This is a continuation of the nine-part series, I’d Like to Prophesy, But…
Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)
On May 20, 1985, I – an agnostic – walked into a friend’s insurance office to ask some questions. While I sat on a chair in front of his desk, the Holy Spirit spoke to the man.
Then the man said to me, “You’re thinking about committing suicide, right?”
His words shook me up so much that I began thinking that there was a God and He cared about me. Not only that, as I left the office, the man said, “And I speak in tongues, too.”
As you can see, my whole life was changed in a matter of minutes by the power of the Holy Spirit and His gifts.
Afterward, I hung out with Charismatics who asked this question of almost everyone: “Have you been baptized in the Holy Spirit?”
Whether or not you believe that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit has to do with speaking in tongues or the gifts of the Holy Spirit is unimportant to me. The arguments one way or another have their merits in scriptures and throughout church history. This issue is not worth chewing on, okay?
But the important point I do want to make is that the Charismatics and Pentecostals do recognize a further work of the Holy Spirit after salvation, which is scriptural.
But you will receive a power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the remotest part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
The one hundred and twenty men and women in that upper room were already believers. But yet, they waited for something more, a further work of the Holy Spirit after their salvations.
Five years later, Peter and John went to Samaria to help Philip in an evangelistic crusade. And what did the two disciples do?
…they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8: 14-17)
Once again, the people were already believers, but they received a further work of the Holy Spirit when the two apostles prayed for them.
Then, twenty-four years later, look at what another apostle did.
He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. (Acts 19: 2, 6)
From these scriptures, we can infer that one of the most important questions that the early church asked each new believer was: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
Now, is this further work of the Holy Spirit after a person’s salvation still relevant for today’s church?
(Part II – 7)