I will readily admit that I am not the smartest person in the world. But then again, that might be open for debate. I do remember that I was so bright as a child that my mother called me son (sun). Brilliant or not so brilliant, I must confess that when I was in school, I loved taking tests that were open-book tests with the answers being easy to find in the book. In these type of tests, no thinking was required. All that I needed was a little bit of time and the ability to read. To use a Vickie colloquialism, open-book tests were “easy peasy”.
When it comes to the subject of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, I am thankful that God’s Word takes away all of the guesswork and plainly shows our Father’s heart. In other words, the answers to any and all questions about the Holy Spirit are easy peasy. It’s all open-Book.
Take for example this question. Who does God want to baptize in His Spirit? You might think that this is a trick question because it actually has three answers. Open up your Bible and you will quickly find that the answers are …
- Individuals! The Book of Acts has so many examples. But, let’s look in Acts 9. Three days after Saul of Tarsus had his encounter with Jesus Christ while on his way to Damascus, God sent a believer named Ananias to connect with Saul for a two-fold purpose (Acts 9:17) … first that Saul might regain his sight and then second that this newly converted Saul could be baptized in the Holy Spirit. We later read in 1 Corinthians 14:18 Paul stating, “I thank my God that I speak with tongues more than you all.”
- Family and Friends! We find this answer in Acts 10. Peter was sent from Joppa by the Father to minister in Caesarea at the home of centurion named Cornelius. Upon arriving at his home, Peter discovered that the house was filled with family and friends. In verse 44, we read that the Holy Spirit “fell on all of them which heard the word”. The results were “… on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.” (Acts 10:45-46)
- The Church Congregation! We’ve gone from one individual to a houseful and now the third and final answer, the whole (ready for another colloquialism?) kit and caboodle. In Acts 8:15 we see that Peter and John were sent from Jerusalem to Philip’s church in Samaria for the sole reason of the congregation being baptized in the Holy Spirit. God poured out His Spirit “Then laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 8:17)
Let me summarize this teaching by making it even more easy peasy. Who does God want to baptize in His Spirit? Every born again person. The number and location are not determining factors. It can be just one person or one family or one congregation. It can be with you being away from home (as with Saul) or at your home (as with Cornelius) or at a church service (as with Philip’s congregation). It just can’t get any easier peasier. (How’s that for a new colloquialism?)
The open-Book test is now over. You know the answers. You can close your Book. Oh, and by-the-way, with these three correct answers, you’ve scored a 100 on this open-Book test!