Holy Spirit - Spiritual Gifts

How are we born again? Are we filled with the Holy Spirit when we become born again? If I repeat a prayer after the minister, does that mean that I am born again?

How are we born again? Are we filled with the Holy Spirit when we become born again? If I repeat a prayer after the minister, does that mean that I am born again?

Answered on 07/19/06:
First of all, just repeating a prayer after the minister doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re born again. But if your heart has moved you to repeat that prayer and that Minister has shared the gospel with you and you understood that Jesus is Lord, that He died for your sins and rose from the dead. If you understood that He rose from the dead, that He died for your sins and you receive Him as your Lord, then you are born again that instant. Yes, by praying the prayer with the minister, you can get born again. But again that’s if you believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead.

You don’t need to pray with a minister to get born again. God doesn’t require that you pray with anybody to be born again. All that He requires is Romans 10:9, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. That’s what it means to be born again. When you receive Jesus as your Lord and savior, God supernaturally takes the old heart out of you and gives you a brand new heart.

And are you filled with the Holy Spirit when you get born again? Yes, The Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you when you are born again. But there’s a difference between when the Holy Spirit coming to live inside of you and you being baptized in the Holy Spirit. That’s a different experience after you get born again. It doesn’t save you, but what saves you is making Jesus Christ the Lord of your life. And for more information on being baptized in the Holy Spirit, you can go to our website at www.changinglives.org or you can call our prayer line at 847-645-9700 and we’ll be happy to talk to you more about being baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit - Spiritual Gifts

Some churches say that in order to know that you have the Holy Spirit, you have to prove it in certain ways – like speaking in tongues or dancing. What do you think about that?

The proof of being filled with the Holy Spirit is not speaking in tongues. The proof of the Holy Spirit is the power of God in our lives. Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”

Now tongues is one of the gifts that is contained in the Holy Spirit and that gift is available to anyone who desires it and asks God for it. But the two best evidences of the Holy Spirit in someone’s life is that there’s power in their life to live for God and that there’s love in their life for others.

If someone says, “I’m filled with the Holy Spirit, but I hate that brother over there,” that sure proves that he can’t be filled with the Holy Spirit. If you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, you’re going to treat others right. If you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, you’re going to be kind. If you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, you’re going to walk in the fruit of the Spirit. What is the fruit of the Spirit? It is found in Galatians 5:22-23, “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law”.

Having said that, tongues is definitely a gift that God wants to give us, but it’s not something we need to speak in to prove that we have the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to dance either. Tongues is a precious gift. It’s a private prayer language between you and the Lord. It’s something that God wants to give you if you’re open to that.

This is way I look at it: When my kids come down on Christmas and they go to that Christmas tree where there are 15 presents for each of them, they want every one. Why? Because they love getting gifts from their Daddy. That needs to be our attitude with God. If He’s provided and offered gifts to us, then we should take advantage of receiving every gift we possibly can receive from Him and not reject them or push them off on someone else. Imagine my kids saying, “Thanks, Dad, for thinking of me, but I don’t really want your gifts.” In the same way, we should be thankful and receptive to all of God’s gifts.

Holy Spirit - Spiritual Gifts

I’ve been reading Acts 2 where the Holy Spirit came upon Peter and the first church at Pentecost. It says that when that happened they all began to speak in different languages. How does that relate to how I hear people speaking in tongues now? In terms of when you are speaking in tongues, the Bible also says that there is supposed to be someone that is there to interpret what you’re saying—isn’t that right?

Regarding the book of Acts, it didn’t say that they were all speaking in different languages. It said they were all speaking in tongues and everybody that was there heard them speaking in their own language. In other words, there were Medes and Persians and Cretans and it talks about several different nationalities that were gathered together. And while the disciples were speaking in tongues, each of the international people that were gathered there, in the book of Acts chapter 2, heard the ones that were speaking in tongues. The ones who were there hearing them were hearing them in their own language.

So we really don’t have evidence that the people who were speaking in tongues were actually speaking those different languages. We have evidence that the people who were listening, each of them heard them in their own language. So the logical conclusion to be made from that Scripture is that they were speaking in tongues, just like we speak in tongues today. There’s no way that one of the disciples was speaking in French and one of the disciples was speaking in Persian and one of the disciples was speaking in Medes, because they were all speaking in tongues. But yet each individual from a different country was hearing the tongues interpreted into their own language.

So that’s what happened in the book of Acts regarding speaking in tongues and people hearing it in their own language. And that’s happened throughout history where people have spoken in tongues and listeners heard in their own language. I’ve done that. I’ve been in church and I’ve spoken in tongues and people that spoke Spanish actually heard me speaking in Spanish and told me exactly what they heard. Now I don’t speak Spanish, but I was speaking in tongues and they were hearing me in their own language. God gave them the interpretation in their own language.

There are two types of tongues mentioned in scripture. There’s tongues in 1 Corinthians 14, where we speak in tongues to speak mysteries to God and no one understands. In our spirit we’re speaking mysteries to God and God understands us. That’s 1 Corinthians 14. That’s our personal prayer language called the gift of tongues.

Then there is the public gift of tongues, when somebody speaks in tongues in a church setting. In a meeting setting, when you do speak in tongues, there should absolutely be an interpretation. Either the person speaking in tongues should interpret what it is that they’re speaking, somebody else should interpret what it is they’re speaking, or the people that are listening will hear an interpretation, just like in Acts 2. In Acts 2, the people that were there heard them and heard the interpretation and were able to receive that interpretation.

So it’s important to make the distinction between two different types of tongues. There’s the tongues where we edify ourselves and build ourselves up with by speaking our prayer language to God, 1 Corinthians 14; and then there’s the tongues with interpretations, 1 Corinthians 12. Both of them have a different application. One is to build ourselves up. And one is to build up the other members or the other people in the meeting or in the church service.

Holy Spirit - Spiritual Gifts

What is your position on speaking in tongues? Are spiritual gifts still available and still active now, or was it just the early church that operated in those gifts? What do you teach in your church?

Spiritual gifts are something that has been controversial in the body of Christ and it shouldn’t be because gifts from God are precious. They’re gifts that we should value and appreciate. We shouldn’t judge people who use those gifts nor should we judge people who don’t understand or don’t have enough knowledge concerning that gift and they feel like it’s not for them.

You know, it is a gift. I don’t want to turn down any gift in the Bible. There’s the gift of salvation, the most important gift. There’s the gift of wisdom. I don’t want to reject that gift. There’s the gift of the word of knowledge and the gifts of prophecy, the gifts of healing and miracles. I want all of those gifts available to me because I need those at different times in my life. I need a miracle sometimes. I need a healing sometimes. I need a word of wisdom or a word of knowledge sometimes; a piece of information that I could not have conjured up or gathered myself but something that God releases by His power, and by His Holy Spirit and by His Word.

So I receive and welcome all of the gifts, including tongues and interpretation of tongues. But it’s not something that God ever gave us to divide the body of Christ. It’s something that God gave us to empower us to have a supernatural prayer language, according to Acts 2, 1 Corinthians 14, 1 Corinthians 12.

In Mark 16 it says, “These signs will follow those who believe, in My name they’ll cast out devils and they will speak in new tongues.” Well, as soon as devils cease then probably tongues will cease, too. But as long as there are devils in this earth, we’re going to probably need tongues, too. We’re going to need the power of God to cast out devils and we’re going to need tongues.

Holy Spirit - Spiritual Gifts

How does a person start speaking in tongues? I was in church last week and a lady asked me if she could pray for me. She told me to just start babbling and ask God to give me the spirit.

That’s clearly not what God intends. Luke chapter 11, Acts chapter 2 and Mark chapter 16 say if you ask God for the Holy Spirit, He will give you the Holy Spirit.

So the first thing that I would do is I would humbly ask Him. Say, “Lord, fill me with your Holy Spirit.” God’s going to give you a new power and a new anointing that will enable you to not just speak in tongues, but enable you to witness and enable you to love like you’ve never been able to love before. The number one evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is walking in love.

I want you to go to the Life Solutions section of our website. There are some great Scriptures on the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit so you’ll be able to look those up and they will really help you. That’s what I would encourage you to do. Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit and don’t worry about anything else.

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