“Wherefore, having left the word of the beginning of the Christ, unto the perfection we may advance, not again a foundation laying of reformation from dead works, and of faith on God, 2of the teaching of baptisms, of laying on also of hands, of rising again also of the dead, and of judgment age-during, 3and this we will do, if God may permit,”Perhaps you grew up in a Bible revering church like me, that neglected the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit and never mentioned that laying on of hands is foundational and still very much encouraged by God for today.If so, you may wonder; “why do it?”
Let’s consult the Scriptures to discern and prove God’s will about this issue:
Acts 8 tells a very interesting story of Simon, who performed magical powers in Samaria and amazed the people.(8:8) We see that Philip came preaching the Gospel in power and in verse 13, even Simon is born-again! Then it gets really interesting…
“Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, 15who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit , 16for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus”
Philip evangelized so many people that Peter and John were sent in “and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit!“(v.15)
You may be thinking something like: “They must not have been truly saved if they didn’t receive the Holy Spirit…”
But, the Bible makes it clear that they were born again because they had received the logos/word of God! Jesus is the logos/word, they had already received Jesus and had been properly baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. They were born again but, “he (the Holy Spirit) had not yet fallen on any of them…“(v.16)
This phrase “fallen on” comes from “epipipto” and means: “to fall on, come over, press upon”. http://biblehub.com/greek/1968.htm About half of it’s uses are concerning the Holy Spirit “baptism” in the book of Acts.
Jesus immediately lived in these people’s spirit’s but, the Holy Spirit had not “filled them, baptized them or fell upon them” (whichever term you relate to best, they are all the same)
In the next verse Peter and John “Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.”
It’s that easy. Because the Holy Spirit baptism is a gift from God! It is referred to as “the Promise, the Seal, the Gift, etc…” in the N.T. because it was prophesied many times in the O.T. and is the fulfillment of many promises for the children of God! One of my favorites is at the day of Pentecost, after the initial outpouring of the Spirit on everyone in the Upper Room: “And having heard, they were pricked to the heart; they say also to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles, ‘What shall we do, men, brethren?’ 38and Peter said unto them, ‘Reform, and be baptized each of you on the name of Jesus Christ, to remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, 39for to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all those afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2)
“The promise (The Holy Spirit) is for you, your children and to ALL those afar off, as many as our Lord shall call!”
Has the Lord called you? John 6:44 says “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him”
So, if you have believed in Jesus with your heart and confessed with your mouth then you are born again. God has called you and the promise of the Holy Spirit is for you and your children!
If you haven’t had an elder or mature Christian lay hands on you and pray for the Holy Spirit to “fill you” then you are missing out on one of the most powerful promises of God in the entire Bible! However, this post is getting a little long, I will finish this in another part tomorrow. To be continued…