Title: Receive the Holy Spirit By Bro. Ewaen (Minister of the Word)
Date: 16th March, 2014.
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:17,18).
Again, let it be emphasized. God’s command to “Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” is not a suggestion to believers in Christ for the deepening of their spiritual lives. God’s order to “be filled with the Spirit” is not an optional extra. We cannot please ourselves. “Receive the Holy Spirit” is God’s command to sinful men and women for the laying of THE ONLY FOUNDATION at the beginning of their Christian lives!
The gift of the Holy Spirit is not just an added experience, beyond what is expected of every Christian. Nor is it an experience received by a select few after years of godly living to make them “Super-Christians”. It is one of the three normal steps (i.e. Repent, Be Baptized, and Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit) through the door into full salvation.
In the New Testament, the three steps of THE ONLY FOUNDATION are meant for the Christian at the beginning of his Christian life. For example, the Christians at Samaria (Acts 8) had a deficient initial experience. Their foundation was not complete. But the situation was soon remedied when they received the Holy Spirit as Peter and John laid hands upon them.
All Believers Have The Holy Spirit
Receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit is a separate step in THE ONLY FOUNDATION, quite distinct from conversion to Christ or receiving Christ as Savior. All believers do not enjoy the fullness of the Holy Spirit. However, all who have repented of their sins and accepted Jesus as Savior, and been born anew, do have a measure of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit convicts of sin (John 16:8). After repentance, the Holy Spirit performs that miracle of all miracles, the new birth, without which no man shall see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3). And the Bible says in Romans 8:9, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” All who have deliberately received Christ as their Savior and have experienced the first step in THE ONLY FOUNDATION when the Holy Spirit caused them to be born anew, are indwelt by the Spirit. The Bible says they are “born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). As the Christian grows, obeying the Spirit, and yielding to Him, more of his life will be indwelt by the Spirit. But the indwelling of the Holy Spirit must not be confused with the infilling of the Spirit – that outpouring of the Holy Spirit that God gives for victorious, holy living, and powerful witnessing.
Let us be very clear in our minds on this fundamental and vital Bible truth. At the first step in THE ONLY FOUNDATION, we come to Christ for salvation. We repent, believe in the cleansing blood of Christ to wash our sins away, and the Holy Spirit performs a miracle in our spirit. We are “born of the Spirit”.
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked” (Ephesians 2:1,2). When we experience salvation through Christ, we are born spiritually. We become children of God. We are now members of His family. Each year, all celebrate the anniversary of their physical birth – their birthday. But on the day we are born of the Spirit, we are “born again” (John 3:3).
However, when the Bible speaks of receiving “the gift of the Holy Spirit” or being “filled with the Spirit”, it means coming to Christ for power. It is the second or third step in the same, THE ONLY FOUNDATION, depending on whether the believer has time to be baptized in water or not between being “born of the Spirit” and being “filled with the Spirit”.
Do We Receive The Baptism, Or Fullness, Of The Holy Spirit At Conversion?
The Bible answers a definite “NO”. The disciples did not receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit at conversion. Neither did Paul. The Samaritans didn’t. The Ephesians didn’t. The fact is, nobody did.
The first disciples believed on the Risen Lord after His resurrection, but received the baptism in the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The Christians at Samaria believed in Christ and were baptized believers; but until Peter and John came and laid hands on them “that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them” (Acts 8: 15-16). The Apostle Paul received Christ as Savior and Lord on the Damascus Road, but received the gift of the Holy Spirit three days later. Cornelius and his company first repented from sin and believed in Christ, their hearts being “cleansed by faith” (Acts 15:9), after which they were baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-48).
The Lord Jesus Christ
Our blessed Lord Jesus was “born of the Spirit” from His mother’s womb, because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matt 1:18). He was the perfect, spotless, sinless Son of God. But 30 years later, as He was about to begin His ministry of preaching, teaching and healing, He was Himself “anointed… with the Holy Spirit and with power” (Acts 10:38). John the Baptist “saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him” (Matt 3:16). Two separate experiences!
We know that God’s sinless Lamb, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, did everything by the power of the anointing of the Spirit that He received thirty years after His birth. Let us not be deceived into thinking we can live as Christians without a similar anointing with the power of the Holy Spirit!