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Struggling with some Scripture - The Joshua Project — LiveJournal

About Struggling with some Scripture

Previous Entry Struggling with some Scripture Mar. 16th, 2009 @ 11:02 am Next Entry
So I was reading an article which referenced Acts 8:5-25, and I looked up the passage to read it. (Please go read it yourself, so you will know what I'm talking about.)

O.k. So the people in Samaria believed in Jesus Christ and were baptized in water. But the Spirit of God had not yet come upon them, so the believers in Jerusalem sent Peter & John to pray for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. And they did.

Now, this passage of Scripture does not specify what signs accompanied (or proved) their reception of the Holy Spirit. So I go to Acts 2:1-4, which says that when the disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit, they started speaking in tongues. I also look at Acts 19:1-6, where Paul baptized the men in Ephesus, laid hands on them & prayed that they might receive the Holy Spirit, and the men started speaking in tongues and prophesying.

O.k. I was saved as a small child at age 6, and baptized with water at age 12. Granted, most of my life I've gone to Churches where speaking in tongues is not practiced or really even spoken of, but I have spent several years in Churches where it's common.

Here's what bothers me. If speaking in tongues is evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit on a person, does the fact that I don't speak in tongues mean that I don't have the Holy Spirit?

If that is true, well, praise God that He has used me to lead others to Him despite that, but really, how could I have come so far in my walk with Jesus without the Holy Spirit??

I'm really struggling with this, guys, and could use some help.

I'd go ask my pastor, but we only have an interim pastor right now, and besides, they haven't even mentioned the baptism of the Holy Spirit since I started going there. So I don't think they'd be much help.

I'm really concerned about this. Have I missed it all these years? And how is it that I've been used by God so much without the Spirit? I'm confused...
Current Location: home
Current Mood: confusedconfused
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Date:March 16th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
I don't know what signs accompanied (or proved) the reception of the Holy Spirit, but while speaking in tongues is evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit, not speaking in tongues isn't evidence of the absence of it.

I base this on what Paul wrote to the Corinthians in 1.Cor 12, 7-11:
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. (Emphasis mine).

I think this makes it pretty clear that not everybody who has received the Holy Spirit has the ability to speak in tongues. The gifts of the spirit are many and varied. It's up to each of us to figure out which one we've been blessed with. I don't speak in tongues either but instead I have a gift (so I've been told) to talk to unbelievers about Christ. Could sound like you have been blessed the same way.

So please don't worry. Though you don't speak in tongues, I have no doubt that you've received the Holy Spirit.

Hope this helps.
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