you asked for some understanding of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. How it comes about. What it's all for. Why some embrace and others do not. I won't get into the debate of it all. That is long since settled for me. Experience trumps any theological argument.
What you said was true. Every believer when they are first saved receives the Holy Spirit. He is poured into them. They carry HIM with them. It is a seal, an earnest (like earnest money) of the promise. A deposit. It's ours. HE seals our salvation with the deposit of the Spirit.
The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him. Ephesians 1:14
So every person has a measure of the Holy Spirit. They are like a glass of water, The glass contains the water. It's in there.
The disciples were given that measure. He breathed on them and they rereceived the Holy Spirit as a guarantee;
As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”22And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:21-22
Yet, there is more. It is the promise of the Father.
"And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven." Luke 24:49
Jesus had taught a great deal on the Holy Spirit during his ministry.
Suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?12“Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?13“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:11-13
When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” John 16:13-15
Jesus explained what would happen when people received the Holy Spirit.
Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.38“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”39But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
John 7: 37-39
John the Baptist talked of what would happen when the Baptism of the Holy Spirit came:
I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.12“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-12
So some kind of Change must come when someone is Baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Paul the Apostle wrote about Holy Spirit Baptism.
Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:31
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. I Corinthians 13:1
1 Corinthians 14 (which is worth reading in full from Verse 1-25. It is an exposition of the purpose and gift of tongues and prophecy. In this passage Paul says:
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit
Anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.
Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves
I would like every one of you to speak in tongues
If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. 16 Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer, say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? 17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.
When we pray in the Spirit, we communicate with God in a way only He can understand. Spirit to Spirit communication. Also the Spirit of God when we pray in the Spirit will intercede for us in unique ways. It's why it's a good thing to do.
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;27and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27
It also builds up our faith:
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, Jude 1:20
SO, how does that work? How do we enter into this?
Salvation comes first. You can't be Baptized in the Holy Ghost without being saved. When you are saved you get the Holy Spirit. That was the condition of the Disciples as Jesus ascended into heaven. He said to them as He did:
4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
2 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
He was called to account by the Jerusalem council. He reported this:
As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning.16“And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’17“Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”18When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”
The evidence of the Holy Spirit Falling on them was what??
Then there is an event at Ephesus:
ACTS 19 Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
This is at least 15 years after Pentecost.
When we look at the instructions Paul gives to the believers in Corinth in Chap 14 and this we start to see that being baptized in the Holy Spirit was a normal experience in the early church. The question we must ask is how did we get away from that normative?
When did that become shunted to the background? The epistles of Paul to the various churches overflow with references to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
It was evidently something that was quite stunning and caused some to think they wanted to "work" this for themselves. This years after Pentecost: Acts 8
14Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John,15who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.16For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.17Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.18Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,19saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”20But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!
When Peter and John laid hands on the people, something happened. They were changed. So much so that SIMON wanted to pay to get this ability. What was happening that was so obvious?
How is it that Paul the Apostle came to know what he did ABOUT the Holy Spirit? After his Damascus Road experience he comes to the House of Ananias:
Acts 9:17 Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again.
From all this and much more there are some truths that come from the Scriptures:
- God wants us to be Filled with the Holy Spirit. It is HIS will.
- Jesus said we could. He also said it was something we needed beyond salvation.
- Things change when a Person is Filled with the Holy Spirit
- There are manifestations and gifts. 1 Corinthians 12 lists them.
- Paul Admonishes us all to speak in tongues and prophesy
- It happened all over the place after Pentecost for years. It still does.
- One must want the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is not given without asking.
- Many times it happens with the laying on of Hands... not always, but many times.
- It is more than an emotional experience although it does have emotion connected to it.
- One can expect a great change when one is filled. There is a before and after.
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is distinct from the salvation experience.
Tongues may NOT be essential but they are part of the deal. You don't HAVE to speak in tongues to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit, you just will. It's the gateway gift to all the others.
Many people pray to receive and nothing seems to happen... Then sovereignley God comes upon them in a time of prayer or worship and suddenly the full manifestation takes place. That's what makes it so wonderful, no one DOES this to you, God does it.
We have to make the sound. We have to speak. God then fills our mouth. Psalm 88:10.
The last question you asked Jim is can one lose it? The Baptism? You can cause it to go quiet. God's best is that we stay connected by praying in the Holy Ghost.
Paul writing to the Church at Ephesus instructed them to keep on being filled with the Spirit: Ephesians 5:
15Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,16making the most of your time, because the days are evil.17So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.18And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;21and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
That instruction was active, keep on doing this. Keep on your Guard. Keep on giving thanks and keep on being filled. It's water in water out of your belly..
One last image is the Sponge.
If you have a dry sponge and squeeze it, it will not give water.
That is what we are like before we come to Jesus.
If you take a dry sponge and pour water over it, it will absorb some, but only some. That is the Holy Spirit coming on us at salvation. We need more to stay wet enough.
If you take that Sponge and plunge it into the water for a while, it will become so full that even picking it out of the water will cause it to drip. If you squeeze it at all, much water pours forth. That is the BAPTISM of the Holy Spirit. Baptizo in the Greek means to Immerse, Submerge. You go where the water goes and as you pour out you are constantly refilled.
Jim, I pray that you will diligently seek him. He wants to reward you will all of Himself.
Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
Holy Spirit is fully God. Here is The Athanasian Creed. A bit complex but a challenge. God rewards your hunger with HIMSELF. WOW. What a wonderful gift.