In Acts 1:8 Jesus shares a promise with the disheartened band of disciples after His resurrection: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The baptism with or infilling of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus was realized later at Pentecost. After years spent with Jesus and days in the upper room, those individuals who were all together in one place experienced this second work of grace in their lives that cleansed and purified their hearts and empowered them for holy living and ministry. “Whoever is sanctified wholly has the baptism with the Holy Ghost; whoever has the baptism with the Holy Ghost is sanctified wholly. It is the baptism with the Holy Ghost that sanctifies wholly.” (1)
This was a divine work of God desperately needed by each of us because of our fallen, sinful nature. “To love God! It is far above, out of our sight. We cannot naturally attain unto it.” (2) It is a cleansing and death to the old self that was enabled by pride and self-centeredness. “We must be willing to empty ourselves of our plans, our self-rights, our self-willfulness, our self-importance—then the Spirit gladly fills our hearts.” (3)
This is empowering for us to live the life God has called us to in victory and freedom becoming of holiness.
It is also empowering for us to serve and minister beyond our human ability! “Pomp, power, custom and public sentiment were all against them. They were reproached, reviled, persecuted, and subjected to exile and death. But those early Christians had the help of an indwelling, sanctifying Savior and the anointing of the Holy Ghost, and with that equipment they faced a hostile world and all the malignant powers of darkness, and conquered.” (4)
Urgently seek this blessing and gift today. Believing that God can do this work even in you, seek to receive this baptism by faith today!
“Pentecost is the crowning miracle and abiding mystery of grace.” (5)
“It is evident from reason and from the plain word of God that we can look for sanctification or holiness in this life.” (6)
“‘Is this death to sin, and renewal in love, gradual or instantaneous?’ A man may be dying for some time; yet he does not, properly speaking die, till the soul is separated from the body; and in that instant, he lives the life of eternity. In like manner, he may be dying to sin for some time; yet he is not dead to sin, till sin is separated from his soul; and in that instant, he lives the full life of love. … Yet he still grows in grace, in the knowledge of Christ, in the love and image of God.” (7)
(1) C. W. Ruth. Entire Sanctification: A Second Blessing. (Chicago & Boston: The Christian Witness Co., 1903), 52
(2) John Wesley. John Wesley’s Sermons: An Anthology. Albert C. Outler & Richard P. Heitzenrater. (Nashville: Abingdon, Press), 330
(3) Richard S. Taylor. What Does it Mean to be Filled with the Spirit? (Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 1995), 33
(4) A.M. Hills. Holiness and Power. (Noblesville: J. Edwin Newby, 1897), 18
(5) Samuel Chadwick. The Way of Pentecost. (Berne: Light & Hope Publications, 1937), 28
(6) Beverly Carradine. Sanctification. (Syracuse: A.W. Hall, publisher, 1905), 73
(7) John Wesley. A Plain Account of Christian Perfection. (Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 1966), 62