Let us once again learn from the Bible the way of God more accurately, and while some churches in the Body of Christ may understand the below lesson, many either experience the former (strength in Scriptures) and others the Holy Spirit ministry, however fewer manifest and do both. Of particularly focus though, as we read these verses below hear the Spirit of God reveal the importance of the Baptism in the name of Christ, and in the Holy Spirit…SOOOO important in these days.
‘Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.‘ (Acts 18:24-26)
‘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.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.’ (Acts 19:1-6)
As the Apostle Paul reveals, and those mature followers of Christ in the early Church also understood, as Christians we cannot simply hold to Scriptures, we must also enter in to Christ through belief in Him as God, Lord, and Saviour (sometimes referred to as the baptism of the Holy Spirit); be baptised by water in His name, as a powerful (and supernatural) symbol of our old person being buried, and our new life in Christ emerging; and, also receiving the empowering of the Holy Spirit from above by His baptism. While we receive the indwelling of the Spirit as we believe in Christ, and this is how God makes His home in us (see John 14), we receive the empowering of the Holy Spirit gifts through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (often by the laying on of hands). A more excellent way indeed! We are also exhorted to be continually filled with the Spirit (see Ephesians 5:18).
So let us all pursue this way of God more accurately, knowing that in doing so we are entering in to the fuller vision and purpose of God for us, and thus more in to who He has truly created us to be, and so experience a greater sense of fulfillment in the deepest part of our being.
The Gifts of God, the Holy Spirit, and true Unity
As Christians we are to be one body (with many parts) in Christ, with Him as our head, that is ‘one in the Lord’. We are given gifts by the Godhead:
By the Father (see Romans 12:3-8) for our basic life purpose and motivation – given to all as He chooses by His creative works;
By the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8-10,28) for the working of the Holy Spirit – given as He choose to all who receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit; and
By the Son (Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:28) to facilitate, govern, and equip the Body of the Church) – given by Christ to those He elects.
All are empowered by God through His Spirit, and given as He chooses, and when the Spirit is moving He may also anoint for that time you be able to move in other gifts, those these may not be your normal given gifts. This may occur when those around you start ministering in their gifts as empowered by God, and as an overflow the empowerment of the Spirit moving to enable those gifts, so you are touched by that empowerment and move in that anointing.
These gifts, given by the One God, for the working together to do His work, for His glory, for the growth of His kingdom and His body, and the edification of us all. There is so much that can be said about His beautiful gifts, and there function, and many have provided some insight. Perhaps another post.
IMPORTANTLY – We can only be truly One Body, when these gifts are freely operating, and the Holy Spirit is free to move in them. This will occur across His body (the Church), which is defined by Him, and our relationship with Christ, not by man made boundaries. and doctrines To see unity in Christ it can only come by the Holy Spirit, and these gifts must be present and operating. Any other unity is man made, and is not true, and cannot last. Unity in diversity can only come as Christ is firmly in the place as Head, and the Spirit of God is free to move, and the gifts are fully operational.
Romans 12:3-6a…’For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them…’
1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 12…’There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:…For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.’
Ephesians 4:4-7…’There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift’.