His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness.
–2 Peter 1:3
Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 12:13 that Christians have been baptized with the Holy Spirit: “By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” Notice the word “were.” This verb is past tense–it is denoting an action that has already happened. The Corinthian Christians were not sitting around waiting for the Holy Spirit to come into their lives; that had already taken place.
Romans 6:3-4 says, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” Paul was again referring to the baptism with the Holy Spirit in the past tense.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not something we as Christians anticipate or beg for. It happened at the moment of our salvation. You might be saying, “Pastor, there are also verses in the Bible that seem to teach that the Holy Spirit comes sometime after our salvation. How do you explain those?” Next week, we are going to look at three passages in Acts that people use to try to show that the baptism with the Holy Spirit comes after salvation. But after Acts 8, the pattern is clear: the moment somebody trusts in Christ, he is baptized with the Holy Spirit of God.
That leads to another word in 1 Corinthians 12:13 that is key to understanding the indwelling of the Spirit: the word “all.” Paul wrote, “We were all baptized.” Remember the church to which Paul was writing. You could not find a more carnal group of believers than those Corinthian Christians. They were fussing and fighting with each other. They were committing every kind of immorality imaginable. They were even getting drunk at the Lord’s Supper!
Yet as carnal and ungodly as they were, Paul said they been baptized with the Holy Spirit. That one little word “all” should drive a stake through the idea that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a special experience reserved for only a certain class of Christian. No, the Bible says it is the basic package for all believers–including you and me. In 2 Peter 1:3, Peter wrote, “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness.” If you are a Christian, God has not short-changed you. He has granted to you everything you need to lead a supernaturally fulfilling existence here on earth. And everything He has given you is wrapped up in the Holy Spirit.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “You’re Richer Than You Think” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.