In Acts 2, we read about the early church as followers of Jesus, and Peter’s first sermon that many hear and believe. The process here of these early believers (Jews) began with repenting of their sins. (See Acts 2:38) Following this they were baptized, received the remission of sins, and then received the Spirit as new believers in Christ. In Acts 8 we also read about the process of the Samaritans coming into the early church when the Jews in Jerusalem are scattered to other places due to persecution. With Simon, the sorcerer, we see a process of believing the gospel, then being baptized, and then receiving the Spirit some time later by the laying on of the apostles’ hands. (See Acts 8:18) Finally, in Acts 10, we read about Gentiles listening to Peter once again, and the gospel causes them to believe while hearing the words about Jesus. Immediately after they believe, they receive the Spirit upon them, and following this they are baptized. (See Acts 10:44-48) This process of believing and being baptized is the order for today and for us as believers in the 21st century.
The disciples, as we read when we look at the stories in Acts and the scriptures of the New Testament, were filled with the Spirit. They also spoke in the power of the Spirit. The indwelling of the Spirit is a reality for all believers, not just the disciples of the early church. The Spirit actually dwells in us, rather than upon us. This means that within each of us, when we believe the gospel, the Holy Spirit is already dwelling as a result of our faith in the Lord. He is not upon us sporadically, but always. He comes into each believer to seal us, baptize us, and fill us. In fact, He has a three-fold ministry for, in, and through the believer. First, He seals us for security. This means that we are sealed unto the final day of redemption and restoration. Secondly, He also is the earliest foretaste of eternal blessings for satisfaction that we will have before we are with Jesus eternally. Thirdly, He anoints us for His service in this life. Many believers do not realize the untapped power they have in them with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He is the greatest unused power in the world! The Holy Spirit's work is also essential in regard to the study of the Scriptures. It is He who inspires, reveals, and illuminates us and gives us insight and wisdom as we read the Word of God. Let us remember our need for repentance, baptism, and the unmerited gift of the Holy Spirit in our own lives as we read this passage from Revelation 3:19a-22: “Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”