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Lesson 11 The Conditions for Receiving the Holy Ghost

 

Devotional Reading:   Psalm 42

 

Memory Verse:           Luke 11:13

 

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

 

LESSON TEXT

 

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

 

John 7:37–39. In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

 

John 14:16–17. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

 

Acts 2:38, 39. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39For 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 10:44. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

 

Acts 8:14–17. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

 

Acts 5:32. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

 

COMMENTS ON THE LESSON TEXT

 

Matthew 5:6. Spiritual blessings are promised to those who earnestly desire them.

John 7:37–39. Those who hunger for the Holy Spirit are promised his infilling. This can now be fulfilled since Pentecost.

John 14:16, 17. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, was then with the disciples but he was to be in them. This is an experience the world cannot receive.

Acts 2:38, 39. Peter makes the reception of the Holy Spirit subsequent to conversion and a privilege for all whom God calls.

Acts 10:44. Cornelius, and his friends, received the Holy Ghost while Peter was yet preaching.

Acts 8:14–17. The converts at Samaria received the Holy Ghost through the prayers and the laying on of hands.

Acts 5:32. Only those who obey God receive the Holy Ghost.

 

LESSON TOPIC: CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING THE HOLY GHOST

 

I. THE GROUND OF THE EXPERIENCE

 

1. The promise of the experience through Christ.

 

A) Christ promised to send another comforter, the Holy Ghost. The presence of the comforter was not to be like the personal presence of Christ—temporary; he was to abide forever, so he is still with us. B) The coming of the Holy Spirit was conditioned on Christ’s going away. Hence the promise of the Holy Spirit could not be fulfilled till after the ascension. C) It was fulfilled on Pentecost. Since then the Spirit is obtainable by all who meet the conditions.

 

2. The prayer of Christ.

 

A) Christ prayed for our sanctification. This prayer is not for the disciples alone but for all who believe in him through their word. B) This prayer is answered in the baptism of the Holy Spirit who is the Sanctifier.

 

3. The death of Christ.

 

A) He dedicated himself to die as a sacrifice that we might be sanctified. B) He died that the Church might be sanctified. C) We are sanctified through his blood (Hebrews 13:12).

 

II. THE EXPERIENCE IS FOR:

 

1. Living men in this life.

 

A) The advantage of Christ’s departure proves this. There could be no benefit in Christ’s leaving if the Spirit is not now obtainable. B) It is possessed by men. The Bible record clearly proves this.

 

2. Not for this world.

 

A) The world cannot receive him, so Jesus declares. Unsaved men are not in a condition to receive him. B) Christ prayed not for the world but for those who had been saved out of the world. His request for sanctification and his promise of the Spirit concern his disciples only.

 

3. All Christians.

 

A) It is promised to all. Peter declares the promise is to as many as the Lord shall call, which includes all Christians. Christ’s prayer includes all converts. B) Being based in the atonement it is an integral part of the plan of salvation, hence is not withheld from any who come God’s way.

 

III. CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING THE EXPERIENCE

 

1. The condition to be in.

 

A) Justified. Those who are justified are in a position to enter the experience of perfect holiness. B) In Christ. Only branches in Christ receive the purging. Those who were never in, or those who have been broken off, cannot receive it. C) Bearing fruit. Sanctification and the Holy Spirit baptism are not to enable one to bear fruit but to bear more fruit. List of fruits: Galatians 5:22, 23. D) Obedient. Careless and disobedient people are not prepared to receive this experience. E) In one accord. Quarreling and contentions must first cease before the Holy Spirit may be received.

 

2. Conditions to be met.

 

A) Not tarrying and agonizing. The apostles were to tarry till Pentecost should come. Since that date the Holy Spirit has ever been in the world. The Apostles did not instruct people to tarry but offered the Holy Spirit as a present experience. The struggle is only with one’s self and not to induce God to fulfill his promise. B) A desire for the experience. It is promised to those who hunger and thirst for it. Hence one must first know about such an experience and feel the need. C) The death of the “old man.” Carnality must be destroyed. This requires the forsaking of every evil inclination and the surrender of every selfish ambition. At this point some experience a hard struggle with self which is the only occasion for struggle. D) Consecration. This is a dedication of ourselves to God’s exclusive service. Having been freed from sin and made alive in Christ we present ourselves an acceptable sacrifice. The consecration must be complete. E) Prayer. The Spirit is promised to those who ask him. Many other promises encourage us to come boldly to him. F) Faith. The household of Cornelius counted the promises theirs, they received the word, and through faith they received the experience while Peter yet preached. Other conditions having been met, they quite naturally grasp the promise and the work is done.

 

3. Assistance of others.

 

The Samaritans received the experience through the prayers and laying on of hands of Apostles. Such assistance, with personal instructions, is often helpful.

 

IV. THE EVIDENCE OF THE EXPERIENCE

 

1. Not particular manifestations.

 

A) Not speaking in tongues. This is discussed in one of the other lessons. Many Spirit baptized men never spoke in tongues. B) No demonstration promised.

 

2. The assurance of faith.

 

A) Definite faith assures of the experience. This is not faith that it will be done but that it is done. Such faith is inspired by the Spirit himself. B) Based on the Word. Having met the conditions of the Word and appropriated its promises faith grasps the assurance.

 

3. The witness of the Spirit.

 

A) The Spirit himself is the witness. The possession of him is the greatest evidence possible. B) The Spirit witnesses with us. As in justification the Spirit bears witness with our spirits. The sweet inward assurance is more valuable than outward signs.

 

4. The fruits of the Spirit.

 

His works, both in us and through us, witness of his presence. We do show by our lives. Living right wherever we are and in what we do.