One thing we know for certain. when it comes to the New Testament Church, is that they were all baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and then received the gift of the Holy Ghost. They knew the importance of baptism, for it was when they died to their old man and were raised up in newness of life in Christ Jesus. As Paul said, they all knew, “therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4) Therefore, baptism was very important, but what came soon after was even more important. This is when the Holy Spirit would rest upon the believer and become their guide throughout their life. However, the early believers were baptized by John, and therefore, did not receive the gift of the Spirit afterwards. This is because the Spirit had not fallen upon the people while Jesus was around. But when Jesus went up into heaven, the Spirit did fall upon His disciples. This is when they began to baptize in the name of Jesus and then lay their hands upon them, that they may also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. So when these earlier believers came around, it was important for the disciples to ask them if they were baptized and then received the Spirit also. This what happened in Acts, chapter 19, and we will soon see how it went down.
It is written, “and it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:1-6) As you can see, it was important for these early disciples to get baptized the right way. Which was to baptize them and then pray that they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This we do by putting our hands upon people, once they are baptized. And as long as God is with us, then that person will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Otherwise, a person will need to fine a true Christian who can rebaptize them in the Name of Jesus Christ, and then pray that they receive the Holy Spirit. Only those who are born again of the Spirit are saved, so this gift is very important in a new believer’s life.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that You will help each one of us understand the importance of baptism, the same way the earlier church already did. Even the importance of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit after baptism has been performed. I believe it when You said, Jesus, that we need to be born again of the Spirit, in order to enter the kingdom of God. What You say means more to me than anything else in this world. It is more important than gold. I am richer than anyone else when Your wisdom is in my life and I am being led by the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, I am nothing without You, God. Truly, it is my desire to be in Your presence and not let the influences of the world take hold of my life. That is why I rely wholeheartedly upon the gift of the Holy Spirit. People say that nothing happens in baptism, but as Your Word speaks, this is when we die to our old self and are raised up in newness of life in Christ Jesus. Yes, Jesus, we rise up from the influences from the evil world, the day we are baptized. Then, because the Holy Spirit is confirmed upon us through prayer, we have a guide that cannot lead us astray. Our conscience can only do so much, but can not lead us from temptation. It can help us to know what is right and wrong, but the Holy Spirit can do much more for us. Surely, with the giftings of the Holy Spirit, we can do the work of the church on earth. And as Your hands and feet, I will do as You say, my Lord. Lead me all the days of my life. I love You, Jesus. I worship You, God. Amen.