Is it necessary to ask other believers when they received the Holy Spirit, as bases for their acceptance into fellowship?

Is it necessary to ask other believers when they received the Holy Spirit, as bases for their acceptance into fellowship?

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@Terviks Great question :slight_smile: I think it is okay to challenge believers to walk in the Spirit through preaching and teaching, but I do not think it is helpful to make people say when they received the Spirit or to require Spirit filled living just to be part of the fellowship. Here are a few reasons why, in my opinion, this is not a good idea:

  • people may feel pressured to lie about having the Spirit just to fit in even if they have no idea what being Spirit filled means
  • this could alienate people who do not understand what it means to walk in the Spirit
  • how do you know who is really Spirit filled? Only God sees the heart. The best you could do is examine someone’s life for the fruit of the Spirit, but there is a danger there of legalism and hypocrisy.

I think it is fine to require someone to believe the fundamentals of Christianity and to talk with them about it prior to membership, but I don’t think it is wise to require them to list a date when they received the Spirit or pressure them on that issue. Some more threads on this topic below.

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5 posts were merged into an existing topic: Baptism of the Holy Spirit/Speaking in Tounges

@Terviks , apart from the points that @SeanO raised, I would also raise the point that, when we as a community of believers demand “proofs” from others – particularly miraculous proofs – we’re calling on God to jump through hoops to fit expectations that we have of Him.

See, miraculous gifts are from God – not from us. We’re not guaranteed ANY spiritual gift beyond the blessed relationship we enjoy with Him through Christ. We’re not guaranteed ANY victory in life beyond our victory over sin through Christ. We’re not even guaranteed the presence of any other believer to keep us company in our walk with Christ. The only guarantee that we have is that, whatever situation we find ourselves in, God is in that situation with us, and He will do what is right in HIS eyes, not in ours.

Everything God gives us beyond His mere presence – be they healing or prosperity or prophecy or tongues – are all BONUS. They’re temporary. A sick person healed may eventually get sick again. The 5000 that Jesus fed got hungry again. Lazarus died again. Tongues is no different. So when we use these things as a proof of God’s presence in someone else’s life, we’re chasing the meat that perishes – something that Jesus condemned in John 6:27, and for good reason. Such signs MAY serve as evidence of God’s favor, but if even “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14), we’d be fools of the highest order to trust any “sign” as evidence that someone was a Christian.

Remember, the fruit of the Spirit is not signs and wonders. Rather, the fruit of the Spirit is all goodness, righteousness, and truth.

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Excellent answer. God bless you

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Thank you. The church in Nigeria is moving this direction of legalism so fast. I was wondering why?

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