Sunday, February 12, 2012

Do all born again believers receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit?

I received an awesome question today and I just wanted to share the answer with my readers. I felt that it might be a somewhat common question (for other reasons) and just wanted to make sure that there is a good solid and Biblical answer available for it.

The Question (part 1)Do all born again believers receive the power of the Holy Spirit in fullness?

The Answer:

The Question (part 2)I am doing a bible study right now that focuses on Matthew 28:16-20 and 
Acts 1:1-8 when Jesus is giving the disciples the great commission and promising them the Holy Spirit before they embark to carry out the commission. This will give them the courage,boldness and authority they will need to witness.

Acts 19:2 - 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."

It appears then, that one can be a believer without receiving the Holy Spirit?

Actually, the answer to that question is in the very next verse...

Acts 19:3 - And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "Into John's baptism."

Let's remember, John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. That particular group of disciples in Ephesus hadn't yet heard about the gospel of their salvation! This of course is in Acts 19:4-5, the next 2 verses...

Acts 19:4-5 - 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.

The Question (part 3):
Just wondering if this could be the reason for people's reluctance to share their faith....they are true believers but haven't received the Holy Spirit or the fullness of the Holy Spirit that gives them the boldness and desire??

Not at all.  It doesn't say anywhere in scripture that EVERYONE is supposed to be out and evangelizing.  True, the great commission DOES emphasize a command for us to do it, but God goes out of His way to say that some of us are more gifted than others at this or that.  To be honest with you, if you're not very good at it, I'd prefer you watched or just stayed home.  Sometimes having someone who isn't very good at what they're doing can destroy what would otherwise be grand... Isn't discipleship fun?

OOH! As a side note to Acts 19:1-5, Paul actually discusses this exact event in Ephesians 1:13-14! I get so excited when I find things like this. What Paul wrote is confirmation of what Luke wrote in Acts!

Excellent question... Be encouraged!

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