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Receive the Spirit

Daily ReadingActs 19

 

And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” (Acts 19.2)

 

Devotional Thought: In Ephesus Paul encountered a group of believers who had previously been pastored by Apollos, the same Apollos to whom Priscilla and Aquila had to explain the way of God more accurately.  The condition of the believers in Ephesus is indicative of Apollos’ deficient understanding and experience.  When Paul asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit when (or since) they had believed, they had to say, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

 

I wonder how many Christians today are still living with the inadequacy of Apollos.  They have believed in Jesus, but they have not received the Spirit.  Oh, they have heard about the Spirit.  It is almost impossible to imagine that Christians today wouldn’t have heard of the Holy Spirit.  But, that does not eliminate the real possibility that many Christians are living today as though they had not heard of the Spirit.  They did not receive him when they believed, nor have they received him since they believed.

 

How can that be?  Doesn’t Romans 8.9 say that “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ”?  Yes, it does, but there are two different things indicated by having the Spirit versus receiving the Spirit.  When we are born again, we are made alive by the Spirit of Christ.  But, we receive the Holy Spirit when we, like the Ephesians acknowledge our need and then surrender ourselves to the infilling of the Spirit.  Note.  The first action is one the Spirit performs.  He makes us alive.  The second action is one we perform.  We receive the Spirit. 

 

Have you received the Spirit since you believed? Surrender your life completely to God and ask him to fill you with his Spirit!

 

Prayer: Lord, I have heard that there is a Holy Spirit.  I do now surrender my life completely to you and receive the Spirit by faith.  Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 75:1-5

1 We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. Werecount your wondrous deeds.

2 "At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity.

3 When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars. Selah

4 I say to the boastful, 'Do not boast,' and to the wicked, 'Do not lift up your horn;

5 do not lift up your horn on high, or speak with haughty neck.'"

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