Why Spirit Baptism Matters

By David Wells

“Take away the Spirit’s ability to provide insight, discernment, words of wisdom and knowledge and all I would have had were my own smarts- how scary!”

It leapt off the page at me. I was browsing through a book edited by Mark Turney and Denzil Miller entitled Proclaiming Pentecost. It is a series of sermon outlines, so one might not expect it to produce such an aha moment. But as I reviewed a message outline entitled simply “The Baptism of the Holy Spirit,” I was struck by the truths listed under the subheading “Why is the baptism in the Holy Spirit so important in every believer’s life?”

As I went over each point, I was gripped by this overwhelming conviction: every follower of Jesus is intended to know the benefits of Spirit empowerment. It also became clear to me that I would not want to have lived the past forty plus years without these dimensions of the infilling of the Spirit in my life. Ponder with me the scriptural rationale regarding Spirit baptism, as taken from this sermon outline:

Why is the baptism in the Holy Spirit so important in every believer’s life?

A. Because it is the Christian’s source of power for life and service (Acts 1:8, Acts 4:31-33)

B. Because, when you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, you will receive powers to witness (Acts 1:8)

C. Because, when you are baptized in the Spirit, you will also receive power to do the following:

1. Overcome temptation and live a holy life (Romans 1:4; 8:13)

2. Pray more effectively (Luke 11:1-13; Romans 8:26-27)

3. Love more ardently (Romans 5:5)

4. Better understand the Word of God (John 14:26; 16:13, 1 Corinthians 2:14)

5. Preach more effectively (Acts 4:8, 31; 1 Corinthians 2:4)

6. Do the works of Jesus (John 14:12, 14:16; 16:7)

7. More clearly discern the voice of God (Romans 8:16)

8. Worship (John 4:24) [1]

According to the words of Jesus in Acts 1:8, Spirit baptism is not simply a one-time spiritual event or experience, but a lifelong empowerment to be His witnesses. This truth is reiterated throughout the New Testament. Our ability to bear witness to the truth about Jesus does not depend on our own resources. By giving us the Spirit, Jesus has ensured that we will have the necessary dynamic day in, day out.

The Holy Spirit’s power makes an authoritative lifestyle possible. We actually walk through life supernaturally accompanied by the Spirit. I cannot fathom walking through these past five decades without the ability to pray in the Spirit when facing personal obstacles or overwhelming circumstances. Take away the Spirit’s ability to provide insight, discernment, words of wisdom and knowledge, and all I would have had were my own smarts- how scary!

The Spirit brings a depth of revelation in worship and an engagement with the Scriptures that go beyond emotion and academics. The Spirit overwhelms evil and causes peace to be experienced instead of distress. He causes love to be overall. There is so much more to describe, but suffice it to say that we ignore Spirit baptism and His empowerment in our lives at our own peril!

As our Christian community moves towards Pentecost Sunday this month, this is my prayer: “Thank You Jesus, for not leaving us alone. Thank You for giving us this comforting, powerful Companion. We will not try to go at it alone. We need the Spirit to bless us with empowered speech and actions. Jesus, Baptizer, empower us in a fresh way by Your Spirit.”

I encourage you not to let Pentecost Sunday slip quietly by this month. I invite you to join millions of Spirit-empowered Christians around the globe as we passionately seek a renewal of the Spirit’s power and life in our lives, families and churches. The PAOC has connected with Pentecost 2013, a global initiative to celebrate the Holy Spirit during the seven weeks between Easter and Pentecost. The focus is inviting new generations to experience the Holy Spirit in local churches around the globe on Pentecost Sunday weekend. Resources, including promotional videos, devotionals, and sermon outlines, are available through out website, www.paoc.org, and at www.empowered21.comand www.pentecostsunday.tv.

This article by David Wells appeared in the May/June 2013 edition of testimony, the monthly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. David Wells is the general superintendent.

[1]Mark R. Turney and Denzil R. Miller, eds., Proclaiming Pentecost: 100 Sermon Outlines on the Power of the Holy Spirit (Springfield: AIA Publications, 2011), 18.