Did You Receive the Holy Spirit?

Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? (Acts 19:2).

Paul encountered in Ephesus a group of disciples who believed in Jesus, but they had not received the Holy Spirit.  Today’s conventional teaching on the reception of the Holy Spirit and salvation in Jesus’s name rests on the assumption that both are bestowed when one believes in Jesus.  

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Newborn Babes

Therefore laying aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisies and envyings, and all evil speakings, desire the sincere milk of the Word, as newborn babes, so that you may grow by it; if truly you have tasted that the Lord is gracious."   I Peter 2:1-3 I remember, since it was only 15 months ago, holding my firstborn, a daughter, for the first time and I hope never to be able to forget it. In my arms was a piece of me, sharing obvious genetic traits, probably predisposed to certain desirable and undesirable personality wiring as well. Yet, for all that, she was pure, untainted, more so than she ever would be again. I marveled as I beheld and studied her.

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Psalm 51:10-15

Occasionally I will hear people make comments referencing “the God of the old testament,” or “the God of the new testament.” Statements like these stem from the perception that God behaved differently, with different expectations in the old testament than he did in the new. Often the connotation is that the “old testament God” was an angry and vengeful God, while the “new testament God” is kind, forgiving and loving God. There are many examples to counter such ideas, one has but to look at the repeated cycles of forgiveness and redemption in the old testament or the ultimate punishment outlined in Revelation to see that God is kind, capable of righteous anger, forgiving, able and willing to exact vengeance, and loving.

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