In the world of sales, there is often the product, and then there is the enhanced edition of the product. Is the upsell worth it? Depends on if you want the basic version or the full-featured version with all the bells and whistles.
In my Christian walk, I want all the bells and whistles. I want all that God has to offer me. Actually, I need quite desperately all that he has to offer me. I need his power, his guidance, his comfort, and certainly his friendship. I need the energy that he supernaturally supplies when mine has been exhausted.
And it’s all available because, when Jesus left the earth to ascend back to the Father’s side, he sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who comes alongside every believer.
It’s important to know that at the very moment that you receive Christ, you also receive the indwelling Holy Spirit. God comes to live inside you, permanently. He gives you guidance and wisdom, conviction of sin and empowerment for ministry.
But there’s more… While you have all of God you will ever have or need as a believer, he wants to have all of you. Full access. Total authority. Absolute ownership. Only then can he use you to greatly impact your circle of influence and increase your joy in him.
The New Testament promised us that Jesus Christ would baptize his people with fire. He promised his apostles they would be empowered, from the Day of Pentecost and onward, by a fresh filling, a baptizing, an anointing of the Holy Spirit. One such group of people to experience this were the new believers in Samaria after Phillip had won them with the preaching of the gospel.
The Bible tells us that they embraced Jesus Christ as Savior and followed that decision by being baptized in water. Then later, Peter and John came to share something else with them.
When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
~ Acts 8:15-17 NIV
They were believers, and they’d trusted in Jesus long after the Day of Pentecost, so they were certainly indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but he had another ministry to perform in their lives – one of empowerment as they’d not yet known it. The gift of this outpouring and baptism was conveyed by the laying on of the apostles’ hands.
When you’re fully surrendered, fully immersed, and fully empowered, everything is different. You’re not more or less a Christian, but you’re enhanced. You do all the same things, but with supernatural energy beyond your own when you submit to the filling and empowerment of the Spirit.
He’s here for you and wants to be fully in possession of your life, if you’ll receive his work in you by faith.
By the way, I know that this particular subject is one that many people have differing viewpoints on. My understanding has been formed by a lot of internal debate and wrestling with the scriptures, reading and listening to the teachings of respected leaders (such as John Piper, Jack Hayford, and Robert Morris), and by personal experience in my own life.