Jesus promises the stunning power of the Holy Spirit to all who believe in Him. They will be immersed [baptized] with the same Holy Spirit power that raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus wanted to make sure he was heard. He shouted it out. Jesus wanted to be clear. The power of the Holy Spirit would come.
And on the last day, the great [day] of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” “The person who believes in me—just as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.’ And he spoke this concerning the Spirit that those who’d believed in him were about to receive. For the Spirit wasn’t yet [received], because Jesus hadn’t yet been glorified.
John 7:37–39 Robert H. Gundry, Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010), 392.
God’s goal: God wants us to be immersed and filled with the Holy Spirit. As Jesus said, “You will be clothed with power”. That is the way of God and message of Jesus. Jesus promised the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
The doctrinal conversations around the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit are typically framed as a binary (yes or no) approach. This may not be the most useful framework to help all of us arrive have a balanced interpretation.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit continue to be given to believers with no reason to believe they have ceased. The Holy Spirit never changes (immutable), and he is omnipotent. He can and we will continue his mighty work in our lives to the benefit of the bride of Jesus, his church. Scripture confirms and compels us to take this position.
- Luke 24:49 (ESV) — 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
- John 14:16 (ESV) — 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
- John 14:26 (ESV) — 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
- John 15:26 (ESV) — 26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.
- John 16:7 (ESV) — 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
- Acts 1:4–5 (ESV) — 4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
- Acts 1:8 (ESV) — 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
- Acts 11:16 (ESV) — 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’