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Thursday, June 12, 2003

Edifier du Jour-John 20:19-23(NASB)
19 So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained."
This is an interesting passage that seems to make a good case against some real hard-core Pentecostals who think you have to be a tongue-talker to be saved; the disciples had the Holy Spirit given to them here, instead of in Acts 2. As far as I understand it, believers have access to the Holy Spirit from the moment of belief; salvation and the baptism/indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a package deal. Without it, the believer is enfeebled and rudderless in the spiritual realm. Note that this is a "mundane" presence of the Holy Spirit as our councilor and discerner, as opposed to some of the flashier "gifts of the Spirit." However, this is far from mundane, for the Holy Spirit gives the believer discernment and will-power to stop doing the sinful things he did in the past and to do things he didn't have the guts to do before. That's available to every believing Christian, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal or whatever. Now, some people might wind up being used by God to be the vehicle for less-mundane acts of the Holy Spirit. I'm inclined to think that people who have been given that honor are not extra-saved or have achieved another plateau of faith. Not everyone's going to be a prophet or one whom healing flows through, but we all have, if we are a follower of Christ, the Holy Spirit with us 24/7.

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