In the last post I made the case from the Bible that believers were not first indwelt by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. I did have the time to discuss all of the blessings brought to each believer by the blessed Holy Spirit who lives in them. It is a rich and exciting study and perhaps one day I will attempt to scratch the surface of that topic. Today I want to address another myth concerning the events of Pentecost as recorded in the book of Acts, especially chapter 2.
Pentecost was not the first time people were filled with the Holy Spirit. Many people teach that view and most of them make other errors as well. It is clear that it is our blessing and wonderful privilege to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:4; Acts 4:8; Acts 4:31; Acts 6:5; Acts 7:55; Acts 9:17; Acts 11:24 all talk about Christians being filled with the Holy Spirit just in one book! However, before Luke wrote those words consider these people.
Elizabeth in Luke 1:41, Zacharias in Luke 1:67, Luke 4:1 speaks about Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit (if Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit don’t you guess we should be too?). It is also from Luke that we learn that John the Baptist would be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb. God filled Bezaleel with the Holy Spirit (Exodus 35:30,31).
All of these old Testament men of God who were filled with the Spirit were so filled that they might accomplish the impossible for God. Jesus never did a miracle, healed the sick, or did any other great work until the Spirit of God came upon Him and “anointed” Him for empowered service. Before Christ came God would fill one here and there for specific tasks, but now just as Peter said in his great Pentecost message, “this is that” great promise given by the Prophet Joel that God would one day “pour out His Spirit on all flesh…”. Now any man or woman who is a child of God can have the power of God for witnessing to the risen Christ. Every person saved now has the Holy Spirit living in them as a resident who will never leave, but they can also have His fullness and power for ministry, especially for giving out the good news about Jesus.
In Luke 11 Jesus taught the disciples to pray and He ended the lesson with this verse. Verse 13 says “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Notice the context here, prayer; praying and not giving up. Yes, just as the disciples and others obeyed Jesus’ command and waited in prayer until the Holy Spirit came in prayer we too can come with persistance and get the same blessing as they.
Perhaps you and I should not be so busy trying to find the secred to ministry at the next lectureship, or in someone’s newest book, but in the discipline of prayer.
Grace to you,
I really have been enjoy the series.
I believe that the Holy Spirit indwells us today.
I have heard preachers preach against the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, saying that it is only the word of God. I have had to go into churches and clean up what preachers have taught before. I am glad to have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and all the worderful gifts that God has given to work within us to edify his church. I don’t know if you are planning on talking about gifts or not. But, I believe that God has blessed his church with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We don’t talk about the Holy Spirit as much as we should be cause we don’t know as much, we are afraid, we are have over react to penecostals, etc. But I have really enjoyed your series. God bless us as we search the scriptures for the truth.
Thanks Kenney, you make a good point.
I too appreciate the wonderful gifts of the Spirit and too the gifted people only He can produce.
It would be profitable to delve into the gifts of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, and the work of the Spirit to conform each of us to the image of Christ.
One place where I differ with the conventional teaching about the gifts of the Spirit is the over emphasis on “knowing” what your gifts are. I can find no Bible example of that. To the contrary, I can safely say that if you had interviewed Paul or Peter when they were in the midst of one of the greatest revivals of all time, neither could have told you what their individual gifts were. Seminar leaders, preachers, and authors who focus on “knowing” what your gift or gifts are, forget that believers with shallow resolve and unsurrendered lives are not likely to do much for the cause of Christ no matter what they “know”.
Grace to you,
Royce – I’m enjoying reading this series. You’ve challenged some of my thinking (which I like) and gave me some new things to think about. Thanks for taking the time to do it!
Put it too us brother Royce! Make us think! Challenge us some more!
We need it.