In order to understand rightly the Word of God we should
1. a vision of the progressive revelation of the Bible
2. the capacity to distinguish between the different dispensations.
At least we should be able to distinguish the administration of the Law, of the Grace of God and of the Kingdom.
During the period of the Old Testament, to which belongs also the period of the earthly life of our Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit
filled (Ex. 35:31),
came upon (Judges 6:34 - lavásch = to cloth, to cover),
fell upon (Ez. 11:5 napal) o
came mightily (Judges 14:6, 19; I Samuel 10:6, 10; 11:6; 16:13 zalách = to flow, to be poured out as water)
also several times on a person to accomplish a special duty.
The prayer of David: "take not your Holy Spirit from me" (Psalm 51:11) has to be understood in the context of the experience of David. He feared that he would suffer the same destiny as Saul (I Samuel 16:13-14).
God promised through the prophets Isaiah (44:3), Ezekiel (37:14; 39:29) and Joel (2:28) that He would pour (iz'zók) His Spirit upon (or put it in) all the house of Israel.
God send John the Baptist to prepare the way for Jesus. He preached "the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins" prophesying that Jesus would baptize them with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:4,8).
Jesus told his disciples that the Father would give the Holy Spirit to all who would ask Him. He said: "If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit 1 to them that ask Him?" (Luke 11:13).
This was an absolute innovation. Until this time only the High priest, prophets and Kings were anointed with the Holy Spirit. With this offer we are approaching the promise of Joel 2:28 "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh".
At the end of the earthly ministry of Jesus he promised that he himself would ask the Father in order that his disciples would receive the Holy Spirit. We read in John 14:16-17: "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."
At the evening of his resurrection Jesus breathed on his disciples and said: "receive ye the Holy Spirit" (John 20:22 without article in the Greek). In the meantime he told them that he would send the promise of the Father and instructed them to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until they would have been clothed with power from high (Luke 24:49) by the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8 with article in the Greek).
At Pentecost "all were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance and every man present in this occasion, "out of every nation under the heaven", "heard them speak in his own language" "the wonderful works of God" (Acts 2:1-6, 11).
Peter told the Jews that in their presence the Lord was fulfilling the prophesy of Joel regarding the last days (verses 16-17). They had slain Jesus, but God had raised him up from the dead and exalted him. Jesus receiving from the Father the promised Spirit has now poured him on them (verses 32-33).
Peter, being questioned by his hearers what they should do, answered: "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" 2 (verse 38).
With this event has begun the time in which all believers
would get the Holy Spirit.
What was necessary to get the Holy Spirit? In order to receive the Spirit was requested no prayer meeting but repentance and the baptism for the remission of sins.
Until the Grace of God hasn't been administrated (dispensed) fully by the Apostle Paul there has been a transitory period during which the Holy Spirit was guiding the Apostles into all truth (John 16:12-13; 14:26) and has been given to man in different ways.
The believers of Samaria did not receive the Holy Spirit after
baptism. It has been necessary that Peter and John came down from
Jerusalem and prayed over them that they might receive the Holy
Spirit, which was granted to them after they laid their hands on
them (Acts 8:12-17).
On the Gentiles fell the Holy Spirit without the ritual of baptism while they were listening the word Peter spoke to them (Acts 10:44; 11:15). The Jews noticed this with astonishment because they heard them speak with other tongues and magnify God. (10:45-46).
Without the gift of tongues the Jewish believers wouldn't have recognized it.
Here we have the practical demonstration of what Paul wrote to the believers of Corinth: "tongues are for a sign ... to them that believe not" (14:21-22). The Jews indeed didn't expect that God would give His Spirit also to the Gentiles (11:2, 15-17; 15:8).
God was introducing a new administration (dispensation) in which the Gentiles would have been integrated without distinction with the Jewish believers without the necessity to become Jewish proselytes. The nation Israel was to be set aside for a time as favorite nation.
The experience in the house of Cornelio prepared the Apostles to accept Paul, now converted, and the message Jesus intended to commit (entrust) to him directly (Galatians 1:11-12; 2:7).
Luke mentions still another experience in the city of Ephesus. The Apostle Paul met there some disciple of John the Baptist who didn't know anything about the existing of any Holy Spirit. After an explanation Paul baptized them and when Paul had laid his hands upon them the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 19:1-7).
During the actual administration of the grace of God there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles (Ga 3:28). Every sinner which repents and believes in the Lord Jesus (Acts 20:21-24) becomes a child of God and gets eternal life (John 1:12-13; 3:3, 5-7, 36; 5:24; Ga 3:26; Titus 3:3-6; 1 John 5:1).
The eternal life is the life of God (the father, the son and the Holy Spirit) in the believer (Rom. 6:23; 8: 9-11; I John 5:11-13; Rev. 3:20; Ga 5:25).
The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus and the Spirit of God are one and the same Spirit (Act 2:4, 17, 33; 5:3, 4, 9; 16:6-7).
It is not possible to be a child of God without having the Spirit of the Son of God abiding in oneself (Ga 4:6; Rom 8:9).
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of adoption (Rom 8:15).
1. Look note 2
2. The believer don't has to pray for something he already has received. Every true Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor 6:19).
But being the temple of the Holy Spirit is not equivalent with
living or walking according to the Spirit and being filled with
the Spirit. The believers of the Galatia were exhorted to walk in
(or according to) the Spirit (Gal 5:16, 25).
The saints in Corinth were all "baptized by one Spirit" and "temple of the Holy Spirit" but had a very blameable (reproachable) lifestyle (I Cor 12:13; 6:19; 3:3).
See also James 4:5.
The saints of Ephesus were exhorted to be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18).
We have to learn to remain in Christ, to remain filled with the Spirit (Acts 6:3, 5). Every believer experiences the filling with the Spirit several times in his life (Acts 2:4; 4:31).
Only a life full of the Holy Spirit glorifies God and gives full satisfaction (Ga 5:16, 18, 22-23; John 15:5, 8).
As the Holy Spirit is God, like the Father and the son, and as it is He who illuminates us, guides us, gives us power etc. the answer seems to be positively. Indeed many Christians pray to the Holy Spirit.
Until 381 after Christ the church didn't adore the Spirit
together with the Father and the Son.
The Apostle Paul teaches us:
to pray always in the Spirit (Eph 6:18) (this means with His help);
that we worship God in the spirit (literal: We are those who worship by the Spirit of God - Phil. 3:3);
that the Spirit helps our weakness, for we don't know what we should pray as it behoves.
Therefore the Spirit supplicates on our behalf with unutterable groanings (Rom 8:26-27) 3.
1. Who received the Holy Spirit during the household of the law?
2. What promise gave God for the people Israel for the last days?
3. What kind of baptism preannounced John the Baptist?
4. What promise made Jesus to his disciples at the beginning and what promise at the end of his ministry regarding the Holy Spirit?
5. What happened at Pentecost?
6. What was required from the Jews at Pentecost to get the Holy Spirit?
7. How got the Samaritans the Holy Spirit?
8. How got the first Gentiles the Holy Spirit?
9. Why were the Jews astonished that the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit like them?
10. Compare your conclusion with Mat 28:19-20. What do you deduct? Compare also Acts 11:1-3.
11. Why hasn't a Christian to pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
12. What difference exists between receiving the Holy Spirit, being baptized with the Holy Spirit and having the Holy Spirit and being filled with the Holy Spirit?
13. Do Christians pray to the Holy Spirit or adore Him?
1. There is no article in the Greek before
Spirit. This occurs for 52 times in the NT. There are who believe
that in this case we don't have to do with the person of the
Spirit but with its gifts. Indeed in Mt 7:11, the parallel
passage of Luke 11:13, we do not read of the gift of the Holy
Spirit, but "good thinks".
2. As we see from the context the following expressions underline only different aspects of the same event: "to be clothed (endued) with power from high" (Luke 24:49), to be baptized in or with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5), get the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
3. This has nothing to do with speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues are utterable sounds.