Did You Receive the Holy Spirit?

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Acts 19:1-7

So Paul comes in the region of Ephesus and he finds these 12 men, plus women and children.

Paul sensed that although they were believers there was something missing in their life.

Now, we do not know why he sensed that, or what it was that caused him to think that.

So Paul asks them this very interesting question:
‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit since you believed’?

On the one hand you cannot truly be a Christian without receiving the Holy Spirit.

And yet these men it appears they were true Christians.

They had received the Gospel according to the light they had received.

Jesus said,
“…unless you are born of the Spirit you cannot enter the kingdom of God”

Paul said,
“If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ he does not belong to Christ.”

The issue here is not receiving the Spirit in the sense of being regenerated or born again, but receiving the Spirit in the sense of a Baptism with the Spirit.

It’s not the Holy Spirit coming into a person, but the Holy Spirit coming upon a person that is being referred to here in our text, and there is a difference between the two.

1. Relation of the Holy Spirit to the believer.

Jesus said to His disciples and to us:

John 14:15-17
‘If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.’

a) With

The Holy Spirit is the one who came alongside us and ultimately leads us to Christ.

b) In

Once we receive Christ, then the Holy Spirit takes residence within us.

Jesus said to the disciples, His last words:

Acts 1:8
‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’

c) Upon

This is the third relationship we can have with the Holy Spirit.

This is what we call the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.

And even Jesus referred to it as the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Now some people get a little bothered with the terminology.

So we have the Charismatics and Pentecostals who believe that there are three relationships we can have with the Holy Spirit as specified above.

And then we have the rest of the evangelicals who believe in only two of the above relationships with the Holy Spirit.

2. Purpose of this baptism.

Many people have no sense of placement within the Body of Christ, because they have not yet been Baptized with the Holy Spirit.

We have many who are spectators within the Body of Christ.

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit places us within a position within the Body of Christ.

Why the Baptism?

a) Power.

Acts 1:4
‘On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.’

Acts 1:8
‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’

Power in the Greek = Dunamis, that is the in English DYNAMIC, or even the word DYNAMITE.

So Jesus said, you are going to receive a new dynamic, a power that will empower you.

In fact Jesus says, do not go anywhere until that happens.

In other words, Jesus is saying that the task will not be achieved without the immediate assistance of the mighty person of the Holy Spirit.

We have the task of bringing people to Christ all over the world; we have the task of making disciples of all nations.

This we cannot perform in our own strength or ability even though we are Christians that is a task that can only be accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit.

b) Placing

The Bible presents the Church as a Body and each part of the body has a function to perform.

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit places us within the Body in the right God given position.

Ordained by God, so that we can fulfill the function that He has for us to fulfill.

A person who has been Baptized in the Spirit is a person who recognizes his/her place in the Body.

The Biblical picture of the Church does not have a spectator element in it.

Unfortunately there are far too many spectators today in the Body of Christ, with no sense of placement.

c) Gifting

The Holy Spirit equips us with the very gifts for the task that God intended for us, even before the foundation of the world.

‘Spiritual Gifts are special abilities given by the Holy Spirit and distributed to every believer according to God’s design and grace for the common good of the Body of Christ.’

1 Corinthians 12:8-10; 1 Peter 4:10;
1 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:11

1 Corinthians 12:8-10;
1 Corinthians 12:28; Romans 12:6-8;
Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 4:9-10;
1 Timothy 2:1-2

1. Administration
2. Apostleship
3. Discernment
4. Encouragement
5. Evangelism
6. Faith
7. Giving
8. Healing
9. Helps
10. Hospitality
11. Intercession
12. Interpretation of Tongues
13. Knowledge
14. Leadership
15. Mercy
16. Miracles
17. Prophecy
18. Shepherding
19. Teaching
20. Message in tongues
21. Wisdom

3. Results of Baptism with the Holy Spirit.

a) Witness

The result of being filled with the Holy Spirit, will first of all make us witnesses of Jesus Christ.

This does not mean just go down the streets and give tracts.

It means a lot more than that; our lives themselves will become a testimony, a proof, the reality that there is a God.

When people meet true Born Again, Spirit Filled Christians, they do not need too much persuasion that there is a God.

b) Service-Involvement in serving God

We see it so often in the OT saints, a common phrase that we read, ‘and the Spirit came upon them and they did…’

In the Old Testament this was limited to a few people, but the promise of Joel in Acts 2 says, this experience will be now for all people and not just a few.

Acts 2:14-21
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

We also see this in the life of Jesus He also was Baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Luke 3:21-22
‘When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’

We see the same with the Apostles, they waited in Jerusalem and obeyed the words of Jesus, Acts 1:8.

Look at the change in Peter?

From a man who was afraid of standing for Jesus to one who stood in front of a crowd.

So there is this enabling for service.

c) Fruitfulness

Paul comes to Ephesus, a city around 400,000 people, and he finds 12 men, believers in that city, isolated, powerless to affect any change in that community.

Paul seeing what they don’t have, prays that they receive the Holy Spirit, and look what happens to Ephesus?

It became a many thousand people church from 12 people!

The few believers seemingly powerless to affect any change move to a dynamic church and the entire province hearing the gospel.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit results in fruitfulness.

‘Do we have the power of God upon our lives?’
Do we know the place that God has given us in the His Body?
Do we know the gifts which God has instilled in us?
Are we His witnesses?
Are we involved in His service?
Are we bearing fruit?

There are no spectators, in the Church of Jesus Christ; every member is doing his part!

Have you received the baptism of the Spirit?

If one has received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit you will know it!

It will not be a mystery!

It Is God’s plan for all of us to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

4. How can this become my experience?

a) Repent and Obey

There cannot be sin in my life.

I must repent, and obey.

That will assure us that we will experience what God has for us.

Acts 2:38
‘Peter replied, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’

Acts 5:32
‘We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.’

b) Ask, seek, knock

Luke 11:9-13
‘So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; those who seek find; and to those who knock, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

It is matter of asking, the implication is that there is a desire.

Do we want the Holy Spirit, or do we want to just remain spectators!

If we desire we will ask.

c) Laying on of Hands

Just as Paul did at Ephesus. And in other instances.

Acts 8:17
‘Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.’

Acts 9:17
‘Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 19:6
‘When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.’
Paul says to Timothy, ‘Stir up the gifts… imparted by the laying on of hands.’

Don’t settle for less than what God has for you!

Don’t just make it for Heaven, and instead of God saying, ‘Well done…’ God will say, ‘Oh you made it…!’

Let us have an abundant entry into heaven…

But let us be filled with the Holy Spirit!

Now the initial evidence that I have been Baptized in the Holy Spirit is ‘Speaking with other tongues as the Holy Spirit gives the ability’

The promise gave me for New Life Church is:

Acts 9:33
‘Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.’

Do you have a sense of gifting? Do you have an empowering to serve? This is the purpose of the baptism of the Spirit and this is what God wants to do for you.