Acts 8:9-17 (NLT)
A man named Simon had been a sorcerer there for many years, amazing the people of Samaria and claiming to be someone great. 10 Everyone, from the least to the greatest, often spoke of him as “the Great One—the Power of God.” 11 They listened closely to him because for a long time he had astounded them with his magic. 12 But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself believed and was baptized. He began following Philip wherever he went, and he was amazed by the signs and great miracles Philip performed. 14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. 15 As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. 16 The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Here in v15-17, we see the Pentecostal distinction. The difference between being saved and being filled with the Spirit. It’s important to understand this distinction as; Spirit-Filled or Pentecostals or Charismatics Christians (or whatever they may be called) make up a huge number of the Christian population. In fact, in second and third world countries, they are the fastest growing segment of Christianity. Here we see folk in v12 being saved – coming to faith in Christ, then in v16 we see Peter laying hands upon those new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. V15 says they were saved but the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon them. Key word is ‘come upon’. This is likened unto the Day of Pentecost when the Spirit come upon those believers in the upper room and is referred to as the difference between the Spirit upon and Spirit within. To be born again, all believers has the Spirit within, but there is a secondary experience of the Spirit coming upon a believer. This is what we see in these verses and to me, who has had the privilege and honor of experiencing both, is why I take Joy in the Spirit-Filled Life.