And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
On Passover night before His crucifixion, Jesus Christ had promised that He wouldn’t leave His followers as orphans, but that He would send the Holy Spirit to help them (John 14:16-18). Now, not long before Pentecost, He reminds them to stay in Jerusalem to wait for that promise.
The New Testament Church continued the practice of water baptism, representing burying the old, sinful self in a watery grave and being washed from sins by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Christian baptism is followed by the laying on of hands of a minister who prays for the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17). The Holy Spirit gives the power a believer needs to change and grow and do God’s work. It helps us to seek to walk as Jesus Christ walked (1 John 2:6). Paul also explained that the Holy Spirit gives unity to the Church: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13).
For more about the Holy Spirit, see our article “How Do You Know You Have the Holy Spirit?”