Scripture Queries and Answers: The Pouring Out of the Spirit

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Q. The Spirit is said to have been poured out on Cornelius and his house, i.e., the Gentiles, as well as on the believing Jews at Pentecost—why not now also?
A. Though the word be not used, we go farther and affirm the fact practically as to Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles. (Acts 2; 8, and 10.) The sense amounts to one common fact. Still, this is a confirmation of the truth, that the outpouring of the Holy Ghost is an original and primary gift to the saints; while each receives the Holy Ghost when he has believed, as regards his own particular portion in it. (Acts 19:22He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. (Acts 19:2).) The three preceding passages show that, on each distinct part, out of which the Church had to be formed, God put the seal of His Spirit, giving it a divine and independent title to relationship with Himself and to the common unity. But this once formed, and the Holy Ghost dwelling in the one assembly, there was no such formative and sealing power to be looked for, because the Holy Ghost was there, and was to abide there forever. It is an effort at recommencing what has already a responsible position before God, in virtue of having the Holy Ghost; and to look for His coming on the Church is to deny that He is there, and that we are responsible in this way. God may pardon and reply to ignorant expressions; but, deliberately used, it is incredulity. Acts 19. shows that the individuals partaking of it is a distinct and very important point. To doubt that the Church of God has the Holy Ghost is unbelief as to this point. To doubt whether Samaritans or Gentiles could receive it so as to have a share in the new privileges, was an unfounded doubt and one well worthy of God to resolve in grace, yet in the way of a common unity of the assemblage on earth. The desire that the Spirit of God may act mightily, is good—that He should be poured out again, may be pardoned, and blessing given, but it is a phrase of unbelief.