Have You Received?
by Brother Charles Sivley
When we ask Jesus Christ to come in to our lives, we receive the Holy Spirit. How does this all work? As Paul said in Acts 19:2 (KJV), Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? That word "received" is lambano (Greek). What Paul is asking is, "Have you brought into manifestation what you have received within your spirit?" It was important to Paul that people manifest this Holy Spirit. We often do not understand that word "lambano." He was not just asking, "Have you received it into your life?" We do receive it, but if it is not brought into manifestation, then the Spirit is just there, inactive and not working in our lives.
Acts 2:4 (AMP) And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues), as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression (in each tongue in appropriate words). The Holy Spirit will not force us to manifest His Spirit; we must be willing to do so. The Holy Spirit gives the utterance; WE must do the speaking out, the manifesting.
Why was it so important for these people to manifest the Holy Spirit as Paul said, continuing in Acts 19:2 (KJV)? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. They did not know whether there was a Holy Ghost or Spirit. (3) And he said unto them, Unto what then were you baptized. And they said, Unto John's baptism. They had been baptized in water.
(4) Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him Which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. (5) When they heard this they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Now this is how Paul performed the baptism: (6) And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues and prophesied.
What I am trying to share is that when we are saved the Holy Spirit is in us, but He cannot do the work unless we are praying in tongues, praying in the spirit, so that He can activate the work. 2 Corinthians 4:7 (KJV) says, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. Praise God. So, the excellency of the power is of God and not of us, through this treasure we have in our earthen vessels. Ultimately as we look at verse 10, it says, Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life that is resurrection life (Zoe) also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. (11) For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
There is treasure in these earthen vessels that we so often fail to experience, and that treasure has a purpose. There are those who have had the baptism of the Holy Spirit for 60 years and have never changed, nor has anything ever changed in their lives. They have never known what their calling or purpose is, never had a dream, never had a vision, nothing spiritual powerful has ever happened in their life. They are still the same after 60 years. To me that is mind-boggling. They do read the Word - so it cannot be only the reading of the Word that is going to transform and change us. There must be more to it! (We're planting seeds here.)
See 2 Corinthians 3:18 (AMP): And all of us, as with unvelied face, (because we) continued to behold (in the Word of God) as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; (for this comes) from the Lord (Who is) the Spirit.
So, the Spirit brings the transforming power of the Word in our lives. Whenever we read the Word of God by His Spirit, we are looking into a mirror, seeing ourselves in our old nature, until we see ourselves in the new nature as God would see us transformed into the image of His Son. But without His Spirit upon the Word of God there is no transformation.
Philippians 1:6 (AMP) states, And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ (right up to the time of His return), developing (that good work) and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you (when we are praying in the Spirit). That must be the key, otherwise everyone would be tranformed.
And it says in Jude 20 (AMP), But you, beloved, build yourselves up (founded) on your most holy faith (make progress), rise like an edifice higher and higher), praying in the Holy Spirit. When we pray in the Holy Spirit, much is happening in us. God is Spirit, all the time effectually at work in us, energizing and creating in us the power and desire both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. When we are praying the Spirit, we are working out God's plan for our lives. We are working with everything that He has given us; strength that energizes us. Paul said, "I come to you with much enthusiasm." We can understand that as WE become enthusiastic about God, then we comprehend exactly what is happening in our lives, what He is doing, and why things are happening. We learn the lesson and get through the test quickly.
In Acts 1:8 (AMP) it says, But you shall receive power (ability (God's ability in you) efficiency and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth. That is a powerful statement when we think about it. But we shall receive power ability - God's ability in us, when we pray in the Spirit. Notice that in the KJV it says it is AFTER the Holy Spirit has come upon you. Isn't that very clear? It is His Spirit working us out of us. We decrease and He increases. We are crucifying our flesh with Spiritual life. Then we are able to say Galatians 2:20 (KJV) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
WE SHALL RECEIVE POWER ABILITY - GOD'S ABILITY IN US, WHEN WE PRAY IN THE SPIRIT