Bible Studies/holy spirit
Hello again lol its me Josh. sorry for all the questions but had just one more. Its exciting to know a bible scholar. Well my question today is about the holy spirit. in Acts 8:16-17 the apostles laid hands on the people and they recieved the holy spirit. But in Acts 10:44 it just fell on the gentiles when they heard and believed. Then in Acts 19:5-6 the apostles laid hands again on the people so they could recieve the Holy Spirit. Why does it fall on people in some cases but in others it comes by laying on of hands? This might be important because when ever a person recieved it they spoke with tongues. Now I don't remember speaking in tounges when I recieved it and I have not had a apostle lay their hands on me so, do I have it? Iwould assume so cause I feel the affects.
I appreciate your questions - it's rewarding to know that you want to learn. There are no 'stupid' questions! More people should dig deep like you are doing. Let's together, address
Acts 8:16-17. This concerns the full blessing. Quote:
Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Sameria had receved
the word of God (keep this in mind Josh), they sent Peter and John to them,
who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the
Holy Spirit. For as yet He (Holy Spirit) had fallen upon none of them. (Why?)
They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they (apostles)
laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Now Josh, there are many theories and questions in regard to why Philip didn't mention or explain the role of the Holy Spirit in our conversion experience. But he didn't. Many pastors don't today. It's not important that we decide why Philip ommitted even the mention of the Holy Spirit's role in the life of the believer, but it's important that you and I recognize how debilitating it is to leave out this enabling dimension of the Gospel. I ran in to the same thing in my second church. A liberal pastor served before me and the focus was never on the Holy Spirit! I taught weekly indepth studies on the Person and role of the holy Spirit, and of course, my sermons were filled with His mighty works. I really don't know how one can preach on Jesus and NOT include the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The apostles obviously were concerned that Philip, while sharing the Word of God, left out the Spirit's role in our daily walk. Peter and John saw this immediately when they arived. They knew that these people couldn't possibly live the new life in Christ without His indwelling Spirit. No doubt Peter and John explained this to the Samaritians, and then prayed and laid hands on each of them. Until that moment, the people had the influence of the Spirit, for the Spirit gives the 'gift' of faith, but they didn't have the power to live the new life they had begun.
Josh we don't want to suggest that conversion and baptism of the Holy Spirit happens in two stages. 'Always' is a dangerous word to use. I truly believe there are individuals who received the filling of the Spirit at conversion. But Scripture informs me that it is based on one very important fact - that they were told about the need for an infilling as a part of
their introduction to Christ and the Gospel. What I'm saying is, it's important that whatever our doctrinal position may be, that we not assume our particular experience to be the norm and then solidify that into an irrevocable tenet of our theology.
Note: Josh, the great warning signal sounded by this passage on Philip is that when the baptism of the Holy Spirit is left out of our teaching, and preaching, we will produce converted people who are born again but have no power. And I might add, my friend, since the indwelling of Christ in the Spirit is left out of so much preaching and teaching today, generations of people now exist in many of our churches who feel that they must do their best on their own with prayer to a Lord "out there somewhere" in the hope that He will interrupt His other actions and come help them. Then when a "Spirit filled" Christian witnesses to them, they realize Who has been missing in their lives and, unless they were effectively instructed, they seem to think of the Holy Spirit as Someone different from the living, present Christ.
As you can see in Acts 10:44, Peter had taught the people correctly. The Spirit gave them
an assurance of His presence in them, by giving them the gift of tongues (words of praise and adoration). The evidence of salvation is praise and thanksgiving in our walk- not just the gift of tongues.
Josh, I encoueage you to look at the full text (Acts 19:1-7). What was going on in there? The question that jumps out, if you're listening on the sideline is, "What did you receive when youu first believed?" Guess who's asking that question! Only someone who knows the answer! And it only follows that if he knows the question, chances are, this teacher knows the answer, by experience. It's Paul. Paul, like Peter and John, stepped up and took care of business.
Remember what John the Baptist said, " I indeed baptize you with water, but One mightier
than I is coming....... He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire" (Luke 3:16).
Like Apollos, these disciples did not know the meaning of the cross and the resurrection,
or the gift of Pentecost. So Paul pressed them taught them. The point here is that the crucial part of John's teaching had not reached them. They had joined a religion but actually knew nothing of the Messiah, and His return to empower those who believed in Him. Paul didn't negate what John had done, he just built on it. As soon as they understood and learned about the living Christ and his presence in the Holy Spirit, they wanted to be baptized anew.
Josh I hope this explains things to your satisfaction. It's a blessing to work with you. Do have a blessed Christmas with your loved ones. I know I'm looking forward to celebrate the blessed birth of my Savior with my husband and family. God speed!
In His grace and love,
Rev. Ramona Stonecipher