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[thoughts] The Coming of the Holy Spirit (August 29 - September 4, 2005)

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  • Mark Roth
    Thoughts for the Week Mark Roth http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/ ... This edition goes out today to 3373 subscribers. Thank you! ... THE COMING OF THE
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2005
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      Thoughts for the Week
      Mark Roth
      http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/


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      This edition goes out today to 3373 subscribers. Thank you!
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      THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
      (Acts 2:1-8, 38-41)


      PROBING YOUR OWN HEART

      Have you received the gift of the Holy Spirit?

      How do you know?


      BUILDING ON SOME FOUNDATIONAL CONCEPTS

      The manner of the Spirit's coming was unique to that occasion.
      Acts 2:2-4 report an event whose details and manner are not
      repeated in the Biblical record. This marked the dawning of the age
      of the Holy Spirit, when God's own Spirit began to dwell among men
      in the hearts of His people. Perhaps that explains why God didn't
      repeat certain signs every time His Spirit entered an individual.
      That possible explanation is only conjecture on our part. We have
      no way of knowing the actual explanation because God chose not to
      record it in His Word.

      The Spirit equipped them for the task at hand.
      Jesus wanted His disciples to be witnesses unto Him, beginning
      in Jerusalem "and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
      Interestingly enough, "there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews,
      devout men, out of every nation under heaven" (Acts 2:5). This gave
      the disciples the opportunity to immediately plant the seed of the
      Gospel among all nations without even leaving Jerusalem. God made
      matters easier yet, if you will, by empowering the disciples with
      a gift that allowed each listener to hear the Gospel in his own
      tongue (Acts 2:6,8,11). God always gifts and empowers His people
      for whatever assignment He gives them at a particular time.

      The message of the church is Jesus.
      Jesus is the life of the church; He ought also to be her focus,
      purpose, and message. That was true of the early church -- "And
      daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach
      and preach Jesus Christ" (Acts 5:42; see also 8:35; 11:20; 17:3,18;
      28:31; 2 Corinthians 1:19; 4:5; Colossians 1:27,28). It should be
      no less true of His church today. How are we doing?


      QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES

      What is the gift of the Holy Ghost that Peter talked about?
      In Acts 2:38 the Spirit moved him to declare, "Ye shall receive
      the gift of the Holy Ghost." Those who repent and are baptized in
      the name of Jesus receive a gift: the Holy Spirit of God Himself.
      Otherwise, we would be incapable of living the life of Son
      according to the will of Father. Furthermore, that gift seals us
      and assures us as the children of God (2 Corinthians 1:22; Romans
      8:16). And not only that, this gift is God's down payment to us (2
      Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:13,14).

      Does God give the same sign to everyone who is filled with His
      Spirit?
      No, not according to the evidence presented in the Scriptures.
      The New Testament presents a few cases of people speaking in
      tongues upon receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4; 10:45-46; 19:6).
      The New Testament mentions initial Holy Spirit infilling eight
      other times. Here you have them with a summary of the immediate
      results:
      Luke 1:41 prophecy
      Luke 1:67 prophecy
      Luke 4:1 left river for tempting in wilderness
      Acts 4:8 preaching
      Acts 4:31 preaching
      Acts 8:17 NOTHING?!
      Acts 9:17 sight restored
      Acts 19:6 tongues and prophecy

      Then how can I know that I have received the Spirit of God?
      I have a hard time distinguishing lemon trees from orange
      trees. But I have a sure-fire way of eventually identifying such
      trees. I wait till the trees bear fruit. Then I know a lemon tree
      from an orange tree!
      Similarly, those who have the Spirit bear the fruit of the
      Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23). I have no other way of knowing if I or
      anyone else has received the Holy Spirit. But I need no other way.
      This method of discernment works amply well. Remember, the Master
      Himself declared, "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men
      gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" (Matthew 7:16).
      Note these Scriptures for further evidences of God's Spirit at
      work:
      Ezekiel 36:27 causes obedience
      Mark 13:11 guides speech
      John 14:26 teaches and reminds of all things
      Romans 5:5 sheds God's love abroad in our hearts
      Romans 8:26 helps infirmities and makes intercession
      Romans 15:13 causes to abound in hope
      Romans 15:16 sanctifies
      Galatians 5:22-23 produces godly attitudes and desires
      Titus 3:5 renews
      Hebrews 10:15 witnesses to the person

      Having said all that, we must not forget our first proof: Those who
      repent and turn from sin to serve Jesus as Saviour and Lord receive
      His Spirit. Can you provide the Biblical foundation for that proof?


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      Mark Roth


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