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What made this event so astounding—and Acts 2 records that the circumstances of that day were truly dramatic—was the giving of the Holy Spirit to the followers of Jesus Christ, just as He had promised (John:14:16-17, John:14:26; John:15:26; John:16:7-14; Acts:1:4-5, Acts:1:8).
What is this Holy Spirit that came on Jesus' followers that day? Why did these things happen? What should we learn from those strange occurrences? Even more importantly, what role does the Holy Spirit have in a Christian's life? To understand this topic, we must first understand what the Holy Spirit is and what it is not. To grasp that, we must understand what the Holy Spirit does in a Christian's life. What does the Bible teach about the Holy Spirit? The answer to this question holds the truth of the amazing future God has in store for every human being. We'll see that the Holy Spirit is the catalyst in a transformed Christian life.
Throughout the Bible the Holy Spirit is spoken of in the Bible as being God's divine power.
Exactly what is a Christian? How does the Bible define a Christian in the most accurate sense?
What does God's Holy Spirit do for us as Christians? This question goes to the heart of our religious beliefs, because without the power of God's Spirit we can have no deep, close relationship with the Father, nor can we become His children. It is because the Spirit dwells in us that we are called the children of God (Romans 8:14-17).
If God were a Trinity, surely the apostle Paul, who recorded much of the theological underpinnings of the early Church, would have understood and taught this understanding. Yet we find no such concept in his writings.
The story of the new Christians baptised by Philip in Samaria illustrates the importance of the ceremony of laying on of hands in the giving of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible gives us a clear answer. Paul came upon some believers in Ephesus who had been baptised by no less than John the Baptist. Yet they had not received the Holy Spirit for two reasons. One is that they did not have the laying on of hands. The other was that they apparently did not fully understand the Christian way of life, the covenant into which one enters through baptism.
Correctly understanding the scriptural truth that the Holy Spirit is God's power that can transform our lives helps us better understand His purpose and will for us.