Wed December 6th, 2017
Every Christian is in contact with God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit as part of the Godhead had an integral part in creation and John 3 also tells us has an integral part in the re-creation or rebirth of Christians.
John 3:3 Jesus replied, "I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 "But how can anyone be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked Him. "Can he enter his mother's womb a second time and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. 8 The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." HCSB
Whereas the Holy Spirit is integral in our salvation, and so every Christian has contact with Him, the Bible seems to talk of a separate empowering of the church that we often call baptism in the Holy, Spirit, referring to Matt 3:11 He Himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. HCSB.
A Separate Event
An example of this being a separate event is here:
Acts 8:14 When the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had welcomed God's message, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 After they went down there, they prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For He had not yet come down on any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. HCSB
Clearly, this filling of the Holy Spirit is demonstrably not the same thing as salvation, although there is no reason why they can’t happen on the same day! We all know that the early church saw an infilling of the Holy Spirit as normal for a Christian.
The concept of this being a separate experience to salvation is the doctrine of subsequence. There is debate over the validity of this doctrine and it is greatly a Lukan idea, but I am partially swayed by years of seeing this in practice (which I appreciate is not a theological basis).
Starting in Acts 2 and continuing throughout the book, we see Christians given a filling in advance of a new calling
Acts 2 When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. 3 And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech. HCSB
Many people see the ability to speak in a new language as the sign that you have received, others see that or prophecy as being a sign.
How does this happen?
Ask! Ask your Father, invite the Holy Spirit in. Having asked, believe and keep on asking. You must however give yourself opportunity to receive.
Luke 11:13 So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who keep asking him!” ISV
Expect to receive. God will always give so expect something wonderful!
Hands laid on
Some receive by the laying on of hands. Get the elders of the church, your Pastor or Minister to pray over you.
Acts 8:17 Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. HCSB
Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began to speak with other languages and to prophesy. HCSB
A Regular Event
You should be being filled all of the time. A fresh supply is always available. Spend time worshipping God in the Spirit, speaking in tongues and in English too! The early disiples got a fresh touch in Acts 4:
Acts 4:31 When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit HCSB
And Paul tells us to keep topped up!
Eph 5:18 keep on being filled with the Spirit. ISV
Speaking in tongues is a well developed idea and often spoken about but it is a meaningless concept outside of the church. It does literally mean speaking in a language that you have not naturally learned and millions of people all over the world are empowered by God’s Spirit to talk to God in this way. It may seem unnatural, but most of God’s ideas are indeed supernatural! Why argue? Why not just accept it and experience it too!
There are people (fortunately a much reduced number) who believe the things of the Spirit died out with the Bible. Well thank God it isn’t true, otherwise the Holy Spirit wouldn’t be regenerating anyone in salvation. Tongues are a gift to every believer who asks, but in addition there is something called the gift of tongues which is for ministry in the church and that is given to specific people, although along with interpretation of tongues and prophecy, it is a common gift too.
As a Christian, never accept the least you can, never expect the minimum, but expect and desire the best gifts (1 Cor 12:31). Your Father in heaven wants you prepared for the calling he has on your life, and just as Jesus needed the Holy Spirit to come on Him, then we do too! Ask God for a breakthrough today and stay in the room until you receive.