Sunday was Cynthia's birthday. It was also the birthday of the Christian Church - we celebrated the feast of Pentecost, when we remembered the gift of God's Holy Spirit to the Church. Following the Revised Common Lectionary our readings were
1 Corinthians 12.3b-13
John 20.19-23 and
We reviewed the four facets of becoming a disciple of Jesus: 1.believing in Christ (faith), 2. turning to God from sin, which is the choice of going one's own way instead of God's (repentance), 3. baptism in water, and 4. receiving the Holy Spirit. Looking at several passages in Acts we saw that the sequence of these four aspects are not always the same in every person's experience. More important than deciding the contentious point about whether one receives the Holy Spirit at conversion, baptism, confirmation or some later experience, is the question of how much of us the Holy Spirit has in his control, and the need to be continually being filled again with the Holy Spirit. We also noted that the fruit of the Spirit (which is what he produces in us) and the gifts of the Spirit (which he gives to us for the sake of others) are both important; there is no dichotomy between them.
Are you certain that God's Holy Spirit has filled you? You can be. Firstly, "Sorry" - confess your sin to God, asking for his forgiveness; "Thank you" - thank God for sending his Son Jesus Christ to die for you on the cross, taking on himself your sins, and "Please" - ask him to fill you with his Holy Spirit. He will.