When I was a teenager, I looked forward to the day I would receive my driver’s license so I could start driving. I longed for the freedom and power having a driver’s license would give me. But not so fast…I would have to be qualified first! I would need to take a driver’s training course, make the effort to get a driver’s permit, meet the required amount of driving practice hours under adult supervision, and study for and pass the actual driver’s test. And of course, I had to meet the personal qualification of being at least sixteen years old!
Unlike a driver’s license, the gifts of God are freely given and are not contingent on our earning them. There are no prerequisites of achieving certain milestones. Because of God’s love and divine favor toward us, we simply believe to receive what He’s given us.
For by grace are ye saved through faith [believing]; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
Salvation, including eternal life, cannot be earned by anything we do since it is a gift from God. We are saved by way of our believing. It’s through believing that we get access to this salvation. Let’s look at God’s Word to see what we are to believe.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
This verse precisely shows us what to do to receive salvation: (1) confess Jesus as lord and (2) believe that God hath raised him from the dead. Confessing and believing allows anyone to have eternal life and become born again, receiving the gift of holy spirit, which is spiritual power (Acts 1:8). No one has to wait until they achieve a level of personal goodness or spiritual attainment to get access to this gift. Because of God’s great love for mankind, He gave us His Son, Jesus Christ, so we could all have access to God by way of that gift of holy spirit, power from on high (Luke 24:49).
God unconditionally promised through Jesus Christ that following Jesus Christ’s departure, the gift of holy spirit, also known as the comforter, would be given (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7). Jesus Christ did not say that the gift of holy spirit would be given after the apostles reached a certain level in their spiritual development. Well, ten days after Jesus Christ departed and ascended into heaven, the apostles received holy spirit. There are no Scriptures that show that the apostles had to beg or agonize in prayer for the holy spirit. They simply had to wait until God’s appointed time, on the great day of Pentecost, when the gift of holy spirit was first and finally made available (Acts 2:1-4). They simply believed, and they received into manifestation the gift of holy spirit and spoke in tongues. Ever since power from on high was given on Pentecost, there is no more waiting needed to receive the gift of holy spirit!
This reminds me of a time when my friends and I met a man at a coffee shop who had read about the gift of holy spirit in the Bible and wanted to speak in tongues. We simply shared with him how to get born again (Romans 10:9) and led him into speaking in tongues in the parking lot. The desire of his heart was met—he simply believed and received!
As a teenager, access to power and freedom in my mind meant having a driver’s license. As I grew older, I knew I needed more than a driver’s license to have power in life. I needed spiritual power from God. Receiving it wouldn’t be by my own efforts or reaching a particular age like the requirement needed to drive, but rather by God’s grace and my believing. God knew we needed power in life so He freely gave us His gift of holy spirit. By His grace, God qualified all people to receive power from on high, the gift of holy spirit, by simply confessing Jesus as lord and believing that God raised him from the dead. Ever since the day of Pentecost, there is no more waiting needed to receive the gift of holy spirit!
If you would like to learn how to have power for Christian living, visit the Contact Us page on www.theway.org to find out about home fellowships and Foundational Classes available near you. Information on the gift of holy spirit can also be found in the book Receiving the Holy Spirit Today, available through our online Bookstore.