lørdag 18. juni 2016

Why did he not do it himself?

I am asking a question to which I cannot find a satisfactory answer. It's about Philip and his diaconal work in Samaria. He did almost everything the apostles did, but with one exception - He did not minister the Holy Spirit to the new converts in the same way as they did:
When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:14-17
These verses have down through the centuries been the cause of much debate - and they have given rise to several "doctrines" because a united church has not managed to reach agreement.

The simple answer to why Philip did not minister the gift of the Holy Spirit himself, is maybe because
 he did not believe that he could do it. Maybe he simply lacked the experience about how to do it. When it comes to the gift of healing given by the Spirit, it is the only gift that is described in plural on Paul's list in 1 Corinthians 12:9. Over the years I have met many who have used the gifts of healing. 

Diversity has been evident through the fact that some see more results when praying for one kind of illness, and then they are likely to pray more easily for people with this kind of disorder. They use the gift with the "measure of faith" they have received – cf. Romans 12:6.

Since Luke emphasizes the kinds of healings Philip performed, it tells me that he used the gifts in accordance with his measure of faith - and that is the reason why Peter and John came from Jerusalem to support the ministry so that it should not be limited by Philip's measure of faith. I hope that was the reason, and I will elaborate on why I hope that the reason was that Philip had reached his measure of faith tomorrow. 

'Manna' for today:
I do not want that my measure of faith shall limit what the Holy Spirit can do through me!

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