Surrender to the Spirit

Published 11:00 am Sunday, June 12, 2022

“And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples, he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ So they said to him, ‘We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.’” — Acts 19:1-2 (NKJV)

It seems a strange thing to me that there could be those called disciples who, by their own admission, have not heard of the Holy Spirit. Further reading tells me that these disciples were baptized by John the Baptist and not by Jesus or His disciples. John himself said that he only baptized with water, and that there would come One Who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11).

In defense of those baptized by John, they were not aware of Jesus baptism before Matthew 3:11. They had no means of knowing about the Holy Spirit, let alone that it was possible to be baptized by Him; because of this lack of knowledge, they were missing out on the use of the greatest tool of evangelism and personal growth that God has provided. That they were devoted disciples can’t be denied, they simply had not been taught concerning the Holy Spirit. “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

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Fast forward to today’s Church and we find that there are whole denominations who have little of no understanding of the importance and power of The Holy Spirit. They, we, are without excuse if we don’t embrace Him, the Scriptures are filled with references to Him and His work. Jesus Himself is responsible for the Holy Spirit’s presence in our world (John 14:16-17). He also commanded the disciples to wait for the Power of the Holy Spirit that would be given to them at Pentecost, before beginning their ministry to make disciples in all the world, (Matthew 28:19).

If the disciples of Jesus needed to wait for the Holy Spirit to endue them with power, might it not be wise for us to do likewise and receive the Holy Spirit and let Him empower our ministry? Surely, if these disciples, who heard and saw all that Jesus accomplished during the entirety of His earthly life, were commanded to wait, we too should surrender to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Be careful to whom you listen where the Holy Spirit is concerned.

Rev. Bobby Thornhill is a retired Methodist preacher.