Welcoming the Holy Spirit means His gifts as well…all of them
‘Come, Holy Spirit, come’….how often have we heard that reprise, whether in traditional or Pentecostal churches. Even evangelicals, and others, will ‘seek the leading of the Holy Spirit’, or the help and assistance of Him to move in power, and yet does He actually feel welcome? Do we actually know Him? We are talking about the third person of the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), eternally God, the very essence and power of God, and one who manifests the indwelling of the Father and Son in to every believer in Christ.
And yet, so often those same churches and ministers who seek the Holy Spirit’ guidance, leading, move, and power, often reject or stop those moving in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, or reject His presence. Probably one of the best ways to grieve a guest is to invite his presence, but then reject his gifts openly, and tell him he can only do what you allow….in His house! And yet, time and again this is what we do to the Holy Spirit.
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.” (Acts 19:2)
It is true though, that in some instances this is partly out of ignorance, and mostly always because we want to maintain control…in reality we never really have it. Allowing the Holy Spirit to truly move, requires faith and trust in the Lord (knowing He knows all), and a knowledge of Him. Most of all, it is about submitting totally to Him, and His leading. If we do, we access the very power and ability that thrust the early Christian church on to the global stage, and turned the world upside down…and saw billions of souls won for the Lord, and awesome miracles, signs, and wonders.
(Image: John the Baptist Artworks)
It is absolutely essential that we receive Christ, and this the indwelling of Him and Father God, by the Holy Spirit within, for salvation, and eternal life. To be enabled to fulfill the full commission given us by Jesus, and to see His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, we need to be endued from on high with the Holy Spirit, or as the early apostles would say, receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It was the ‘101’, basic essential as far as Christ and the Apostles were concerned. Consider this interaction as the Apostles Peter and John minister to the new Christian converts in Samaria….
Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, 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 had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17)
This missing essential in a Christians life, was something that the Apostle Paul also recognised needed to be addressed.
And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 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. Now the men were about twelve in all. (Acts 19:1-6)
How often have we the church stopped short of what is the wonderful gift, experiencing the fullness of the sending of the Holy Spirit by Christ. When the Holy Spirit comes He manifests His full character (which is God’s, He is a person*), in and around us; He demonstrates His power; Brings comfort, adoption, healing, understanding, conviction, truth, holiness, and righteousness; Empowers us for the life of God in Christ; And, releases His gifts (1 Corinthians 12:8-10,28)….all of them (not just those we can accept). That means tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, working of miracles, words of knowledge and wisdom, faith, healing, discernment of spirits…and as He sees fit. These are a blessing to us all.
But, the Holy Spirit will not be mocked. Do not ask for Him if you do not want all of Him. His is One with God, the Lord of all, and He is the very power of God. In His mercy and grace He has not strode with us in His anger, but He is coming now in fire and preparing for Christ’s return with power. The season for preparing the Lord Jesus’ spotless Bride (the Church) for His return is intensifying, and the Holy Spirit will deal with the mocking spirits, and those who think they control Him.
So come, let us invite Him in, receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit (and not only the baptism of the Holy Spirit that comes the belief in Christ), and let Him flow in and around us like the River of God He is…trusting Him. Lay hands on the saints, pray for this infilling of Holy Spirit…and see both His flood from above, and the fountains from below break forth, for the life of the church, and the redeeming power of the creation.
And of course, we also have the additional graces of our Lord, the gifts of the Father (Romans 12:3-8) such as prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership, and mercy, the basic life purpose and motivations provided by Him. And profoundly the office gifts of the Son of God (Ephesians 4:11), apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor/teacher, and missionary (Rom. 1:16, Is. 6:1-13; 2 Cor. 5:14-20), to facilitate and equip the body of the church.
Note: * As the third person of God, He has all those attributes: mind (Rom. 8:27); will (1 Cor. 12:11); feelings (Eph. 4:30); reveals (2 Peter 1:21); teaches (John 14:26); witnesses (Heb. 10:15); intercedes (Rom. 8:26); speaks (Rev. 2:7); commands (Acts 16:6,7); testifies (John 15:26); grieved (Eph. 4:30); can be lied to (Acts 5:3); can be blasphemed (Matt. 12:31,32); eternal (Heb. 9:14); omnipresent (Ps. 139:7-10); omnipotent (Luke 1:35); omniscient (1 Cor. 2:10,11); named (Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of promise, the Spirit of grace, the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of holiness, the Spirit of life, and more); and is illustrated in symbols (fire, wind, water, a seal, oil, and a dove). And there is so much more to our Lord, and He desires us to know Him that we may come to a deeper knowledge of God through Christ.