DO YOU NEED TO ASK FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT?
“Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir” (Galatians 4:6-7 NIV).
Recently, one of my online contacts asked me whether one can ask for the Holy Spirit or not. Let me based my devotional message this week on this question and the answer I gave the contact. The question about asking for the Holy Spirit is both theological and semantic. It is theological because it has to do with the third Person in the Godhead, and it is semantic because it is somehow a wordplay on when and how the Holy Spirit indwells a believer. Let me say here that when the Holy Spirit indwells a believer has been a controversial issue between the Pentecostals and the Evangelicals because of their different ways of interpreting the Bible. Since I am an Evangelical, I will first give the Evangelical position and later refer to the Pentecostal position. The Holy Spirit indwells a believer the moment such person believes in Jesus Christ and invites Him into his/her life as his/her personal Saviour and Lord (John 1:12-13; 14:16; Romans 8:15-17; Galatians 4:5-7; Ephesians 1:13) and He is there forever! However, the Holy Spirit may be “dormant” in the life of any believer that does not allow Him to operate. That is why Paul urged against such in Ephesians 4:30 and 1 Thessalonians 5:19. So, it is not out of place to pray that the Holy Spirit should have full control of one’s life after one has consciously surrendered oneself to Him.
The Pentecostals on the other hands capitalize on some passages of the Bible like Luke 11:13; Acts 1:8 and other similar passages (especially in the Old Testament) to say that one has to ask for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Those passages are interpreted by the Evangelicals in line with what is called “Dispensational Theology.” How and why will I ask for Who (that is, the Holy Spirit) God has graciously given me if truly I am a believer in Christ?
Another mixed-up issue that the Pentecostals make has to do with the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. These are entirely different from the Person of the Holy Spirit that is already living eternally with the believer! A believer can pray for the gifts and/or the manifestations of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:31; 14:1).
Either Evangelical or Pentecostal, the big question is: are you really a child of God? “[Jesus Christ] came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God” (John 1:11-13 NIV). Have you received Him into your life? You do not need to ask for (the indwelling of) the Holy Spirit if you have done so, but you can ask that He fill you with His power.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you make your life conducive for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and that you will yield yourself to His leadership so that He will manifest His power in your life.
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