The Holy Spirit gives gifts, powerful gifts. Some are referred as charismata (natural gifts) and some as pneumatic gifts (spiritual gifts) found in 1 Corinthians 12.
Some have sadly tried to answer the question by focusing on the gifts as evidence of this baptism. Sad because it completely misses the point. This is not a badge to wear. This is a person to be identified with.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28 v 19)
The Bible clearly reveals the Holy Spirit as a person, describing the Spirit’s personal characteristics, involvement in personal actions and His personal relationships.
He is called, ‘another Counsellor’, who’s the first? Jesus. The Holy Spirit is a person not a power. He lives with you and in you. He is a teacher and a witness in his own right. He has intelligence. He has love and affection. He can be grieved. He has emotions. He can be lied to. He prays and intercedes for us. He speaks. He gives commands. He works miracles. The Holy Spirit is not some reality less than God or other than God, He is God. The Bible says the Father begets the Son and the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. In their operation it is the Father who sends and then operates through the Son and the Father and Son together who send and operate through the Spirit. There is no conviction, regeneration, sanctification, gifts and power without the Holy Spirit.
Early in the life of the Church the apostles in Jerusalem heard that people in Samaria had come to follow Jesus. So they sent Peter and John to investigate.
Peter and the Apostles found themselves in trouble and he is defending themselves before the religious leaders by telling them of the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus: Acts 5:32 “We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” Peter was announcing that they themselves saw the death of Jesus, they were there to see his resurrection and they were even there for his ascension. They saw it all and they were verifying that Jesus was indeed Prince and Saviour of the world.
But someone else was also a witness! Peter died but the Holy Spirit has not passed away! He is alive today in our lives, in our generation, right across the globe. The same Holy Spirit who Peter says is a witness is today in our lives witnessing to us in every doubt, situation and circumstance that Jesus is our Prince and Saviour. In turn we with confidence continue to witness to the world. How do we know what we know? How can we speak so confidently that it would seem like we were witnesses of the events of Christianity? It is the partnership of the Holy Spirit who continually speaks to us and through us.
When everything was barren, life-less and dark the Holy Spirit was hovering and the greatest creative, explosive, divinely empowered act took place, the creation of the world. When the presence of the Most High, the Creator of all and the life-giving Spirit who reaches across His world and beyond overshadows you, miracles happen. Nothing we can do makes it happen except to welcome The Holy Spirit. “Hover over me, overshadow me, come down on me and cloak me in you” That is the prayer and that is the answer!
The Holy Spirit reveals a NOW God. We are not stuck in the past worshipping some historical God in an historical event. He is here. Now. The Holy Spirit reveals a TRANSFORMING God. You may have walked far from God. You may have failed but return to Him and let God change you. The Holy Spirit reveals a GOOD NEWS God. He is on mission in His world. A mission with a message of good news.
In 2022 I see a year where people of all ages are baptised and saturated into the Spirit of God. I see a passion for God possessing them with an intensity of a fire as they burn and shine for Jesus. I see a spirit of cold obedience kindled with an eager devotion. I see a holy passion for righteousness and a consuming enthusiasm for the salvation of the lost.
I see this:
“…go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”