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Building up believers and the New Testament church

The Mystery Revealed - Christ In You

Many today believe the baptism of the Spirit is only an endowment of power to enable believers to do the work of God. Some are taught that they receive the baptism of the Spirit to be able to do the work of God. We often fail to realize that the Spirit is God; thus without a true understanding of the Godhead, we make our own doctrines about God. We need to study the scriptures and see what God says about Himself. Then God's plan for man will become clearer, and His purpose will be seen as we are built together as a habitation of God by the Spirit.

Scripture clearly tells us that separate from God we can do nothing and know nothing (John 15:5, I Corinthians 2:11). The power to do comes from the Spirit, as we are moving in union with Him under His direction. We never work for God; God works and uses us. The gifts of the Spirit are manifestations of the Spirit, and the Spirit works all things as He wills. Jesus said, "When the Father works, I work." The ability to do comes from God at all times and in every situation.

The Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost to indwell the believers, that they might be partakers of the divine nature. Scripture tells us that "the baptism of the Spirit" is the time we partake of the promise of the Spirit by faith. It is the time we are sealed (Ephesians 1:13), and made sons of God, so we can cry, "Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15). It is the time we are quickened, or made alive (Romans 8:11).

What makes a person a Christian? Is it not when he or she has been a partaker of the divine nature? Salvation is not a change of mind or an emotional experience; it is when God comes to indwell the believer. We can't work for, nor do we deserve, what God gives us. It is by grace, through faith. Salvation is not in a doctrine, but in a relationship, a divine working of God that brings us into His family. It is not simply believing that Jesus died for you; it is much more than giving mental assent to a historical fact. The New Covenant is God coming to dwell within, giving us the ability to be His sons and daughters.

This is the beginning place for believers--being made alive unto God when we receive the Spirit. The Spirit makes us sons of God. It is God, then, who confirms His word as He works signs and wonders through the believers. "And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17,18).