Marks of faithful christians – Part 2
When Paul the apostle got to the church in Ephesus, he found that something was lacking in the believers. He sensed their weariness, expenditure of much human energy instead of the power of the Spirit, and much friction in their work for the Lord. He could not find the liberty, ease, freedom, freshness, revelation and prayerfulness that come through the Holy Ghost. This prompted him to ask them: “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?”
Those who have not heard of, or do not have the ministry, influence and power of the Holy Ghost are missing out. When we have only the ministry of John, the kind of love we manifest will be limited. But when the Holy Ghost fills and saturates us, “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” We need the Holy Ghost’s love, comfort, joy and righteousness in abundant measure. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
Believers who still sense a lack in their spiritual lives must understand that revival comes “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” The Holy Ghost who resides in the believer brings all His virtues, grace, joy, enthusiasm and refreshing. Also, He teaches, enlightens, influences and instructs us. To make progress, be built up, increase and multiply, we need the Holy Ghost.
The believers in Ephesus eventually received the liberation, release, refreshing and power of the Holy Spirit. “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”
It is commendable that Apollos was open and teachable, humble and receptive. Before you can help, influence and raise other people, you must be helped, influenced and raised. After receiving help and enlightenment from Aquila and Priscilla, Apollos “helped them much which had believed through grace” in Achaia. Followers of John today should understand that he was filled with the power of the Holy Ghost.
As the Ephesian believers and followers of John the Baptist received their liberation, release, refreshing and the power of the Spirit, the fullness of the Holy Ghost is available for every sanctified believer. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit” (Joel 2:28,29).
Believers who want to preach the gospel, but do not know what to say need the Holy Ghost to speak through them. “For (the Holy Ghost) shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.” To experience this fullness, there must be desire, hunger and passion within for this refreshing, infilling and power of the Holy Ghost.
With the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, persecution will not destroy our faith or make us compromise. Although people will try to make our ministry ineffective, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will conquer them and our listeners will believe Jesus Christ. There is more to accomplish by the power of the Holy Ghost. If you sincerely seek the witness, refreshing, influence, vision, power and divine energy of the Spirit, you will receive it. “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39).
Further Reading (King James Version): Acts 18:24; 19:1,28,34; 18:24-26; Acts 18:26-28; 19:2-7; Matthew 3:11; Luke 1:15-17; 12:11,12; John 7:37-39; 14:26; Acts 4:7-13; 5:27-32; 7:55; 13:6-12,52
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