Scripture provides that the Holy Spirit is imparted to every believer. (John 16:7; Acts 1:5,8; 2:1-4; 10:44-48) In scripture there were people who came to faith, but had no knowledge of the Holy Spirit. In this situation the Apostles prayed placing their hands on them for an impartation of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17; 19:1-6) The Catholic church has a Sacrament of Confirmation given generally to adolescents. The rite of Confirmation is anointing the forehead with chrism, together with the laying on of the minister’s hands and the words, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” The recipient receives the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2-3). On occasion one may receive one or more of the charismatic gifts of the Spirit (1Corinthians 12:7-11).
Protestants generally recognize two Sacraments, Baptism and Communion, as instituted by Yeshua, (Jesus Hebrew name). (Matt. 3:13-15; 26:26-28) A Sacrament is a Christian rite that is believed to have been ordained by Christ and that is held to be a means of divine grace or to be a sign or symbol of a spiritual reality. Many things might be honorable or beneficial in the congregation, but not arising to the scriptural level of a Sacrament. For example, baby dedications are sometimes performed as a means of blessing, commitment and affirmation of the baby, parents and family. Various traditions such as lighting an Advent candle or blessing and prayers can also be appropriate.
Given the critical nature of the indwelling Holy Spirit as the essential source of power in the Believers life, it is surprising that most protestant churches have so little acknowledgment thereof. Some churches do not embrace the Charismatic gifts and their judge is Yeshua, alone. Spiritual gifts exceed the Charismatic gifts as Isaiah prophesied, “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears…” (Isaiah 11:2-3) I for one can speak of the dangers of “spiritual infanticide”, which is what I call the treatment given to many young Believers who like those in the first century heard nothing about the Holy Spirit.
I know there are churches that promote a healthy teaching, prayer and confirmation of the Spirit’s gifting. However, there are many who come to faith in Yeshua, apart from these organizations and I wonder how many fall away, either while sitting in a church audience or as a by product of spiritual drought or evil that exists in society and elsewhere. Life in Yeshua is interrelated to life in the Spirit. “Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.” (1 Cor. 12:3-4)
A final vice is where men take on themselves what only the Spirit can do. For example baptizing infants or confirming the Spirit upon those who have no expression of personal faith in Yeshua. Some men seek to raise themselves up by delivering communion, when Yeshua said to, “take” rather than receive from a priest. Men insert themselves as priest between man and God, when prayer and forgiveness is granted directly from the Father to each Believer through our only intermediary and High Priest Yeshua Messiah. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6) Lord, Yeshua, keep us from turning to the right or left and fill us with your anointing of Holy Spirit.