Did You Receive the Holy Spirit When You Believed? (Acts 19:1-7) November 27, 2011
This is what we must enjoy at the time of and after receiving salvation. This is also the most important among the blessings we must receive as answers to prayer (Luk.11:33).
1. There are three reasons.
1) Only then can you enjoy the blessing of the promise without being deceived by the Darkness that works upon you, this world, and this land. We were freed from all curses and fate at the very moment of salvation. God called us as His children and made us the source of blessings, and said that He would make us enjoy the blessings of witnesses to the ends of the earth. But we always get deceived in three different ways and practically lose hold of all the blessings.
a. We get deceived by ourselves. God clearly said He would do it, but you refuse to believe it. He clearly made you the source of blessings and desires to use you as the one to save the world, but you think it is not going to work. In Exodus 3, God told Moses, “I will save your people Israel through you,” but Moses said no. He asked God back saying what can a man like him who is old, powerless and barely making a living through tending sheep do. That was the same scar and level of Paul. What is walk of faith? It is overcoming your scars and level by God’s power within Christ.
b. We get deceived by the world. In Numbers 13, what did ten of the twelve spies say after scouting the land of Canaan? They said the Canaanites are stronger and bigger than they are. They seemed as if they were actually great. That is why those ten spies lamented all night and said they would return to Egypt. If you look through the spiritual eyes, however, the world is very weak although it may seem big, evil, and strong. It is the same for unbelievers. That is why elites fall into depression, mental problems, drug addiction, and idols one day. We are not just living in this world. God has called us as those who will save the world.
c. Satan is clearly at work. He is the master over unbelievers, and he is prowling to deceive believers. What happens if you do not have the mystery to open your spiritual eyes and see what the devil does and overcome it and triumph? You may think that you are saved, God’s child, and evangelist, but you will always get beat around by the devil. You will receive stress and scars and fail in everything you do. Eventually, you will get afflicted and acquire spiritual problems. King Saul of Israel was suffering jealousy and eventually was possessed by evil spirits (1Sam.18:10). Why did Ananias and Saphira in the New Testament who were selected as members of the Seventy Disciples fail? It says in Acts 5:3 that their hearts were full of Satan. They were deceived when the devil tried to deceive and destroy God’s people.
d. What then is the solution? How can you overcome your standard, your scars, this enormous world, and this devious Satan? You must live within the power of the Holy Spirit. That is why Paul asks disciples in today’s passage whether or not they “received the Holy Spirit when [they] believed”.
2) Only then can you live fulfilling your commission in this land.
a. Everyone has his own commission. Parents have a commission to nurture their children correctly, suggest them a promising future and guide them appropriately. A husband and a wife have a commission to encourage and help each other. They must be the strength to the other. You have a commission at your work and also within your church (as a pastor, elder, deacon, choir member, or an officer of each department).
b. You must not just carry out your commission. You will eventually fall near to death and face your limitations. You may get drained of your energy and completely exhausted, or you may crumble through conflicts with others. Not everyone will help you with compliments when you start working. If that was the case, no pastor, church, or family would have any problems. The Holy Spirit must give you strength and work upon everyone you are involved with. He has promised you the wisdom and power through which you can stand up to your commission. We call that a “gift”. When doing a particular work, some people do it as a job, others do it out of their nature, and some people do it from their gifts. In Romans 12, First Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4, God has promised various gifts. Only when you receive and enjoy those gifts can you fulfill your duties and commission properly. In today’s passage, there are gifts of speaking in tongues and prophesying. All gifts are different from one another, but they all come from the one and only Holy Spirit.
c. No matter what you do, whether or not it is something great, you will not grow weary and do it until the very end and stay loyal to death only when you do it from the gift from God. Only then the blessings you will receive follow (Mt.25:21-23 and Rev.2:10).
3) Only then are evangelism, missions, and World Evangelization possible, which are God’s desire and what He is willing to do through us who have received salvation before everyone else.
a. We cannot change one person with our strength. How can we change someone when we do not even have the strength to change ourselves? The Holy Spirit must open the doors (Rev.3:20), work, and lead (all works in the Book of Acts).
b. Anyone becomes able when the Holy Spirit works. That is the promise of God (Acts 1:8). An ignorant person becomes able, a person with no background becomes able (Early Church), a person who failed, a persecutor, or even a thief becomes able (Twelve Disciples, Paul, and Onesimus). Even Joseph who was sold off as a slave became able. Their mystery was the power of the Holy Spirit (Gen.41:38-39).
c. The missions that were delivered to the Remnants in this year’s RCA were saving the families and family lines, the church, and the culture. All we have to do is not get deceived, but what is the mystery by which we can overcome that? It is the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. What must we do not? How can we receive that gift of the Holy Spirit?
1) If you are surely saved, hold onto the fact that the Holy Spirit is within you. The moment you realized and accepted Jesus Christ, His Spirit (Holy Spirit) has begun to reside in you. That is why you can confess that He is your Lord, and God your Father. We call this “[being] reborn” (Jn.3:5) and “indwelling of the Holy Spirit” (Jn.14:16-18). The believers of the Ephesian Church in today’s passage did not have this mystery.
2) Now we must enjoy how realistically He works in our lives. There are evidences that come when that happens. First, you will open different eyes to see tremendous answers within problems (Jer.33:3). Some of them come to your heart (peace, gratitude, and ability to overcome any unfair issues), to your body (physical healing), and in everything you do as the evidence of uniqueness.
3) When do these blessings of the Holy Spirit come?
a. They come when you concentrate in prayer that enjoys the Gospel (prayer in one voice, individual scheduled prayer, 24-hour prayer – key is “concentration”). We have received everything: identity, authority, future, and vision. All problems are definitely finished. Starting today, pray in full scale holding firmly onto the Gospel for the power and the gift of the Holy Spirit may appear within you.
b. They come when you humbly and sincerely listen and hold to the Word (Cornelius in Acts 10:44).
c. They may come when being imposed hands by a servant of the Lord like in today’s passage.
d. The most important of all is when you are willing to do what pleases God through the power of the Holy Spirit. The most important among all works that please God is evangelism (Acts 1:8 and Mark 6:31). When you pray just a little for the necessary strength for evangelism, the Holy Spirit will work.
I hope you may be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to the greatest extent throughout this week. I bless and hope that you may be able to overcome everything, save yourselves, save the church, and stand as God’s people who will save the world.