Hello, beloved. I wanted to share something I hope can help at least one of you:
A man named Simon had previously practiced sorcery in that city and astounded the Samaritan people, while claiming to be somebody great. They all paid attention to him, from the least of them to the greatest, and they said, “This man is called the Great Power of God! ” They were attentive to him because he had astounded them with his sorceries for a long time. But when they believed Philip, as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then even Simon himself believed. And after he was baptized, he went around constantly with Philip and was astounded as he observed the signs and great miracles that were being performed. When the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had welcomed God’s message, they sent Peter and John to them. After they went down there, they prayed for them, so the Samaritans might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet come down on any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power too, so that anyone I lay hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter told him, “May your silver be destroyed with you, because you thought the gift of God could be obtained with money! You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right before God. Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” (Acts 8:9-23)
You see, although Simon believed, was baptized, and followed the church wherever they went, his heart was not right before God because he was poisoned by bitterness and bound by unrighteousness. Also, because of the bitterness and unrighteousness he didn’t want to let go of, he wasn’t able to receive the gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which gives us the power to stop sinning and walk in righteousness.
So we see that people who truly want to follow Christ give up their sin, their grudges (even if in their mind it seems right to hold a grudge), they simply let go of everything and trust in Jesus. Once they do, they may now receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is different from water baptism.
Water baptism is more of a statement, like saying you now have a clean conscience toward Jesus and are going to walk in a new way of life, in His way of life. But baptism of the Holy Spirit is when you pray for it and really repent, turn away from your sins and run to Jesus, and then He fills you with His Spirit and gives you the power to obey Him and live a transformed life.
Many times (if not every time) someone gets the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they either start to prophesy or speak in tongues. That’s what happened to my sister and I, and several other Christians I know. Well, either way, the baptism of the Holy Spirit needs to happen to you if you really want to follow Jesus.
I love you, and I’m praying for you,
If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.