What Is the Infilling of the Holy Spirit?
Didn’t I receive the Holy Spirit when I was saved? Why would I seek another baptism experience with the Spirit?
When a person is saved, they are born of the Spirit (John 3:5-8). In Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well, He referred to salvation, or receiving eternal life, as a well of water springing up from within us (John 4:14). In speaking about the work of the Spirit in salvation, Jesus refers to it as living water in a well.
However, a few chapters later in John’s gospel, Jesus talked about a subsequent work of the Holy Spirit as a river of water flowing out of us. A well will sustain life, but a river will produce power. The power comes not just when we are born of the Spirit, but when we are filled with the Spirit.
The understanding of the infilling of the Holy Spirit begins with a question, “Are you spiritually thirsty?”
If you yearn for a deeper relationship with the Lord… if you sense a lack of power in your life… then you will begin to understand why the Lord has given us His Holy Spirit.
The following words, spoken by our Lord in John 7:37-39, begin to reveal His plan for meeting the spiritual thirst we have deep in our hearts,
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
God knew we would have a thirst that could only be quenched one way. Through His Holy Spirit. Consider with me several truths that Jesus’ words convey.
First, notice that the invitation is to “anyone” who thirsts. So, what Jesus is offering is not just for some elite group, it is all inclusive. If you thirst spiritually and desire a deeper relationship with Christ, then His offering is for you!
Second, if you are to have your spiritual thirst quenched (and receive this blessing), you must come to Jesus. He is the only one who can meet this need.
Third, notice that verse 38 says, “He who believes in me….” and verse 39 says, “But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive.” Believing in Christ is a prerequisite to having this experience of rivers of living water flowing out from you.
Fourth, it is clear that when Jesus talks about having rivers of living water flowing out from you, He is referring specifically to an experience with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the only way the spiritual thirst you have will ultimately be quenched.
Fifth and finally, the gift of the Holy Spirit would only be available for believers once Jesus had paid for our sins, was raised from the dead, and was glorified. The Holy Spirit would be His gift to His children after He had departed this earth.
So we begin to understand that the infilling of the Holy Spirit is God’s way to quench our spiritual thirst. And as we are filled with His Spirit, He not only quenches that thirst, He gives us something else… spiritual power.
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