How to Be Baptized in the Holy Spirit

Find out the simple steps you can take to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

When we meet Christ and put our trust in Him, we are "born again" (John 3:3) and we receive the Holy Spirit in our hearts. This is the most important decision we will ever make. This happened to the disciples of Jesus in John 20:22, which says: "[Jesus] breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'"

But before Jesus ascended to heaven He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the "promise of the Father" had come (Luke 24:49). He told them that if they would wait there they would be "clothed with power from on high." In Acts 1:8 Jesus told His followers that they would receive "power" to be His witnesses.

So the disciples waited in Jerusalem for many days, praying near the temple. On the day of Pentecost, which was 50 days after Jesus had died on the cross, something amazing happened. The Holy Spirit was poured out on the early church . This is described in Acts 2:1-4.  The Bible says that when the Spirit came, the disciples were filled (another word is "baptized") with the Spirit.

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This shows us that there are two separate experiences we can have with God. One is salvation, in which we receive God's amazing forgiveness a new nature. The Holy Spirit comes to live inside us, and He becomes our Teacher, our Comforter and our Helper.

The second experience is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, in which the Holy Spirit who is already in us overflows. "Baptized in the Spirit" means "completely immersed in the Spirit." Jesus never wanted us to rely on our own ability to do the work of ministry. He wants to do it through us. So He fills us with the Holy Spirit in order to empower us with His ability.

When we have this experience, the Holy Spirit's power fills us so full that He spills out. Also when we are baptized in the Spirit, unusual "gifts of the Holy Spirit"-which are listed in I Corinthians 12:8-10)-begin to be manifested in our lives. We begin to experience His supernatural power. These gifts include prophecy, discernment, miracles, healing and speaking in unknown tongues.

When people were baptized in the Holy Spirit in the New Testament church, the Bible says they all spoke in tongues (see Acts 2:1-4, Acts 4:31, Acts 10:44-48 and Acts 19:1-7).  A lot of people get hung up on speaking in tongues because it seems like a weird thing. It's actually not strange at all. It is a very special form of prayer that any Christian can experience.

When we pray in our heavenly prayer language, we are praising God and also strengthening ourselves spiritually. Speaking in tongues helps us become mighty in the Spirit. The apostle Paul, truly a giant in the New Testament church, told the Corinthian believers: "I thank God that I speak in tongues more than you all."

Being baptized in the Holy Spirit is not something you have to qualify for. Any Christian can ask, and Jesus is ready to do it. You can pray by yourself or you can ask someone else to pray for you.

Here are the simple steps you can take to be filled with the Holy Spirit:

1. Prepare your heart. The Holy Spirit is holy. He is compared to a fire (see Matt. 3:11), which means He purifies sin and burns up that which is not Christlike in our lives. Make sure you have confessed all known sin and made your heart ready for His infilling.

2. Ask Jesus to baptize you in the Spirit. You do not need to jump through hoops to get God's attention. He is eager to answer your request. Jesus is the one who baptizes us in the Spirit, so ask Him—and expect Him to answer.

3. Receive the infilling. Begin to thank Him for this miracle. The Holy Spirit's power is filling your life. If you feel your mind is clouded with doubts, just praise the Lord. Focus your mind on Him and not on yourself.

4. Release your prayer language. The moment you are filled with the Spirit, you will receive the ability to speak in your heavenly prayer language. You may feel the words bubbling up inside of you. You may begin to hear the words in your mind. Open your mouth and began to speak, trusting the Lord to give you this new, supernatural language.

Some people ask me, "Do I have to speak in tongues?" Certainly God will not force you to do it, and it has nothing to do with salvation. But I believe He offers this gift to anyone who wants it. It could be considered the least of the gifts—but it serves as a doorway to the supernatural realm and helps usher you into the deeper things of God.

5. Step out in boldness. After you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, one of the first things you will notice is a new boldness. The Holy Spirit does not like to hide. He wants you to speak about Jesus to those around you—and He will give you surprising courage.

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