This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on May 30th 2021 by Colin D via zoom. For the audio please click here. To listen to the worship please click here.
We covered the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out and I shared last week the baptism with the Holy Spirit is needed to infuse power into the life of a Christian. Today, we're going to look at more about how we can be filled with the spirit, be baptized with the spirit and for that what we're going to do this morning is I'm gonna show you a couple of instances, from the Old Testament, on how important the baptism with the holy spirit is. Let me just turn to scripture in Romans chapter 15 verse 4.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly. They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.
So their goal, as they came together in unity, one language, one purpose was to build a city to be together. Not to be scattered and build a tower. That would reach up to the Heavens to God, but see what happens in verse 5, But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. In this case, what they wanted to do was not a good thing.
Remember, the original command was to Adam and Eve was to go and fill the Earth and subdue the Earth. That was God's command. It wasn't to settle but it was to scatter. And these guys said, let's just stay together and enjoy life. And the second thing they wanted to do was to make a name for themselves. This is what God says. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other. So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.
So, the Lord scattered them from there to over all the earth and they stopped building the city. That is why it is called the Babel of Babel because the Lord confused, the language of the whole world from there. The Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth. Now, you know, some people say that this is only a story. But I tell you, as Christians, we know that the word of God is true. And that's how we have people moved across the earth and we have different languages.
Now this is what happened, some of these people went to China. People started to use picture languages, and if you go into Chinese and see, the word for' create' in Chinese (Remember Chinese don't use alphabets, they use pictorial forms to write).
So the word for 'create' is made up for the pictures of mud, life and someone walking.That's the word for create. The word for devil is made up of, man, a garden and a picture for the secret. That's the word for devil. A man, a garden, and the picture for secret. So the Devil is a secret person in the garden. Their word for tempter is made up of the word for the devil, plus, two trees, and the picture for "cover". So, the tempter is the devil, two trees and cover. The word for boat, the word for " boat" is made up of the word for vessel or a container, mouth and eight. So boat in China and the Chinese language is a vessel for eight people. As was Noah's Ark. Isn't that incredible? We can construct the whole of Genesis 1 to 11 from the Chinese language. This is just to show you that what we believe in is true. Even if you look at secular sources, they will attest to the truth of what we believe.
So what is Babel to do with the baptism with the Holy Spirit? Remember God came down because these people were united. So he was going to scatter them across the face of the Earth. They spoke one language. He brought in, multi, multiplicity of languages. So that they couldn't understand one another. And so they moved out.
Now, in Acts chapter 2, when the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, we see God reversing some of the things that happened at Babel. There were people from all the different parts of the world -Jews, who had come there to Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. And what do they do? They were also amazed and it also confused them because they could hear Galilean Jews speaking in different foreign languages and they could understand them. Acts chapter, 2 verse 7 says: Utterly amazed, they asked: Arent all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? So you see that, what happened at Babel was reversed on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the 120 who had gathered with the Apostles, they all began to speak in different tongues and, and people from different nations could understand what they were saying, and that is what God was doing here. What he had done in Babel was confusing the languages.
He now, broad unity, he brought these people together to hear the gospel. We're going to look at the second and, God is doing the same thing. Here, in the sense of now- He wants to build a city. He wants to build a city that's happening in Revelation but He wants us to go across the whole of the world. That's been Jesus's command- go and make disciples of all nations. But now we are going with the blessing of God -with the holy spirit being poured out.
We can see a similar incident of
an Old Testament event being reversed in Acts chapter 2, in the giving of the
law. Pentecost is 50, that's what it means, 50 days. And you know, these Jews,
celebrated Pentecost, 50 days after the Passover. In Exodus chapter 32, the
law was given to the Jews. 50 days, after the Passover, they came out of Egypt
and fifty days they are in the desert and then God gave them the law. And in
Exodus chapter 32 we see this happening. In verse 15, Moses
turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant
law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and
back. The tablets were the work
of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he
said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.” Moses replied:“It is not
the sound of victory,
it is not the sound of defeat;
it is the sound of singing that I hear.”When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain.
Verse 27 says. Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbour.’” 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died.
And you know what happened -the law brings death, 3,000 people died that day and the reason is their idolatry. They made a golden calf and worshipped it saying it brought them up out of Egypt. God hates idolatry and that day 3,000 people were killed. But in Acts chapter 2 with the coming of the Holy Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, the holy spirit is poured out and Peter proclaims the gospel and (Acts chapter 2 verse 41) those who accepted his message were baptized and 3000 people were added to the church.
So the gift of the Holy Spirit is very, very important. We're going to look at one more example, in the New Testament, of the giving of the Holy Spirit upon a group of people. Acts chapter 19, it says Paul found some people who look like believers. And so this is what happened to Paul when was travelling and he saw a group disciples. While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?” e. Did you receive the Holy Spirit? When you believed or after you believe the some translations say. They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.
4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues[b] and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
He realized that they had only heard the pre-Christian message of John's baptism and they were not believers yet. They were Seekers. And so he corrected them and he shared the full Gospel with them. After hearing the gospel, they were baptized. Remember, last time I shared about three different types of references baptisms, they were immersed, in water, and believed in Jesus, the next step was Paul placed his hands, and then the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied and they were 12 of them. So first they heard the gospel became born again, baptized in water and then Paul places hands on them. And they spoke in tongues and prophesied, they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. And that seems to be the normal sequence of how things happened. Now, you may be sitting down here and say, I heard the gospel. I give my life to Jesus,.I was baptised in water but Baptism in the Holy Spirit, I don't know about that. And we're gonna answer a few questions do that. And how do we know when we receive the Holy Spirit? We have to receive it by faith.
Ephesians 1:13, 14 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Like all the important and official documents are sealed, Paul is saying that the Holy Spirit is a seal attesting to the authenticity of your conversion. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is where people can see that you are truly born again. The second thing is He is a deposit guarantee of our inheritance.
Paul says here is that; the Holy Spirit is a seal that demonstrates and proves that you truly are a follower of Christ. And the Holy Spirit is a deposit. If you receive the Holy Spirit, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it's a deposit, concerning the inheritance that is in store for you. We got to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit because he's a seal and he's a deposit knowing that when I have received this deposit, I'm going to receive my full inheritance. Now how do we receive the Holy Spirit? Do we need to do something? How do we receive it? Let's look at a couple of verses in Galatians.
In Galatians chapter 3, verse 5 tells us So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? We can never live a good enough life to earn the Holy Spirit. We just can't make it. You have to rely on Jesus for that. We receive the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit when believe the gospel by faith. Verse 13 says Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole. He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
The Bible says here that He redeemed us, that's what Jesus did so that the blessing given to Abraham, all the promises given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles. That's us through Christ Jesus. So we can receive the blessings of Abraham. We are spiritual descendants. And we can say, I can hold on to God's promises to Abraham through Christ Jesus. One of the blessings, the most important one is this promise of the spirit which is not just the Holy Spirit but the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Believe that God wants to bless you. He wants to pour out his holy spirit upon you. It's not by observing the law. It's not by you're keeping the commandments; it's by believing in Jesus.
The second thing is to turn to John chapter 7: 37 and 39. On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”[c] 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
If you believe, God wants to give you his holy spirit. The second thing is, it says that if anyone is thirsty, we've got to be thirsty. Let's be thirsty and say to the Lord: I can't do anything without you apart from you Lord. I am thirsty for you. Would you give me more of your Holy Spirit? When we go to Jesus declare who He really is, streams of living water will flow from within us.
The third thing. Luke 11 tells us Which of you fathers if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
A father is waiting to pour out the Holy Spirit, His promise. He wants to give us the Holy Spirit. What is He looking for? He wants us to believe. He wants us to be thirsty. He wants us to come to Jesus. He wants us to ask for things. Believe, be thirsty. Come to Jesus, ask, that's what we need to do. As we do that, the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon us. And now, how do I know that I've been baptized with the Holy Spirit? Instances where people were filled with the Holy Spirit are recorded in scripture three times. The people spoke in tongues, they prophesied, or they declared the wonders of God. That's what happened, three times. And so, that's what we've got to do. We've got to believe that as we pray for the Holy Spirit, God will fill us. He will give us the gift of tongues, not just the gift of tongues, the gift of prophecy, and we will declare His praises.
If you want to see miracles, signs, wonders, and the power of God -we need the Holy Spirit. I hope you're hungry and I hope you're thirsty. So this morning let’s turn to Jesus. Let's praise the Lord for He has been planning this from Genesis 11 Babel episode. Now he's giving us a language to speak to God. So can we pray this morning? Can we come to Jesus by faith? I like you all to just hold out your hands to Jesus. Put your hands up. Say, Lord, I'm thirsty; I want to be filled with your Holy Spirit. I want the gift of tongues. Let's hold on to our Father in heaven. We lift our hands to God as a sign that we are thirsty for him and pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.