Luke 1:39-45 says, “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;” “And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.” “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:” “And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” “And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? “For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” “And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
When we have good news to share, we normally go to those we are closest to, to tell them the news. This is exactly what Mary did when she found out she was carrying the Son of God. When she got to Elisabeth’s, John the Baptist leaped within her womb by just being in the presence of God and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. The power of God was so strong among them that His spirit came down and filled them.
Having the Holy Ghost brings an enduement of power for service into our lives.
I know many who don’t know what the Holy Ghost is today. I grew up in a nondenominational church that many mistake for being Pentecostal because we believe in the power of the Holy Ghost and the gift of speaking in tongues. It can be scary and confusing for those who have never seen it, heard it, or experienced it before.
In order to understand the gift of the Holy Ghost and how to receive it, there are a few steps you must take before receiving the gift. These next four steps will teach you about becoming saved, sanctified, and then becoming filled with the Holy Ghost. These steps were taken from my churches website, which is The Church of God:
- Born Again:To be born again is to become a new creature in Christ and a child of God. This new birth is the result of repentance, justification and regeneration and is accompanied by a definite inner witness. See John 3:3; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 3:9. The new birth is a prerequisite for the experience of sanctification.
- Sanctification:Sanctification is the second definite work of grace, an instantaneous work wrought in the regenerated heart by the Holy Ghost with the blood of Christ. In regeneration actual transgressions are forgiven, but in sanctification the Adamic nature, or inbred sin, is eradicated. Sanctification restores man to the holy estate of Adam before the fall, and gives him the grace to live a life of holiness, thus making him eligible for the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. Sanctification is subsequent to justification. See Romans 5:2; 1 Corinthians 1:30; I Thessalonians 4:3; Hebrews 13:12; 1 John 1:9.
- Baptism with the Holy Ghost:The baptism with the Holy Ghost which is subsequent to sanctification is the enduement of power for service. This baptism is always accompanied by the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance. It is the filling of the temple already made clean by sanctification and is a gift of God in answer to the prayer of Christ. Read Matthew 3:11; Luke 24:49-53; Acts 1:4-8.
- Speaking in Tongues:Speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance is the initial, physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. This is separate and distinct from the gift of tongues, which is one of the nine gifts of the Spirit. John 15:26. Also read, Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; 19:6.
We can learn from the scripture reading today that Mary and Elisabeth were both saved (born again) and sanctified. They were holy women, living a sinless life. They honored God and His teachings and followed His ways throughout their daily lives. We can follow after the example they left behind by living a holy life ourselves.
You may be wondering what it means to live a holy, sinless life. You may be thinking if it is even possible to live a sinless life. Throughout scripture, we find how important it is to live a sinless life for Christ. We see the example that Christ showed us, knowing that it is possible to live a life free from sin. Jesus came to show us the way to live our lives pleasing to God. He didn’t come as an all-powerful, God, but instead came in the form of a man. He came in the form of a man to show us just how possible it is to live a holy, sanctified life. Jesus endured the same temptations and trials we still face today and yet, He never once sinned. We can do the same today.
Acts 2:4 says, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Acts 2:28-39 says, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
The key scripture here is verse 39, which says that the promise is for all. What this means is that the gift of the Holy Ghost wasn’t just for the disciples of Jesus’ time, but for every generation to come. The promise is that each one of us who are saved and sanctified, living a sinless, holy life can receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Isn’t that a beautiful promise to us today?
When I received the Holy Ghost, years ago, I remember the power of God that filled me and how mighty it was. The gift of the Holy Ghost is nothing to be scared of, but instead embraced. When God fills us with a piece of His spirit, we have His power within us and within our lives. That power gives us the anointing to work for the gospel, to be bold for God’s word, and comforts us.
Who wouldn’t want the gift of the Holy Ghost?