Questions and answers are a classic way to learn important truths about God. In some denominations this is called catechism. Here are some more questions commonly asked about the Holy Spirit:
Isn’t the baptism of the Spirit a contentious subject? Why mention it at all?
Many Bible topics are contentious, depending on who you’re speaking with. The question is not whether something is contentious, but whether it represents truth. Jesus was adamant that his followers must not attempt to serve the Lord without first being clothed with the Holy Spirit.
In my estimation, the spiritual situation today is such that we have no choice, we must see believers transformed through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, just as they were 2000 years ago. [Suggested Bible reading: Luke 24:46-49].
Can I receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit without speaking in other tongues?
That’s a little bit like asking, “can I have a car without tires”, or “can I go to dentist without having my teeth looked at”. Speaking in tongues was the distinctive gift on the day of Pentecost. All the other gifts of the Holy Spirit: healings, discerning of spirits, working of miracles, etc. had all been witnessed before. When believers were baptized in the Spirit in Jerusalem, in Ephesus and in the house of Cornelius, they spoke in tongues. It seems natural, that we would want what they had, especially as God has made it available to us.
I make it clear in one of the earlier devotions in this series, Countdown to Pentecost, that speaking in tongues is not the greatest sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but it is a vital sign. Why would anyone want to be without the powerful resource? It is wonderful to be able to pray the perfect will of God in an unknown tongue. This type of prayer builds you up inwardly and opens you up to more of God’s gifts. The apostle Paul is our example and he said; “I speak in tongues more than anyone”. [Suggested Bible reading: Acts 2:1 – 4].