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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Who Can Have the Baptism with the Holy Spirit?

"And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:38-39)

The 'promise" that Peter refers to is unquestionably the baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33). But whom is this gift for? "For you and your children," says Peter to the Jews whom he was immediately addressing and the generations who would follow them. Then looking down all the coming ages of the church's history to Gentile as well as Jew: "and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call." The baptism with the Holy Spirit is for every child of God in every age of the church's history. If it is not ours in experiential possession, it is because we have not taken what God has provided for us in our exalted Saviour.

What a thrilling thought that God desires each of us to be clothed with power from on high! But that unspeakably joyous thought has its solemn side. If I may be baptized with the Holy Spirit, I MUST be. If I am baptized with the Holy Spirit, then souls will be saved through my instrumentality who would not be saved if I were not so baptized. If then I am not willing to pay the price of this baptism, I am responsible before God for all the souls who might have been saved but were not saved through me.

We may have a very clear call to service, it may be as clear as the apostles had - but the charge is laid upon us, as upon them, that before we begin that service we must be clothed with power from on high. Anyone who is in Christian work of any type who has not received the baptism with the Holy Spirit should stop his work right where he is and not go on with it until he is. Recall that when the power came upon the disciples they accomplished more in one day than they would have accomplished in years if the had gone on in presumptuous disobedience to Christ's charge The same be true for us.

Almighty God and Father, it is thrilling to know that You desire to clothe me with Your power, but it is indeed a solemn thought as well. I come to You that I might be equipped to serve You and to be a witness to those whom You want to reach through me. Amen

~R. A. Torrey~

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