Editorial

Got Spirit?

By

Adapted from The Spirit-Filled Church in Action by A. B. Simpson

On arriving in Ephesus, the apostle Paul found a number of disciples, who, like their teacher, had gotten no further in their faith journey than John’s baptism. In answer to the inquiry “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”, they astonished him by telling him, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit” (Acts 19:2). The apostle then instructed them in the gospel of Christ, and immediately on their baptism they received the gift of Pentecost, and from this new Spirit-filled company, the work in Ephesus began.

The condition of these Ephesian disciples is, we fear, representative of a great majority of professing Christians today. They have accepted the ministry of repentance. They have begun to “quit their meanness” and change their course of life. But they do not know Christ as a personal and abiding presence.

They have not received the Holy Spirit. They hold themselves in some measure free to live a worldly life because of the lower plane on which they are content to remain. It is to these that God is sending home the question, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

This question was supreme in the life of the Master, for He did not begin His public ministry until on the banks of the Jordan. He had made the full consecration of His life and received the descending Paraclete. It was supreme in the lives of the apostles. They were not permitted to go forth and begin their ministry until they had tarried at Jerusalem for the power from on high. It was supreme in the early Church and in her message to her first converts.

“Repent and be baptized . . . in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” was their first message, but immediately it was followed by the rest, “And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” (2:38–39). It is the heritage of the whole Church of Christ, and none can be excused from it.

Beloved, have you asked to be excused? Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? Have you had as a definite experience the infilling of the Spirit? Is Christ to you a living, constant reality?

It is this that gives holiness. It is this that brings rest. It is this which fills the heart with victorious joy. It is this which brings love, patience, and sweetness of spirit. This alone can give you victory. Without this you are powerless to pray, to witness, to work for Christ. If you really want Him more than anything else, you will not be long in finding Him. He will meet you on the way, bring you to Himself, and abide with you forever.

1 response to Got Spirit?

  1. I am 76 years old and I came to Christ only about ten years ago. I truthfully believe that I have the Holy Spirit and some of His gifts have been manifested in me. Because I do not speak in tongues I am constatly reminded by the pastor and some member of the church that I do not have the Holy Spirit. Please explain and give me so scripture passages on this. So far all that they have refer to agrees with them. Why do I feel the Holy Spirit in some many ways if I don’t have Him? Thank you.

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