Summary: Intriguing look at some OT Saints saved in NT days...still looking forward for their Messiah until they realized He was behind them! Link included to formatted text version, handout, and PowerPoint template.
Saying ‘Grace’ and ‘The Second Blessing’
It’s very important to understand that the book of Acts is a book of “transition.” It’s a bridge, so to speak, between the OT and the NT. Bridges are a good thing…they help connect things…make new journeys possible. But one thing you never want to do is to park on a bridge.
Ill.—imagine if there were no bridges across Decatur Lake…it would take a long time to drive all the way around when heading that way. Imagine if people decided to use the bridge as their parking lot…it would be a disaster.
A lot of churches are extremely confused doctrinally because they have decided to park on the bridge of the book of Acts. This book was never intended to be primarily a doctrinal book, but a bridge. It’s a book of history that transitions us from the gospels to the church age. The Lord is in the process of doing something wonderful, beginning a new era, a new dispensation as He forms His body on earth, the church. And one of the unique things about the body of Christ is how it is comprised of everyone…not only the Jews, but all people.
In Acts 2 at Pentecost, the Jews are welcomed into the body of Christ. Then in ch. 10 in Cornelius’ home the Gentiles are welcomed into the body. And now there’s 1 more group for the church to bring in…the disciples of John the Baptist…those who were left behind from the old dispensation. They were still living on the other side of Calvary.
1. A Spiritual Complication
v. 1-3 Allow me to explain. When Paul returned to Ephesus, he met up w/ certain disciples of John the Baptist, and he detected there was something wrong…something missing spiritually from their lives. So, he poses his question in v. 2, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?”
This verse has given way to 2 very common misunderstandings in many churches of today.
• That first you get saved, and later you get the Holy Spirit. They call it the “Second Blessing.” The first blessing, they say, is receiving Christ as Savior, and the 2nd, receiving the Spirit.
Joke—Nazarene preacher Uncle Bud Robinson had a little lisp, and was always talking about the “thecond blething”. Somebody said, “that’s all you ever talk about, the 2nd blessing.” He replied, “have you had the 2nd blessing?” “I’ve not only received the 2nd blessing, but the 3rd, the 4th…100 blessings don’t you see?!” Uncle Bud said, “well, if you’ve had that many you wouldn’t mind me having 2 would ya?”
I realize there’s good people who believe this way, and I by no means am calling their sincerity into question…but they need to investigate this w/ an open mind in light of the scripture.
I believe that the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is bestowed on believers at the moment of salvation.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
There’s no need to ask God for something He has already given to you at salvation. Now I know that we should seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit, but that is different.
If not for the Holy Spirit, we couldn’t even be saved…He regenerates, He quickens our dead spirits, He seals us!
• That you can ask the Lord for MORE of the Holy Spirit. [get some at salvation and more later.] The Holy Spirit isn’t an “it”. The Holy Spirit is a Person…and a person doesn’t come in “installments.”
Here’s the balance: The Holy Spirit can get more of us! The question isn’t have you gotten more of the Spirit, but has the Spirit gotten more of you! Open up another room in the house of your soul…give Him every inch, the dark closets, the attic space…places you haven’t investigated in some time now!
2 Acts of the Holy Spirit:
Sovereign Acts which take place at salvation, and subsequent acts which follow.
At the moment of salvation:
• We are born of the Spirit. John chapter 3 talks about this [Nicodemus].
• We are baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ. Nowhere does the Bible tell us to seek the baptism of the Spirit. It is automatic. [I Cor. 14]
• We are indwelt by the Spirit. [I Cor. 6—your body is the temple of the Spirit that is in you.] We must be careful where we go, for where we go…He goes! [look at/listen to/put into our bodies]
• We are sealed by the Spirit. [Eph. 4—sealed unto the day of redemption.] ill.—Roman seal/signet/hot wax…indicated private property, do not disturb.
All 4 of these things are sovereign acts of God at the moment of salvation.