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Spirit Baptism

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THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT 

Scripture: Acts 2:1–11, 10:1–46, 19:1–6

Memory verse: Acts 2:4
"All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."

Lead—In

Point out that, as Christians, we do not have to live aimless lives. God has a plan and direction for our lives. Explain that when we allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives, He will help us go the right direction. Each day he will help us serve God and do His will.

Tell the students to listen carefully to this study to learn the answer to “How can I receive God’s gift, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?”

Hearing God’s Word

Ask: “What unusual things happened to signal the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost?” (Briefly review our last study.)

Our memory verse tells of one special sign.

Ask: “What is it?” (Allow responses. Repeat the memory verse together.)

Speaking in an unknown language must have been exciting for the believers, and quite interesting for the people who heard the believers speaking in many languages that day.

An Exclusive Group

The believers began telling others about salvation and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Many people became believers and the new Church grew rapidly. However, believers shared the gospel with only a select group of people. They thought only Jewish people could qualify to receive the wonderful gifts of God.

But that was not God’s plan. (Have volunteers locate and read John 3:16 and Acts 1:8.) The words whoever in John 3:16 and to the ends of the earth in Acts 1:8 show us that God loves all people and wants to put them in a right relationship with Him. God had to work in some of the believers’ lives to help them understand this.

God speaks to Peter

Peter was one of the persons who had to learn that God loves all people, not just the Jewish race. Once when Peter was in the city of Joppa, he had a vision from God in which he saw all kinds of animals. A voice said, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat these animals.”

Although God was telling Peter he could eat the meat of different animals that had been forbidden to Jews, He also had another purpose for this vision. At that very moment some men were coming to see Peter. A man named Cornelius had sent them. Cornelius had seen an angel who told him to send for Peter.

Cornelius was a Gentile. (A Gentile is someone who is not Jewish.) God had given Peter the vision to let him know God wanted Gentiles to hear about Him too. Peter realized the vision he had seen meant that just as all animals are acceptable, so are all people acceptable. God wants all to be saved. (Tell the students that God loves all races in all countries and desires a relationship with each one.)

Cornelius Receives the Holy Spirit

Peter went to Cornelius’ house. Cornelius had called his relatives and friends together. They were all waiting to hear what Peter would say. Peter began to preach about Jesus and how He gave us salvation from sin. Suddenly something amazing happened. What was it? (Ask a student to read Acts 10:44–46.) Cornelius and the others were filled with the Holy Spirit!

Ask: “How do we know this?” (Allow responses.)

They spoke in other languages just as the believers did on the Day of Pentecost. On that special day, God proved to Peter that anyone can receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The only requirement is that he has asked Jesus to be his Saviour.

Paul Preaches at Ephesus

Another time, the apostle Paul went to preach the gospel in Ephesus. When he got there he found some who already believed. “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” Paul asked.

“We do not know anything about this,” the believers answered. Apparently they had not heard about the excitement that had happened on the Day of Pentecost.

Paul told the believers more about Jesus. Then he placed his hands on them. What happened? (Ask a student to read Acts 19:6.) These believers received the Holy Spirit.

Ask: “How do we know this?” (Allow responses.)

All three incidents we have talked about—the Day of Pentecost, at Cornelius’ house, and in Ephesus—have some similarities and some differences.

Ask: “What are they?” (Allow responses. Write them on the chalkboard.)

Tongues—the Initial Evidence

At Pentecost there were three signs. One was the sound of wind; another was flames like fire. Our memory verse tells us the third sign. (Repeat the memory verse together.) In the other two cases of believers being filled with the Holy Spirit, only one sign was given—they spoke in languages they had never learned and did not know.

This is still the sign that the Holy Spirit has filled a believer. When we yield ourselves completely to the Holy Spirit, we allow Him the opportunity to communicate through us. The best way to communicate with others is by talking to them. When the Holy Spirit communicates through us, He uses our voices, our mouths, and our tongues to speak directly to God. (Repeat the memory verse together.)

No Age Limit

In all three incidents, there was no mention of how old the people were when they were filled with the Holy Spirit. God does not put an age limit on who can receive His blessings. The only thing the Bible says is that the people were believers and loved God.

The Holy Spirit was sent to help us be stronger Christians and show us how to live. Young people need this help. The Holy Spirit will fill anyone—even children—if they truly desire to be like Jesus.

Worshipping God

Ask: In each of the situations we talked about, what were the people thinking about when they were filled with the Holy Spirit?” (Allow responses.)

In all three cases, they were hearing about Jesus or worshipping Him. They were not playing games in the backyard when they were suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit. Instead, they were taking time to worship and pray. Their thoughts were on Jesus and how wonderful He is.

Jesus wants every believer to receive the Holy Spirit. However, he will not give this precious gift to someone who will not appreciate it. Only those who truly desire the Holy Spirit will receive Him.

Imagine that you gave your friend a video as a gift recently. Your friend left the video on the sunny dashboard of the family car and the heat ruined it. Did your friend show appreciation for your gift?

In order to receive the Holy Spirit, we must desire His help and presence in our lives. We must recognize that the Holy Spirit will help us become more like Jesus.

No Special Ceremony

There is one more difference in the three incidents we have studied. On the Day of Pentecost the people heard the wind and saw flames of fire before they received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Cornelius and his friends were listening to Peter preach when they were filled. Paul put his hands on the Ephesian believers when they were filled.

Everyone’s experience was a little different. It is the same today. There is no special ceremony you must take part in to receive the Holy Spirit. Some people are filled when they are standing; others receive when they are kneeling. Some are praying loudly; others are filled as they pray quietly. Some receive the Holy Spirit while a large group prays with them; others are filled when they are worshipping alone.

Some things may be different about the way each person is filled with the Holy Spirit, but all speak in tongues when they are filled.

Be Yielded to God

The key is not that we do certain things in order to receive the Holy Spirit. The key is that we have the right attitude. If you desire to receive all God has for you, and if you yield your life and your voice to the Holy Spirit’s control, He will fill you. He loves you. It is His desire to fill you and help you each day to serve God and do His will. (See Luke 11:13.)

Have you received the baptism in the Holy Spirit? You can. If you have accepted Jesus as your Saviour, you are a candidate to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Jesus is waiting for you to yield your life to Him and seek Him. He can fill you with His Spirit. The Spirit will help you grow spiritually by giving you power to live the way God has planned for you!

Accepting God’s Word

Remind the students that while the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a powerful spiritual experience, it can come about only after a person’s sins are forgiven and they are living to please Jesus. Give opportunity for any to receive Jesus as Saviour.

Good Fellowship

The prayer time at the mosque had closed, so we went by to see the building. On our way we met the sheik, who invited us to meet him at his office. We accepted his invitation, and after taking a few pictures of the mosque we joined him there. Five village elders were with him to receive us.

Our interview went well. The group liked my reason for coming – to meet the people about whom I had studied - and they were pleased that the businessman on the main road had selected their village for our visit. They informed me that if they had known of my coming, they would have prepared a feast for us.

“Next time I will let you know in advance, and I will try to bring my wife,” I told them.

One elder responded, “If you bring your wife, we will butcher a cow for you!” The room was filled with laughter!

It was time to leave, so I offered to buy tea for them at their local restaurant. They readily agreed and it was my privilege to host the sheik and 10 elders. It was a great time of fellowship, after which the group posed for a picture.

Claps of thunder and dark clouds warned of an approaching storm. We quickly said goodbye and raced toward the main road. The rain caught us on the freshly graded road, but our four-wheel drive vehicle carried us safely to the pavement.

Our research among the Rufiji went well. We learned a lot about the people and built a solid relational bridge for a return visit. It was a “first step” into an Islamic community. The Lord surely directed our footsteps! 

Rufiji Prayer

Lord, as we look into the faces of the Rufiji people, may we see them as You see them.

May we be moved with compassion, as You were when You saw the multitudes that You said were like sheep without a shepherd.

May we obey Your challenge to look on fields ready for harvest and pray for labourers to be sent into that harvest.

Our prayer today is that shepherds will be sent to the Rufiji people to lead them into Your sheepfold and that labourers will be sent to bring the gospel to the Rufiji people. We are praying this will result in an abundant harvest for the kingdom of God.

And to You will be the praise, honour and glory. Amen.

Remember: THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

Memory verse: Acts 2:4
"All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."

1. I will set aside time every day to worship the Lord.
2. Jesus wants to baptize me, a young believer, in the Holy Spirit.
3. I will be satisfied with nothing less than being baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in a new language.

Pray for messengers to see the Rufiji as God sees them.

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Study 10| Prayer Power / Holy Spirit | africaatts.org/go-teach

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