Scripture Reference: Acts 19:1–2
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[a] you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
Accessing the Power of the Holy Spirit
Over the past 8 weeks we’ve really dug into the subject of being part of the family of God. What does that mean? How do I join? We’ve discussed the need for unity in the family and how to know for sure that you’re a part of that family.
Today we’re going to cover the power that the family has access to, why it’s needed and how you move and live in that power. Understand that the devil is willing to tolerate you as a born again Christian. He’ll test, attack and harass you- but he’s more concerned with keeping you at an entry level. He is really concerned that you don’t access the power that is at your disposal. With that power you rise above the plain of ordinary existence and move into the realm of the super-natural. Then you become a real threat.
The Disciples from Ephesus
- Paul has ministered in Corinth for a year and a half, starting a church there.
- Having left Corinth, he returnedto Antioch (his home base).
- While Paul was at Corinth, a man named Apollos came to Ephesus
- He preachedthe message of the Messiah and was very effective
- However, he only knew about the baptism of John for the remission of sins. He was instructed in the way of the Lord by Priscilla and Aquila. He decided to go to Achaia so they wrote letters of introduction and senthim to Corinth.
- Leaving Antioch, Paul came to Ephesus and meets some disciples (Luke’s reference to them asdisciples verifies their Christianity)
- But something is missing. Paul does not get a witness in his spirit concerning the men.
- Paul ministered Jesus to them and baptized them in the name of Jesus.
- When he laid hands on them they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and prophesied, speaking in tongues.
What Is the Holy Spirit? Don’t We Have It as Christians Automatically?
Every believer has an anointing within him–the Holy Spirit (I John 2:20). It’s the well of waterspringingup from within that Jesus described to the woman at thewell (John 4:14).
If you don’t have it, you aren’t saved (Romans 8:9).
But, there are two experiences with the Holy Spirit that are available to us.
The first is the experience of the new birth and the impartation of the Holy Spirit upon accepting Christ as Lord.
The second is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Look at the contrast:
- The well of water springing up from within (John 4:14)
- Out of him shall flow living water (John 7:38)
Receive the Holy Spirit (John 20:22)
Receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you (Acts 1:8)
The first is the new birth when we receive the Holy Spirit. It blesses you. The second is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It makes you a blessing to others. Jesus didn’t even begin His ministry before He was ‘anointed’ by the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:10)
- Born of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35)
- Sinless His whole life (2 Cor. 5:21)
- Didn’t begin ministry without the Spirit’s power, even insisting that John baptize Him. (Matthew 3:13–17)
Just as Christ needed the Spirit’s power, so do we.
- We are also born of the Spirit (John 3:5, 6)
- Our spiritual birth saves us butspiritual infilling is needed to operate in power.
- Justification in Christ (declared sinless) does not qualify for Kingdom power in ministry.
- Which one of us comes even close to matching Jesus’ Person and perfection.So why do we need the second experience with the Holy Spirit?
- Many today feel that the Holy Spirit anointing is just for the “Super Christian”, the“Professional”. That’s a lie from the devil!
- Many also think that all this talk about spiritual anointing or power is going too far. We’re supposed to believe in Jesus and then just live our lives, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. We have Jesus and the Bible, God’s Word. Isn’t that enough? No, that’s another lie.
The church isn’t supposed to be just an exhibit of spiritual meekness, the reading of the Bible and humble prayer. That’s not what Jesus taught. He told us, “and from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and violent men take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12)
The apostle Paul told the Corinthian church, “And my message and my preaching were not inpersuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” (1 Corinthians2:4)
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is for every Christian. (John 7:37–39) Paul told us, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled (continually) with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18)
Notice the progression:
- John 14:17
- John 20:21, 22
- Luke 24:49
- Acts 1:8
- Acts 2:4
Peter denied 3 times that he even knew Jesus. Boldly proclaimed Christ on Pentecost and every day thereafter.