Greetings once again to readers and thanks for taking the time to visit. In my last post I said that Paul was in the habit of ordaining elders in all of the churches and that the writer of the book did not mention it every time since it was already a given. Here are two other examples of what I call “givens” in the books of the New Testament. These reflect the principle called the Law of Firsts. They relate to:

a. the infilling with the Holy Spirit
b. The working of signs and wonders by the apostles.

a. The infilling with the Holy Spirit

After the initial infilling on the day of Pentecost, it seems to me that the believers believed on the Lord Jesus as the Son of God received the infilling with the Holy Spirit. I propose this because we met people in the book who were already filled (such as Silas, Phillip’s four daughters, Nicanor etc), but the writer only recorded 4 initial infillings among the believers. This was done because these occurred under special circumstances. The circumstances are as follows:

* The Samaritans received the infilling after Peter laid hands on them. Seeing this, Simon the ex – sorcerer offered to pay money to receive the power. Prior to his conversion, Simon had been performing miracles using the power of the occult. HE followed Peter, John and Phillip around marvelling. I believe that he marvelled because the power source was from God and not at all magical. He was moved, however, at the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the believers that he wanted to buy it. The Lord allowed Luke to document this to show us that we cannot prostitute the power of God and that it far exceeds any other power known even to the workers of iniquity (Acts 8).

* Saul, Ex – Persecutor of the church was filled with the Holy Spirit as soon as Ananias laid hands on him. He did not have to do a period of penance or go through a test to prove his genuineness. God is showing us that He is no respecter of persons and does indeed toss our sins into the sea of forgetfulness (Acts 9). A new believer can receive the infilling with the Holy Spirit.

* The gentiles received the infilling with the Holy Spirit in the same manner that the disciples did on the day of Pentecost. This was documented because the believers who held to circumcision for salvation were extremely astonished when they saw it happen. God made this infilling a special one by causing the Holy spirit to fall on Cornelius and those gathered with him. No one laid hands on them. Again, God is no respecter of persons and has no favorites. He pours out His Spirit on all those who believe (Acts 10; 15).

* Paul met some believers who had been taught by Apollos and asked them whether or not they had received the infilling with the Holy Spirit. They had never even heard about the Lord Jesus. As soon as they were baptized in His name, Paul laid hands on them and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied (Acts 19).

The key truths here are that anyone who believes will be filled with the Holy Spirit. It seems to me that the time of conversion is ideal since we see the kind of man that Paul became as a result of the infilling at that time. The infilling can be transferred by the laying on of hands and this is a key element of the elders in the body of Christ. Blessings until next time!