Why Every Single Christian Needs the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

(Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash)

Either the extreme activity of the Holy Spirit is critical to every Christian, or it is not.

I've resisted writing this article for a long time, as there doesn't seem to be a way around causing a schism, or at least provoking people to pick a side. Then again, maybe this is just what we need—an honest evaluation of the value and purpose of allowing the Holy Spirit to be fully free in our lives and in our churches.

Is the movement of the Holy Spirit vital to our success as Christians? Or, can we choose to tone down the manifestations due to personal discomfort or outright disagreement over how appropriate it is?

Amazing Cessationists

One of the reasons writing this article is such a struggle is because of how many truly amazing, godly and humble men and women of God there are who don't affirm the gifts of the Spirit. Additionally, there are many others who affirm the gifts and activity of the Holy Spirit, but don't emphasize them or give room for them in the church. In fact there are many "Spirit-filled" churches today that are sadly restrictive of the Holy Spirit. Yet, I've met so many of these pastors and leaders, and they are remarkable people.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

I'm continually humbled by people like this who are lovers of God, faithful givers, students of the Word, brilliant leaders in the church and who possess truly tender hearts toward people. You won't find any praying in tongues, deliverance of demons, mention of dreams and visions or supernatural manifestations in their ministry. However, they are feeding the poor, visiting prisoners, giving to the needy, standing for righteousness, preaching with conviction and loving those God brings across their path.

There are those who would argue that people who discount or minimize the gifts and workings of the Holy Spirit are not saved at all. While I personally feel this is a serious issue, I could never jump to such an extreme conclusion. However ...

Baptism in the Holy Spirit Is Critical for All

I must admit my spirit is grieved terribly when Christians attempt to shut the Holy Spirit and his workings away.

I recently heard someone raise the question as to why the activity of the Holy Spirit is even necessary today. He argued that if we focus on the basics, on salvation and preaching the gospel, that is more than sufficient. He wondered out loud, "Just what else is necessary?"

He felt the outward expressions, the loud groans of intercession, tongues, deliverance of demons and other manifestations were hindrances to the advance of the gospel. I do understand why he has arrived at his position. There are too many people acting out in bizarre, emotional and strangely spiritual manners while excusing it away as the activity of the Holy Spirit. While I fully embrace the truth that it will become supernaturally intense and even quite messy when God invades a people and a church in great power, too often, overly zealous people are getting a little nutty when the power really isn't there. Their passion can get the best of them and, for better or worse, it turns a lot of people away from such theatrics.

With all of this in mind, I must clearly reveal the core of my heart and my position on this matter:

Those who dismiss, reject, minimize or tone down the gifts and activity of the Holy Spirit due to discomfort or theological position are at great risk of rejecting God himself—and encouraging others to do the same.

Yes, the baptism in the Holy Spirit which results in a remarkable life of power, praying in unknown tongues, experiencing the supernatural realm and living a prophetic life is critical, not simply optional, for all.

Why Is the Holy Spirit So Important?

No, preaching the gospel and winning the lost aren't all we are called to do as Christians. Not even close. However, it's easy to argue that the very act of preaching the Gospel and leading the lost to Jesus can't be done with any real effectiveness, anointing or power without the very direct and active influence of the Holy Spirit.

"They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia and were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia" (Acts 16:6).

Only the Holy Spirit knows when, where, how and to whom we should be preaching the gospel. Of course, we should default to preaching and ministering everywhere we go—unless the Holy Spirit tells us not to.

If we are not tuned in to the clear and present words of God, we will not be able to discern his will on anything, including our ministry strategy.

Further, we know that praying in tongues edifies us, and the Bible teaches clearly that this gift is available for all. While some of the different gifts of tongues (tongues and interpretation, for example) are reserved for select people, as is true for most spiritual gifts, the prayer language of tongues is a critically important gift for every Christian. We all need the edification that only the Holy Spirit can bring, and his chosen vehicle for that edification is praying in tongues. There is no substitute. No tongues, no edification. That is a recipe for disaster.

"He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church" (1 Cor. 14:4).

Also, the Holy Spirit enables us to prophesy. We can hear God's voice, receive prophetic revelation, have dreams and visions and discern spiritually as the Holy Spirit moves in and through us.

Those who are not baptized in the Holy Spirit may occasionally receive rare and unusual revelation from the Holy Spirit, but such an important part of the Christian life is not supposed to be rare and unusual. Our lives should be filled with never-ending revelation from God. This is part of the wonder of the Spirit-filled life!

From my Charisma News article, Should the Church Get Scary?

We need a church on fire today more than ever. The lost are being introduced into lukewarm, natural, Ichabod religion instead of a supernatural shaking that can only come from the great I Am. They are convinced they are saved as they are assimilated into a community of like-minded quasi-spiritual people who would love to see God manifest in their natural realm—yet have no interest in manifesting in the spiritual realm where the Holy Spirit broods.

Flying Blind

If you eliminate the activity of the Holy Spirit, you remove the navigator from your life. You fly blind without any unction in the depths of your spirit, without the supernatural stirring and unmistakable glory and presence of God radiating within.

Words of knowledge, words of wisdom, discerning of spirits, prophecy, power to do miracles, gifts of healing and other Holy Spirit endued abilities would disappear.

I often wonder how any Christian could ever attempt to live their lives much less lead a ministry, preach, write books, lead worship or do pretty much anything else without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, without tongues, without a prophetic spirit and without supernatural gifts.

Without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, evangelism, preaching, teaching and every other form of ministry reproduces not the electric, supernatural life of the Spirit, but, rather a simplistic, humanly understandable depiction of God. I'm not saying it's impossible to lead someone to Jesus or to teach the truth of Scripture if you aren't baptized in the Holy Spirit, but the efforts become more difficult at best and compromised at worst. If you aren't filled with power, just what are you imparting to them?

Without the baptism of the Holy Spirit and embracing the extreme activity of the Holy Spirit, and while attempting to subdue intense supernatural manifestations, deliverance won't happen, people will remain demonized, instantaneous healing will be rare, church services will be dead and naturally orchestrated, faith will be manufactured instead of imparted, prophecy will cease and power will fizzle out.

Living an Impossible Life

I could write a book, no, many books, on this topic. This article is woefully incomplete, but I wanted to at least stir the waters and initiate some conversation.

We are called to live wildly supernatural lives. The experiences and mandates God has for us are fully impossible without moving in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The revelation that God has given me and my family over the years is so absolutely remarkable and other-worldly that I would be an entirely different person today if it had not come. The miracles and wonders that God has performed have marked us and moved us in directions that would have been impossible without the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Yes, I'll say it loudly: The Holy Spirit is that important as are his gifts, revelation and power.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.


Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. Enroll in the FREE Mini-Course to experience Dr. Rutland's training for yourself and then enroll for the full training that will change your life and ministry.

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

NICL Training offered in FL, TX and GA - Learn everything you wish someone had taught you about business and ministry before you finished seminary. Gain the knowledge that will help propel your life and ministry to the next level as you implement practical lessons from Dr. Rutland's training. Training Dates and Details.

The NICL Online is a brand new option for those church and ministry leaders who cannot attend the in-person training. Now, you can receive all 60-hours of Dr. Rutland's training from the comfort of your home or ministry for a full year. Learn more about NICL Online.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders