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Got Spirit

Got Spirit?
Words of Faith 6-28-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Acts 19
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples [2] and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?"
They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
[3] So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?"
"John's baptism," they replied.
[4] Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." [5] On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. [6] When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. [7] There were about twelve men in all.

Many scholars believe this passage suggests that there was a "John the Baptist" sect in Ephesus and perhaps other places in the early church. Some may have viewed John the Baptist as pointing toward Jesus while other may have seen him as superior to Jesus.
It was clear to Paul that even though these twelve were "disciples", they had not trusted wholly in Jesus and had not received the Holy Spirit. They were certainly not reluctant. They simply needed to hear the truth that John's baptism was only a baptism of repentance and that he pointed toward Jesus, the Lamb of God. They were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. As Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them.
This is not any easy text to interpret but it seems clear that on this journey we call salvation, a person can be an interested learner and yet not be fully committed to Christ. A person can be gathered and worshiping and yet not have the presence of the Holy Spirit their lives. It is an important matter of gentle discernment within the Body to determine if a person is indeed committed to the Lord and has begun new life in the Spirit.
The bottom line is that we do not have a life in the Spirit without the Spirit. We do not come to Jesus at one point and then gain the Holy Spirit at a later point. Jesus only reigns as Lord in our lives by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. We may study and inquire and even repent demonstrably, but apart from the Holy Spirit we have no way to live a Spiritual or Christian life. Our new birth may or may not be accompanied by gifts such as tongues and prophesy but it will always be brought about by the Holy Spirit.
Paul later wrote to the Ephesians:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, [2] in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. [3] All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. [4] But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, [5] made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. [6] And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, [7] in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. [8] For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- [9] not by works, so that no one can boast. [10] For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephes. 2:1-10).
No matter how religious we have been or studious we have endeavored to be, we have no life except the life we find in Christ who made us alive!
Are you alive in Christ? Or have you been going through the motions of being religious? There is a difference. There is a point at which God calls us to commit ourselves wholly to the Lordship of Jesus as He makes us alive be the power of His Spirit.

Lord, I want to be alive in You. I commit myself wholly to You. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2001, 2016
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.