The church has Holy Spirit specialists

Philip the Evangelist
Credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain

There is an interesting passage in Acts, that suggests we have Holy Spirit specialists, or individuals who are good at manifesting one particular aspect of the Holy Spirit’s ministry on earth.

We are told, in the Gospel of John, that Jesus had the full measure of the Holy Spirit (John 3:34). This suggests that while believers today can be filled with the Holy Spirit, we do not have the full measure as Jesus did.

And we may even see an example of this in the Book of Acts.

Gifts of healing specialists?

In Acts 8, we are told that Philip went to Samaria and a lot of amazing miracles started happening.

For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed” Luke writes (Acts 8:7).

Not only was Philip casting out evil spirits, but notice that it specifically says he was healing the paralyzed or lame.

Does this mean that only lame and paralyzed people were showing up to be healed?

Or does it mean that people with sickness or blindness were also coming for healing, but that Philip was having success with one particular group, the lame and paralyzed?

I suspect it was probably the latter.

In fact, this may be what the Apostle Paul was hinting at when he said there are gifts [plural] of healing (1 Corinthians 12:9).

The plural suggests there is more than one type of gift of healing. Some, like Philip, may have a specialized gift to heal the lame, while another has a gift that is particularly effective with the blind and eye-related issues.

Holy Spirit baptism specialists?

But this specialized ministry doesn’t stop there, as we see another example of Holy Spirit specialists in this unusual passage.

While Philip was casting out demons and healing the lame through the power of the Holy Spirit, people were also getting saved and water-baptized (Acts 8:12).

But something significant was NOT happening. These new believers were not being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Philip, who was moving powerfully in the Spirit, seems to have struggled with getting people baptized with the Holy Spirit.

So a strange thing happens.

Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them” Luke explains (Acts 8:14b-15).

Since, Philip was not so good at getting people filled with the Holy Spirit, the apostles sent in some Holy Spirit baptizing specialists, Peter and John, to provide this ministry to those believers in Samaria.

When those two showed up, people started getting filled with the Holy Spirit. There was such a demonstration of power, that Simon the Magician even wanted to buy this ability off Peter, and was soundly rebuked.

And this still happens today. I remember years back talking to someone about an individual wanting to be filled with the Holy Spirit and was told to take them to Al, because he had a knack for baptizing people in the Holy Spirit.

The Bible tells us that every spirit-filled believer has been given at least one spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:7). You are a Holy Spirit specialist, and you need to discover your gift and start using it.

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