The apostle Paul received Christ as Savior and Lord on the Damascus road, but received the gift of the Holy Spirit three days later. The Ephesian disciples believed in Christ long before the Holy Spirit came on them. In every instance, two different operations of the Spirit took place as God built THE ONLY FOUNDATION in their lives. No wonder Paul could say, “You are God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9).
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
Our blessed Lord Jesus was “born of the Spirit” from His mother’s womb, because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18).He was the perfect, spotless, sinless Son of God. But 30 years later, as He was about to begin His ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing, He was Himself “anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power” (Acts 10:38). John the Baptist “saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on Him” (Matthew 3:16). Two separate experiences!
Knowing that God’s sinless Lamb, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, did everything by the power of the anointing of the Spirit He received thirty years after His birth, let us not be deceived into thinking we can live as Christians without a similar anointing with the power of the Holy Spirit!
You have only started!
When you have received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, you do not “have all God has for you.” To be baptized with, or filled with the Spirit is not a “once for all” experience. To be filled with the Spirit is not an experience to be attained. It is a spiritual condition to be maintained. You do not struggle and strive for “your baptism” and step up on to a super-spiritual level when you receive. You have not arrived.
YOU HAVE ONLY JUST STARTED!
To be born anew, or born of the Spirit, opens the door into the Christian life. There is no other way into the kingdom of God. Similarly, the baptism with the Holy Spirit opens the door into the Spirit-filled life. It is a crisis experience, which follows receiving Jesus as Savior… It is a specific act of surrender to the Holy Spirit. No one is ever baptized in water gradually, and no one ever receives the gift of the Holy Spirit gradually. When you receive the gift of the power of the Holy Spirit, you know! In his book, Keys to the Deeper Life, Dr. Tozer says:
“Neither in the Old Testament nor in the New, nor in Christian testimony as found in the writings of the saints as far as my knowledge goes, was any believer ever filled with the Holy Spirit who did not know he had been filled. Neither was anyone filled who did not know when he was filled. And no one was ever filled gradually.”
Dear reader, what about your experience? Do you know you have received the gift of the Holy Spirit?
From the teaching of the Bible, there can be no doubt that receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit leads the believer into an altogether new and exciting relationship with God. Christ becomes more real. The Bible becomes so much easier to understand. There is power and victory that were never thought possible.