Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Psalm 46-49; Acts 19
The way a person comes into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is clearly presented in Acts 10:43-48: (1) sinners hear the gospel presented from the word of God, (2) they believe the gospel, realizing their sinful condition and the solution that is found in Jesus Christ, and (3) they immediately received the Spirit of God who seals a believer until the day of redemption. In the Biblical accounts, baptism always follows salvation. The Gentiles in Acts 10 did not receive the Holy Spirit by means of water baptism or by the laying on of hands, as some would teach today. The fact that these men, in Acts 19, did not have the Spirit dwelling within them was proof that they had never truly been born again. One commentary says it very well, “Those who insist they were already Christians use this passage as a proof text for their view that receiving the Holy Spirit is a subsequent, post salvation, or “second blessing,” experience. Such an interpretation, however, is unjustifiable. First, it commits the methodological error of failing to consider the transitional nature of Acts, which means that the experiences and phenomena described in Acts are not normative for today. Second, this is a faulty interpretation because it commits the comparative scriptural error. Other texts make obvious that this passage cannot be used to teach that some Christians today may not have the Holy Spirit. That would contradict the explicit teaching of the New Testament epistles, which declare unequivocally that every Christian receives the Spirit at salvation (1 Cor. 6:19; 12:13; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 1:13), and define those without the Spirit as unsaved. (Rom. 8:9; Jude 19)” Paul continued there for two years and “…all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” There is so much confusion created by those who are tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. (Eph. 4:14) It is the gospel that has the power of God unto salvation, and it is the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit that changes and transforms a life into the image of Christ. It is also the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that makes the believer secure in Christ, as well as guides and convicts them regarding sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Devil is the source and reason for all confusion, and, like he was creating confusion at this time (vs. 29) he is accomplishing creating confusion today as well. We must hold fast to the truth of the word of God and what it teaches regarding salvation. We must never allow emotion or personal preference to influence the clear teaching of scripture, but rather we must be ones influenced by the clear teaching of scripture. God’s word is truth and all that God wants us to know is contained and revealed in its holy pages.
• Lord, please help me to read, study, and memorize your word. Thank you that it presents the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation.
• Lord, thank you for the truth you reveal and for the confidence that I can have that your gift of salvation given to me is secure for all eternity, guaranteed by the sealing power of the Holy Spirit.
• Lord, please help me to be faithful to declare the truth so people can be influenced by it.