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Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?

by Robert Randle  
6/16/2009 / Christian Living

The apostle Paul was about to embark on his third and final missionary journey into Europe and instructed Priscilla and Aquila, whom he met and lodged with in Corinth [GREECE] during his second missionary journey (Cp. Acts 18: 1-3, 18-19), to remain in Ephesus [ASIA]. Paul had set sail from Ephesus, landed in Caesarea [GALILEE], and went down to greet the church in Antioch [SYRIA] (Cp. Acts 18: 22). In the meantime, an Alexandrian Jew by the name of Apollos came to Ephesus and began teaching in the synagogue the way of the Lord from the [Old Testament] Scriptures, but he only knew about John's baptism. Paul's friends, Priscilla and Aquila heard him speak in the synagogue and took him aside [privately] to explain the word of God more accurately to him (Cp. 18: 23-26).

Apollos left Ephesus and went to Corinth in [ACHAIA/GREECE], Paul returned to Ephesus after passing through the regions of GALATIA and Phrygia from Antioch [SYRIA] in his third and last European missionary journey, and upon finding some disciples [whom Apollos probably had taught??] asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Ghost when you believed?" After they explained that they were baptized into John's baptism, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus [by Paul??], and Paul laid his hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues and prophesying (Cp. 19: 1-6).

At the beginning of the Church, on the first Pentecost after the Lord's resurrection from the dead, a spirit-filled Peter told the assembled crowd, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." For the promise (Cp. Joel 2: 28-32) is for you and your children, and for all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself (Acts 2: 1-4, 38-39)."

Philip, one of the leading Jerusalem brethren who had a good reputation and was Spirit-filled went to the city of Samaria and proclaim the good news about the kingdom of God and many believed Philip's preaching and were baptized. The apostles in Jerusalem heard about this event and sent Peter and John to pray for them that the Samaritan believers might receive the Holy Spirit although they had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Peter and John Began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 6: 3-6; 8: 2, 12, 14-17).

Finally, the apostle Peter preached to the household of Cornelius, who were the first Gentile converts to the faith; with dramatic results. While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message (Cp. 10: 24). And all the circumcised believers were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, "Surely no one can refuse water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit, just as we did (Cp. Acts 2:
1-4), can He?" And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. . .

There are those in the body of Christ who place a great deal of emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit as evidence of a person being saved rather than as evidence of a special dispensation of grace. In Romans 12: 6-8, it states: having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given us, let us use them; if prophesy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching, he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence, he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Lastly, the letter to the Corinthians sums it all up in I Corinthians 12: 4-11, but especially verses 4 & 11, which state: There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

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