1. Baptism in the Spirit Luke 3:15-18; Acts 2:1-12 p. 947; 1004
Baptism in the Spirit Holy Spirit is central to living the Christian life Need to understand Spirit’s work well Satan sows doubt, division and confusion He is successful if there is ignorance about teachings of Scripture Proceed carefully - laying a solid scriptural foundation Today: Explore what the Bible says; Look at history of different interpretations and understandings How we interpret our experiences
1. What the Bible says Only 7 verses: John the Baptist prophesies: Matthew 3:11 – “he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” Mark 1:8 – “he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” Luke 3:16 – “he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” John 1:33 – “he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” Jesus promises: Acts 1:5 – “you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” Acts 11:16 – [Peter remembers Jesus’ promise after Cornelius] Simply record prophecy or promise of the Holy Spirit.
1. What the Bible says... Coming of the Spirit – How Jesus works in the world. John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7 Don’t tell us what Baptism in the Spirit is. One more verse: 1 Corinthians 12:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Literally: “For in one Spirit we were all baptised into one body,..., and we all were given to drink of the one Spirit.
1. What the Bible says... Tells us what baptism in the Spirit is: It is how we become part of the Body of Christ. “drinking of the Spirit” – Ties in to OT idea of “thirsting” after God (e.g. Ps 42:2, 63:1) Ties back to Jesus words (e.g. John 4:13-14)
1. What the Bible says... Seven verses talk of “baptism in the Spirit” Six relate to promise that Jesus would baptize us in the Spirit One verse tells us what it is and what it does: 1. Miraculous event: makes believers part of the body of Christ 2. Gives access to the living water of the Holy Spirit Worth contemplating – let living water flow into our souls Why so much confusion?
2. History, Language & Experience Pentecost: Matthew & Luke record “baptism with Spirit and fire” Happened on the day of Pentecost (Ac 2:1-4) Says “filled” not “baptized”, but connects with word “fire” Accepted as Fulfillment of John’s prophecy & Jesus’ promise Pouring out of Spirit at Pentecost – first baptism in the Spirit Opened up a number of alternative understandings.
2. History, Language & Experience... CESSATIONISTS Fire never occurred again – once for all experience Baptism in the Spirit a quiet and unseen act of God. Signs and wonders disappeared for 1500 years Like to quote 1 Cor 134:8-12 Better: Ceasing of these things at full coming of Kingdom (v 10)
2. History, Language & Experience... PENTECOSTALISM & REVIVALS Revivals from 1740’s and Pentecostals for past 100 years Public outpourings of the Spirit part of the work of God Separate Baptism by/of and in/with the Spirit Built on teachings of Pietists and Holiness Movement. Call later sanctifying/equipping work Spirit “Second blessing” An attempt to understand, label, legitimize real experiences
2. History, Language & Experience... What do I think? Careful with language – Both sides are less far apart Cessationists use excesses & phonies to prove every experience is suspect Throwing the baby out with the bathwater Not every experience of the Holy Spirit is fake. Charismatics/Pentecostals overstate their case. Insist on the “sign” of speaking in tongues. Not Biblically accurate – limits the Spirit. Every believer is baptized in the Spirit when they believe.
3. Experience and Scripture All agree about Baptism in Spirit from pt 1 above. Particular experiences and events have led to the appropriation of some of the Language. 1. It is clear in Scripture what Baptism in the Spirit is. 2. Ongoing experiences of the Spirit also occur.
3. Experience and Scripture... We should: Hold firm to the clear teaching of Scripture Be open to the strange & uncontrolled ways God works. An Example: Paul in Ephesus (Acts 19:11-12) God moved in miraculous ways in Paul’s Ephesian ministry This did not happen with Paul elsewhere These Elders went beyond what Scripture mandated Created unreasonable and unbiblical expectations
Living it... This week: Lay hold of Baptism in the Spirit (esp. 1 Cor 12:13) Refresh your souls If you’ve had experiences of the Spirit – thank God, rejoice Had “manifestations” of the Spirit that were upsetting scary – Take them to the Lord. Separate out what was human and what was of the Spirit. Seek God’s peace. Feel free to contact me for a chat.
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