The Laying On Of Hands Are You Born Again In The Spirit?

One of the many doctrines of the Christian faith that is often ignored or forgotten is the “Laying on of Hands”

“Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. 14But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 15And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.” Matthew 19:13

In Matthew 19:13 we read Jesus had brought to Him children “that He should put His hands upon them, and pray…” and this is again reinforced in the following verse were it says “And He laid His hands on them…”. As the Lord never did anything meaninglessly or without having a purpose, we know there must be something spiritual about His actions.

“And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, 23And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.” Mark 5:22

In Mark 5:22-23, we read that Jairus asked the Lord to lay His hands on his daughter that she might be healed and live. From this, we see that the laying on of hands is a part of healing.

This is further reinforced in the following verse,

“But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.” Mark 6:4

In Mark chap. 8, we read of a blind man who also received his sight by the touch of Christ’s hands.

“And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. 24And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. 25After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.” Mark 8:23

This ability to heal through the laying on of hands is not limited to Christ alone as we read in the following verses.

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Mark 16:15-18

From Mark 16:15-18 we know that Jesus sent out some to preach the faith and of those that believe and are baptized will shall be saved, but we also learn that signs would follow those who believe including the ability to lay hands on the sick and heal them.

From the following verses from Luke we also learn that the laying on of hands can achieve much more than physical healing, it can also cast out demons.

“Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.” Luke 4:40

We also know from the scriptures that the laying on of hands was part of how the apostles appointed others over the business of the Church so that the apostles could dedicate more time to prayer and the ministry of the Word.

“Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 7And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Acts 6:3

As a result, the fruit was the Word increased and the number of disciples grow. This was not limited solely to the appointment of Deacons as in the previous scriptures, in the following we also read how the apostles similarly appointed Barnabus and Saul (Paul) to minister the Word and then sent them out.

“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” Acts 13:2

So far the scriptures prove that through the laying on of hands, those that believe the teachings of those whom Christ sent out have the ability to heal the sick, cast out demons to appoint others in positions within the Church and to go out and minister the Word.

However, if these people have such power and authority then when they do these things then these are the works of the man so we know there must be something more. Perhaps not in the case of the case of the original apostles and disciples as these acted directly under Christ’s personal authority and instruction but what about after they departed from their carnal lives?

On the Day of Pentecost, those gathered in the upper room of Mark’s mother’s house received the indwelling of the Hoy Spirit just as the Lord had said when He promised to send them a helper and comforter. The same occurred later in the household of Cornelius to show the Lord held no partiality between Jew or Gentile but what about after this, how do the scriptures describe a person receives the Holy Spirit.

“Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.” Acts 8:17

In Acts, we read how the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of hands of the apostles. In these next verses, we also learn how it was not only the apostles themselves that could do this but also Ananius, one of the Lord’s disciples who was present at Pentecost.

“And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.” Acts 9:17-18

After this, Saul, who was to become Paul was later sent out in authority as we previously read in Acts 13:2 and laid his hands on others and they too received the Spirit of God.

“And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7And all the men were about twelve.” Acts 19:6

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:6

This however was not just for anyone to do but those who had received the authority as did Paul when he was sent out by the apostles as they had been sent out by Christ Himself. The passing on of the Holy Spirit was part of te duties of the anointed “Presbytery”, of which Paul was a part, as we read in 1 Timothy 4:14

“Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” 1 Timothy 4:14

This is then not a work of men, but rather the work of the Holy Spirit dwelling within the man who is subject to Christ as his Head. The Holy Spirit entered into those at Pentecost and Cornelius’ home. These then passed the Holy Spirit onto others and so the Church grew. Of these, some were chosen and had hands laid on them appointing them as deacons to serve the Church and others as ministers of the Word who would lay hands on others who believed and further pass on the Holy Spirit.

May I leave you with a few scriptures to consider,

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” Hebrews 6:1

“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 2Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.” 1 Corinthians 11:1

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15

This poses the question, if we claim we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, or in other words, "Born again", then unless we received the Spirit of God, such as on Pentecost, having signs like a tongue of fire appear on our heads, then who laid hands on us.

Did they receive the Holy Spirit from someone who can trace an unbroken line back to the apostolic era, if not then on what scriptures do we place our faith to justify our claim?

If we can't find any, then perhaps we should find a Church that conforms to the scriptures and have the presbytery lay their hands upon us.

Just as a footnote, if anyone believes this is not how the Holy Spirit inspired the apostolic Church interpretation of the Word of God, then please do a study on their writings. If you do you will consistently find examples such as the following by Irenaeus, a student of Polycarp who was appointed Bishop of Smyna by the apostles and was himself a student of John.

"As, therefore, the apostle had the power to give them strong meat — for those upon whom the apostles laid hands received the Holy Spirit, who is the food of life." Against heresies, Irenaeus

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License