Class 5 – The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts

As in the previous studies, the work of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts did involve such things as teaching, guiding, comforting, miracles, gifts, etc. However, what we are primarily investigating here is his relationship to the individual believer or groups of believers.

The Book of Acts is very much a transition book bridging the gap between the OT law and the NT church. Some of the events and teachings found in Acts, especially in its early chapters, do not find a parallel or reconfirmation in the specific instructions and doctrines given to the church. The simple reason for this is that many of these events and teachings in Acts were initial experiences and were never intended by God to be repeated. The Spirit only descended from heaven to the earth once and positionally has been here on the earth since the Day of Pentecost. From this initial descent, the Spirit’s workings rippled out from Jerusalem like a wave affecting different groups of people in various ways. As we will see, the Spirit was introduced to the Jews in Jerusalem (Acts 2), the Samaritans (Acts 8), the Gentiles (Acts 10) and the OT converts to John the Baptist (Acts 19) in different ways. The Spirit was received in different ways and evidenced his effects in different ways.

The error made by some factions within the Charismatic movement is to attempt to make these different methods employed by the Spirit all the same (which they are not) or to seek an experience identical to one of these initial operations of the Spirit in Acts. Often such a position is impossible to defend from Scripture before the non-charismatics (or anyone else for that matter). Such a believer is basing their doctrine on an illustration that had nothing to do with them and upon experiences no where repeated in Paul’s specific instructions to the church. In other words, simply because the Holy Ghost saw fit to do things a certain way once does not mean that he will act or is obligated to act in the exact sameway again.