June 1, 2014

Gift of the Holy Spirit – Jacob Stringer

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Acts 2:38 – “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

This is a passage that I have grown up hearing my whole life, and I’m sure most people raised in the church have heard over and over again as well. Usually, we use it to point to the necessity of baptism for the remission of sins. However, we often overlook the last half of the verse, “and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” What is the gift of the Holy Spirit as it applies to us today?

Ezekiel 36:24-27 – “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep my judgments and do them.”

Joel 2:28-32 – “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls.”

Both of these Old Testament passages seem to point to the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, where Jews from all across the world came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Weeks, and when the apostles, lead by Peter and through the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, converted 3,000 of them to Christianity. We know that the 1st Century Christians could receive “gifts” from the Holy Spirit, including prophecy, speaking in tongues, and healing through the laying on of the apostles’ hands. However, with the death of the apostles came the end of the bestowment of these abilities. How then can we apply the “Gift of the Holy Spirit” to ourselves today?

Ephesians 4:20-32 – “But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another. ‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of god, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

The gift of the Holy Spirit that we receive today is a change of heart that we experience when we put on Christ. This is not an indwelling of the Holy Spirit where our thoughts and actions are controlled, but a knowledge of what is right and having a Christ-like attitude and conscience which motivates us to do the Lord’s will. May God be praised for this awesome gift, and most especially for the gift of His Son that gives us hope of eternal life.

 

 

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