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TODAY’S MEDITATION – Why is it so many believers are not baptised by the Holy Spirit? (John 16:8)

Before anything, allow me to ask you a question this morning: especially you who want to be baptised by the Holy Spirit: why do you want to be baptised by the Spirit of God? Do you know there are duties and responsibilities attached to receiving the Holy Spirit? So many believers want to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us the Holy Spirit is a gift of God, a good gift that we can ask and receive: “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13). Now, my friend, let’s be realistic for a second. Would you take a gift and give a rebellious child of yours, or a child you see does not want to grow? If you give that child a gift, won’t that child waste it the next minute? It is the same with God: He has set conditions for us to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Now, THE FIRST TRUTH about why many believers don’t receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit is that they know what forgiveness is but don’t know what repentance is, or they sometimes think repentance is another word for forgiveness! That is the reason why it is not appropriate to pray for someone to receive the Spirit of God. My friend, you may pray for that person to be baptised, if that person has not repented… they would never receive the Spirit of God and in the end feel frustrated. The Bible says “those who ask him”… So whoever wants to be baptised can ask the Lord. But the first thing the Spirit of God will do is to convince them of their sins to repent of them; then He will convince them of righteousness, so that they start aligning their life with the Lord’s principles and in the end He will convince them of judgment… That’s what John 16:8 says! THE SECOND TRUTH is that many believers have not died to their flesh yet, therefore they do not allow the Spirit of God in them to take the place He should and work through and in them… The Bible says this: “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you… if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:9-15). The THIRD TRUTH is found in the story of Cornelius, when Peter was sent to Cornelius: as soon as he started preaching the Good News to the people, they were all baptised by the Spirit of God? Why? Because of the disposition of their heart. Peter did not pray for them to receive the Holy Spirit, it happened through the Living Word of God: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?”” (Acts 10:44-47). But the most interesting fact in the history of Acts 10 is that God saw the hearts and deeds of Cornelius, and He sent His servant Peter to him! This shows us how much He wants to give us good things, and when our spirit is willing, we do not need to ask… In fact, it is clear that God is willing to have all His children to be baptised in the Spirit that He has sent us to comfort us, guide us, teach us, heal us. But it all depends on us individually. The Bible says, “many are called but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). And we also know that God does not make favouritism. Therefore, when we do not access His blessings or His gifts, we should first wonder if we have done our part to be among the chosen. Now, some people think that being chosen is a pre-election, or a pre-arrangement thing that God has made to pick and choose some. My brother, my sister, as long as we know that “He who wills that all people shall have Life, and shall be converted to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4), we also have the assurance that for us to be chosen, not to say qualified, we have to display we have submitted and accepted to do what it takes. Do you think that Usain Bolt has been chosen by the world’s athletic federation to be the fastest runner, just like that? No. It is because he proved himself through sacrifice and hard work. So, it is the same in our walk with the Lord. We have to prove we are capable of handling what He gives us: are we obedient to His principles, enough to be able to use His gifts appropriately, as a member of the body of Christ: “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13) and to do the work of God (Luke 24:48-49). The problem is that some people want to be baptised by the Spirit of God, just for themselves, while God wants us to be baptised for the sake of Christ, in order to fulfill His purposes by serving the others! Stay blessed in Jesus’ name. [facebook] [retweet]