|TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL“he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”|
So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”
So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” Acts 19:2-6
“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”” Luke 24:49
“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!”” Luke 11:13
“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31
Some people call it receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. Some people call it the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Some people call it being filled with the Holy Spirit. The Bible describes all three as the same. And the Bible makes clear that though a person who repents and turns to Christ as Lord who died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead is forgiven, spiritually born again, receives the promise of everlasting life, and is sealed with and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, there is a separate magnificent and miraculous and crucial experience involving the Holy Spirit that may occur at a different point in time. Some do in fact receive the gift, baptism, and filling of the Holy Spirit right at the point of receiving Christ as Lord. But some according to the Bible do not experience this until a later date.
What is this exactly? The Bible shows us that it is the Spirit of God filling us with the power, boldness, courage, words, gifts, absolutely anything and everything we need specifically to go out and tell the world about the Lord Jesus Christ! It is specifically to serve the Lord in helping to build His Kingdom of forever followers!
This is often little taught in churches, and may be even wrongly taught when it is even taught, and this may well be why there is such a great lack in this day and age of Christians going out into the world to spread the Gospel message and to help people follow Jesus day by day.
I have done some serious studying through the years of the Holy Spirit in the Bible, most importantly, as well as studied some of the teaching of well known and well respected missionaries and evangelists of long ago who taught significantly on this subject.
I encourage you to dive deep into God’s Word when it comes to the Holy Spirit, to ask the Lord for the baptism, or gift, or filling of the Holy Spirit, to receive the in-pouring of God’s Spirit by faith, and to go out and serve the Lord as He leads you forth.
Can we then ask for fresh fillings of the Holy Spirit to go out and tell the world about Jesus? Absolutely!
I recently read a teaching from the 1940’s by John Rice called “The Fullness of the Spirit”. I believe I was inspired by brother Rice’s strong preaching on this subject to write this piece. If you’re led to read it, you can do so by doing a Google search or visiting http://articles.ochristian.com/article10546.shtml.
Though I don’t read a large amount outside the Bible these days, I have in the past and periodically return to some of the preaching of the long ago missionaries and evangelists. You might consider reading some of the work of Charles Spurgeon, D L Moody, Hudson the missionary, Torrey, Wesley, David Livingstone, William Carey, Jim Elliot, David Brainerd, George Mueller, and many others of long ago.
Whether or not you read or listen to any of the preaching and autobiographies and biographies of any of them I would encourage you to do based on if and as the Lord so leads you.
Please remember THE VERY MOST IMPORTANT READING WE EVER DO ON THIS EARTH IS OF GOD’S WORD – THE BIBLE! This we should do daily for our lifetime! Not only to read it, but to live by it!
And please remember no matter how great the reputation of any preacher, we are all imperfect human beings. Be sure to measure all you read and hear against the Bible. The Lord will only and always speak in line with His Word. Anything that does not line up with the Bible, we need to let go.