happened to Cornelius. It happened on the day of Pentecost and in other recorded instances (see Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-46). There was an initial utterance in tongues, bearing witness that the tongue had been sanctified and empowered by God for His use. But speaking in tongues was not necessary for the salvation of those people.

Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions, Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson. 

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