If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him – Luke 11:13.
Apollos was an Alexandrian Jew who arrived in Ephesus before Paul’s arrival. Apollos had received the message of Jesus Christ but knew nothing of the Spirit’s coming and the church age. Apollos had received salvation and was well versed in Scripture, but he had not received the Holy Spirit. When Paul asked had he or the other disciples had received the Holy Spirit, he wasn’t aware that there was a Holy Spirit (He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost – Acts 19:2).
Here, the Apostle Paul testifies that these are believers, yet he asks them if they have received the Holy Spirit. Paul knew these were two separate and distinct experiences. There’s a teaching going around for years that you receive the Holy Spirit simultaneously once you receive salvation, which is incorrect. Many people in the body of Christ today can make a similar confession as Apollos and the disciples that were with him because rather than seeking God through prayer and fasting, they depend on someone else to teach them rather than asking the heavenly Father to teach them. The Holy Spirit is the least understood deity of the Trinity. Many people in the body of Christ know little or nothing about Him.
The Holy Spirit’s primary ministry enables the believer to live according to God’s Word and do the things God has called us to do. Without the Holy Spirit operating in our life, we’re not going to fully realize all our potential in Christ. Without the Holy Spirit, the Fruit or the Gifts of the Spirit will not be in evidence. The Holy Spirit may take on many different forms, but His overall ministry is to enable and reveal. The Holy Spirit has come to empower the Church to be witnesses. He gives us a revelation of God’s Word, faith springs up in our hearts, and He reveals who we are in Christ. Knowing who we are in Christ gives us the boldness to share our faith with others.
Many non-charismatic or non-pentecostal believers contend they received all of the Holy Spirit the moment they were born again. They deny the need for a second experience known by charisma as “the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Without a doubt, the Bible teaches that a person does receive a measure of the Holy Spirit at the moment of the new birth. The Holy Spirit is the agent of regeneration (rebirth) and sanctification (purifying and setting apart). Having a measure of the Spirit is not the same as having the fullness of the Spirit.
Apostle Philip goes to Samaria and preaches any many people were born again as a result. After the Apostle’s teaching, those in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God. They sent Peter and John, who prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit. These Samaritans were born again, but they only received a measure of the Holy Spirit, not the fullness (Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus – Acts 8:15-16).
Jesus’ walked as well as taught His disciples, but before His ascension, He instructed His disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait on the promise, which was the baptism of the Holy Spirit (For Joh truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence – Acts 1:5). Satan knows the power of the Holy Spirit; this is why he brings confusion to the believer because once they receive the truth, they will be empowered to fight against him and his co-host.
So many professing Christians can continue to live the way they were before receiving salvation because they have not received the Holy Spirit to assist them in living a separate life from the non-Christians. Some professing Christians are drinking, smoking, getting high, sex gratification without marriage; this should not be as a Christian. Christians need an enabler, the Holy Spirit, to assist them in living a clean and righteous life before the Father.
Take the time, be prayerful, read and study the Scriptures, and ask God to give you a spiritual understanding of His Word and what belongs to you as a believer. Christians can’t live a godly lifestyle without the enabling of the Holy Spirit. He’s the one that opens our understanding of what is right or wrong, even if it’s not in writing in the Bible. The Bible does have gray areas, but the Holy Spirit will interpret the gray areas for the believer that he or she will live a righteous life because the Holy Spirit knows what’s in the heart of God. He knows what is acceptable in God’s eyes.
Salvation and being baptized in the Holy Spirit are two different events. When one has accepted salvation, their heart has been changed. Therefore, their desires have also been changed; they no longer desire the world’s actions. They have received a new mindset; their heart and mind have been completely reformed by the Spirit of God. Baptism is when one has been immersed in the Spirit of God, and He and His Son comes to live within the individual (Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him – John 14:23). When this occurs, the individual has the fullness of the Spirit, and the Fruit of the Spirit will begin to manifest through them.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is for every believer, no matter what denomination they’re in. God sees man as a believer or non-believer. He does not recognize them by denomination; the Holy Spirit is a gift to those willing to live by God’s written instructions, not just a portion of the Scriptures. All they have to do is ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit (If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him – Luke 11:13? Receive the gifts and benefits that God has given you as a believer.