A Guide to Christian Theology - Lesson 24
In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the Holy Spirit and the concept of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. You will explore different perspectives on when and how the Holy Spirit works in the lives of believers. While there may be varying interpretations and terminology among Christian traditions, the key points of agreement are the Holy Spirit's incorporation and indwelling at conversion and the subsequent empowering work of the Holy Spirit, which can be emotional and may happen multiple times in a believer's life. This lesson provides insights into the biblical basis for these beliefs and encourages a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit's role in the Christian faith.
A. Transition to the Topic of the Holy Spirit
B. Mention of Deity and Personhood of the Holy Spirit
C. Discussion of Augustinian Heritage and the Personhood of the Spirit
D. Focus on Acts 1:8 and the Work of the Holy Spirit
II. Points of Agreement
A. Conversation with Glenn Menzies and Points of Agreement
B. Incorporation and Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
C. Empowerment of the Holy Spirit After Conversion
III. Exploration of Key Passages
A. Ezekiel 36:22-27 - Future Promise of the Holy Spirit
B. Matthew 3:11 - John the Baptist's Prophecy
C. Acts 1:4-8 - Jesus' Command and Promise of the Holy Spirit
D. Acts 2 - Pentecost and the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
E. Acts 2:37-43 - Peter's Call to Repentance and the Gift of the Holy Spirit
F. Acts 4 - Prayer, Filling of the Holy Spirit, and Bold Witness
IV. Summary of Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit
A. Baptism as a Conversion Experience
B. Subsequent Empowerment and Filling of the Holy Spirit
1. Differing Terminology and Perspectives
2. Emotional Flavor of Worship Services
3. Role and Meaning of Tongues
- In this lesson, explore the significance of systematic theology, blending academic insight with personal devotion. Learn to interpret biblical texts, understand how theology shapes beliefs, and fortify your faith against deception. This study fosters personal, biblical, and responsible theological growth, vital for spiritual development and discipleship.
- Learn diverse ways to tackle theological questions, focusing on Holy Spirit baptism. Understand deductive, inductive, and retro-abductive methods. Acts 17:11 and Acts 15 show how community perspectives contribute to nuanced theological discussions, promoting unity amidst differing viewpoints.
- This lesson provides insights into theological certainty levels, categorizing beliefs into "die for," "divide for," "debate for," and "decide for," highlighting essential doctrines, divisive issues, passionate debates, and less crucial matters, while underscoring the significance of understanding diverse perspectives and theological terms across different Christian tribes.
- Explore general revelation through creation and conscience (Psalm 19, Romans 1). Responding leads to God, though not salvation alone. Special revelation possible. Diverse salvation views, favoring knowing Jesus. Seared consciences don't always void salvation.
- Gain deep understanding of special revelation: history, divine acts, and communication revealing God's character and redemptive plan via Messiah. Lesson highlights Bible's key role, conveying God's nature, guidance, and transformative power, emphasizing ongoing divine-human communication.
- This lesson delves into the concept of divine inspiration in Scripture, citing 2 Timothy 3:15-16 and 2 Peter 1:16-21. It explains "God-breathed" as a term highlighting God's creative influence on words, rejecting mere concepts or dictation. Inspiration involves human authors, their personalities, and styles, conveying God's message to the entire church.
- In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of God, including their definitions, biblical support, and implications and applications.
- In this lesson you will gain insight into the Bible's clarity, sufficiency, and authority, and the Canon.
- In this lesson, you'll grasp a deep understanding of God's character. His foremost quality is compassion, like a mother's love. He's gracious, patient, loving, faithful, and forgiving, extending favor even to the undeserving. Yet, He's just, not sparing the persistently rebellious. This lesson dispels misconceptions, urging contemplation of God's profound blend of love and justice.
- This lesson delves into holiness via Isaiah 6, emphasizing dedication over separation from sin. It challenges misconceptions and calls for church reform.
- This lesson delves into the fundamental characteristics of God, particularly the Trinity, emphasizing God's essential relational nature within Himself and its biblical implications, while also addressing theological controversies and highlighting the complexity of the Trinity.
- This lesson explores different approaches to knowing God, inspired by Thomas Aquinas, discusses the doctrine of immutability, and highlights how God can change in his attitude and actions based on biblical evidence, emphasizing the value of in-depth Bible study and open dialogue in understanding God's nature.
- This lesson covers key theological concepts: sovereignty, election, and free will. It explores differences between Calvinist and Wesleyan-Arminian views on God's sovereignty, impacting God's plan and human responsibility. Emphasis on defining terms to prevent disputes. Speaker is a "Calminian," blending Calvinism and Arminianism for a balanced perspective. Valuable insights into theological complexities and scripture interpretation.
- Exploring various theological views and problematic issues surrounding the concept of providence, we will gain a comprehensive understanding of the role of prayer in providence, as well as the compatibility of God's sovereignty and human responsibility.
- This lesson explores Jesus' dual nature, divine and human, delving into emotions, knowledge, sin, and his role as the Second Adam, offering theological insights.
- Learn about Jesus' life and mission, challenging traditional beliefs like the virgin birth. Explore his spiritual journey, resurrection, and more, fostering critical thinking and alternative perspectives.
- This lesson provides a comprehensive examination of atonement, its various dimensions, and the theological concepts surrounding it.
- Learn about the Holy Spirit, baptism, and its role in Christian faith. Understand diverse perspectives on its workings in believers' lives, emphasizing its incorporation at conversion and empowering influence, supported by biblical insights.
- Gain insight into the relationship between spirit baptism and conversion, the various terms used in Scripture, and the importance of ongoing fillings with the Holy Spirit for special ministry tasks, character, and as a command for all believers.
- This lesson explores the role of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. It challenges traditional definitions, proposing that any ability empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in ministry is a spiritual gift. The primary gift is the Holy Spirit himself.
- Learn about the theological debate on spiritual gifts like prophecy and miracles. Explore four perspectives: cessationism, continuationism, functional cessationism, and word of faith. The instructor, a continuationist, emphasizes discernment and scripture while promoting respectful dialogue among believers with differing views.
- This lesson explores the Bible's view of humanity, emphasizing humans as God's unique creation, made from dust and breath, in His image. It delves into human origins, our role as covenant partners, and the interaction between spirit and body, supported by biblical passages, offering a holistic perspective on being human in God's eyes.
- This lesson redefines humans as image-bearers of God, emphasizing the role of reflecting divine attributes in all work, gender equality, and growth in Christ-likeness. It promotes dignity for all, with potential for deeper reflection as faith matures.
- In this lesson you will explore the origin of sin, rejecting dualism in favor of a Christian perspective where sin arises from the choices of morally responsible creatures. The lesson introduces the idea of a pre-creation rebellion by Satan, emphasizing that humans are called to engage in spiritual warfare by doing good and promoting Shalom in the world.
- You will gain knowledge and insight into the nature, marks, purpose, structure, and sacraments of the Church and learn about the different views and definitions used to define it.
- This lecture discusses the leadership offices of a church, including eldership, deacons, and church members, and how they function according to biblical principles of polity, which prioritize following what the Bible prescribes, closely following what it describes, and using wisdom and being Spirit-led in matters it is silent about, all with the aim of effectively sharing the Gospel and achieving unity and focus.
- In this lesson, you will explore baptism's significance, modes, and theological perspectives, and learn its role in church membership, unity, discipleship, and spiritual growth.
- This lesson provides an overview of the historical, biblical, and theological aspects of Communion, including practical considerations for its practice.
- You will gain a good understanding of death and its theological implications, including the biblical view of death, consequences of death, and resurrection and the afterlife. The lesson covers the definition of death, cultural views, and the portrayal of death in the Old and New Testaments. You will also learn about the physical and spiritual consequences of death, as well as the Bible's teachings on resurrection and the afterlife.
- From this lesson, you gain insight into the biblical concept of God's Kingdom, its significance in Christian theology, and its impact on eschatology, social justice, and the Church's role.
- In this lesson, you gain insight into eschatology, examine biblical perspectives, explore key events like the Rapture, Tribulation, Millennium, and Final Judgment, and learn the significance of eschatology for today's believers.
- By studying the eternal state, you gain insights into the new heaven and earth, resurrection, judgment, and eternal life, deepening your understanding of Christian hope and assurance.
- Through this lesson, you gain insight into the crucial role of church leaders, their essential qualities, and the challenges they face, while discovering the importance of support and encouragement for their growth and effectiveness in ministry.
- In this lesson, you gain an understanding of the nature of Scripture and learn to interpret the Bible within its historical, literary, and canonical contexts while addressing challenges in biblical interpretation.
- This lesson delves into the structure and authority of a church, examining different leadership models and emphasizing the overarching role of scripture as the final authority, while also highlighting the need for congregational involvement in decision-making processes and the unique nature of the apostles in early church leadership.
- Learn Dr. Breshears' local church leadership principles: focus on equipping, inspiring, empowering, unifying, exemplifying, caring for, overseeing, and shepherding members. Rooted in biblical teachings, emphasizes servant leadership. The lesson discusses congregational decision-making, women in church leadership roles with respect for differing views.
- Learn about church leadership principles, roles of elders and deacons, active membership, mutual commitment, gift utilization, and clear processes in this comprehensive lesson.
- This lesson explores sacraments, focusing on baptism and diverse theological views. Baptism signifies a profound commitment to Christ within a believer community, emphasizing understanding and promptness post-conversion.
- In this lesson, you'll grasp the essence of baptism, its questions, and debates. Discover belief's role, its confession, and the link to repentance and faith. Explore diverse views on baptism performers, methods, and locations. Gain insights and wisdom for informed baptism decisions in your faith community.
- From this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of Communion, also known as the Lord's Supper or Eucharist. It will provide you with insights into the controversy surrounding its terminology and the theological background of Communion, primarily focusing on 1 Corinthians Chapters 10 and 11. You will learn about various theological perspectives on the real presence of Christ in the Communion elements and explore different viewpoints on the frequency, leadership, eligibility, and practical aspects of Communion. Overall, this lesson will equip you with the knowledge to better understand and participate in the Communion meal.
- This lesson delves into two ends: individual death and the end of the age. It explores human death, material and immaterial aspects (Ecclesiastes 12:7, Genesis 3), fear, loss of autonomy, cremation, death determination, rewards, and urges preparation to meet Jesus, facing the undeniable reality of death.
- Learn about the Kingdom of God, its aspects, Christ's return interpretations, and key concepts like inaugurated, Messianic, and millennium kingdoms. Emphasizing humility and mission in theological debates, it prepares you for insightful discussions on Christ's return and tribulation.
- Learn about Christian views on heaven and hell. Hell is punishment for those who reject Jesus; heaven is eternal bliss with Him on a renewed Earth. Explore differing views respectfully.
Understand the core topics of systematic theology, from what we know about God to the future state of humankind. Special emphasis is given to such topics as Christ, salvation, the church, and the future.
A Guide to Christian Theology
Dr. Gerry Breshears
So we're ready for a new topic. So this topic is the Holy Spirit. So we've done God in Trinity. We didn't do one specifically on my father but on Jesus, the God incarnate. Now, the Holy Spirit who's poured out on us and on the church. And there's a whole bunch of stuff that I'm going to skip here, that is the deity spirit and the personhood of the spirit. Those are really important topics, much going on. But this is a short course in theology. You can sign up for my full course in theology at Western Seminary and get all the rest of it there. All right, but we'll assume the person of God or the person of the Holy Spirit, we'll assume the deity of the Holy Spirit, those are both difficult. In the Trinity, Augustine talked about his psychological analogies. He talked about the lover and the loved, which is Father and Son. And love between them is the Holy Spirit.
And in his psychology analogies, he actually diminished the personhood of the spirit. And what I find is in a lot of Augustinian heritage is the Holy Spirit is actually diminished personhood. So to pick on a really good book, the Delighting in the Trinity Book, he follows Augustine in his thing and he ends up in my judgment diminishing the personhood of the spirit and making him the one who makes Jesus visible kind of thing, instead of the empowering presence in the life of the believer. Now, it's not a bad book at all, but I think this is a part of the Augustinian heritage is to downplay slightly the equal personhood of the spirit. And I want to bring that up to full, equal personhood. So we're not going to do a lot on that. What I do want to talk about is the phrase I copied here from Acts 1:8, "So the Spirit of God came in power."
And I want to talk about the work of the Holy Spirit in the church and in the believer in this short course on the Holy Spirit. So what I want to begin with is the points of agreement. And again, this is on your handout. Glenn Menzies, he's Assemblies of God, he's at Northwest College, I think it is in Minneapolis, was, he retired now. And we were on the Evangelical Catholic dialogue together. This is the people... There're a number of official dialogues, and this is the official dialogue between evangelicals and Catholics. Bon Clayton, who's there in Minneapolis got this all put together. So Glenn and I were together on that. He's Assemblies of God, I'm Baptist and we made a good connection. It was really fun and we had a lot of conversations together. And one of those conversations it was a meal together, and they were doing some stuff up kind of official at the other end of the table and we were all ignoring them.
And so Glenn and I are back there and we're saying, "Okay, you Pentecostal, you believe in tongues, don't you? What's this about?" Because Assemblies of God believed the evidentiary rule of the tongues. If you got to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit, you'll speak in tongues at least once. There's a whole thing around Pentecostal Assemblies of God because most of Assemblies of God pastors don't believe that, but every year they sign a statement saying they do. It's really interesting. So Glenn and I were talking, kind of laughing because we both really... He's Assemblies of God, and I appreciate Assemblies of God a lot but I'm not one of them. All right, and we're saying and talking about stuff, I said, "Glenn, stop just a minute. Tell you what, let me give you some propositions and tell me what you disagree with because I'm Baptist, you're Pentecostal, okay? Because I'm sure we disagree."
And he knew I was going to play it with him. "Sure." He said, "Go for it. I'll sure disagree with you. God's such a good guy." I said, "Well, here it is." I said, "There is one experience or one reality, and it's the Holy Spirit works and it's an incorporation and indwelling. Incorporation brought into the body of Christ, in dwelling while Holy Spirit comes into the believer." And I said, "That's a conversion experience. Don't complain. He started to say, "No, no, just hear me out. There is at conversion and incorporation indwelling work of the Holy Spirit. Okay, number one.
Number two, there is an empowerment of the Holy Spirit that is at or after conversion, empowerment of the Holy Spirit in the believer that can be very, very emotional." Okay. I said, "Now, which one of those you disagree with?" And he looked at me and said, "Well, Gary, I don't disagree with either one of those." I put my hand out and said, "We agreed, I'm a Bapticostal and so are you." I just [inaudible] around. But see, the thing of it is those are points of full agreement. There's a Holy Spirit thing that's incorporation and indwelling that's a conversion time. And all current Pentecostals agree, the Holy Spirit comes into a believer's life and you're incorporated into the body of Christ at conversion. And all Baptists believe, maybe not all because Baptists disagree on everything that there is, we call it the filling of the Spirit.
There is an empowering experience to the Holy Spirit that can happen at or after conversion, and sometimes that can be quite emotional. I said, "Okay." I said, "Now here's what the disagreement is, which one is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?" He spoke, "Number two." I said, "Can you show it to me in the Bible?" "The Bible's on my side." And he stopped and we ended up not there but later on in a really interesting conversation about how the term baptizo of the Holy Spirit is used in scripture. And there's different terms for it, sometimes it's [inaudible] or I receive. But what I want to do is take you very quickly through some stuff around the Holy Spirit, because some people believe that the work of the Holy Spirit is... This is in your handout, some evangelicals see the baptism of the Holy Spirit as the second work of grace that is a release of gifts.
And at that spot it's something where the gift of the Holy Spirit, when you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you are now empowered for service, for spiritual warfare, for blessing and ability to do incredible things. So some evangelicals, I've got it written down for you, the baptism of the Holy Ghost is a definite experience subsequent salvation or by the third person that God had, comes upon the believer to anoint and energize him for special service. So David Bennett likened Jesus who's conceived of the Spirit and later empowered for service as baptism. So the baptism spirit is the empowering work of the spirit that comes after baptism, and that's a Pentecostal crowd. And then I say, some evangelicals it's one aspect of conversion. And the Holy Spirit comes and dwell in every person in conversion, uniting them to the actual Christ and that's what it's about. So the question is, is it the incorporation dwelling that's called spirit baptism or is it the subsequent empowerment?
So let's do a quick, quick, quick, quick, quick... Can I say quick one more time? Look through a few key passages because in your handout I've got a whole table of passages. It's not all of them, but it's many of them. I'm going to look at about four of them really quickly and just take a look. So if I go to... Let's see where I go. Let's go to Ezekiel 36. I had a lot of places I go, Ezekiel 36, beginning of verse 22. Ezekiel 36, so on your chart here I've got when, who's the Baptizer, who is the baptizee and what's the result. And that's too simple that'll help us produce some categorization. So Ezekiel 36, "I'm going to do these things. I'll show my holiness of a great name." Let's go down to verse 24, "I will take you out of the nations, I'll gather you from the country to bring you back into your own land." Verse 25, "I'll sprinkle clean water on you and you'll be cleansed. I'll cleanse you from impurities."
26, "I'll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I'll remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Verse 27, "I will put my spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees." And so on. "And then you'll live in the land that I gave your ancestors." So he's talking about something here. What's the timeframe, past, present, or future? Oh, it's future. This is the new covenant promise. Who is the one, I'm going to use the term baptizer though baptism not here, who's going to put the spirit in you? Who's the baptizer? It's God. Who's the baptizee, again, the word baptism not used here but who receives the spirit here in Ezekiel 36? It's the people of Israel. This is a new covenant promise that at this point it's to Israel specifically because they're gathered from the nations and brought in their own land. And what's the result? You'll be clean, you'll get a new spirit and you'll be gathered to the land.
So again, this is really quick and I'm assuming you do a little homework and meditation on that. These new covenant promises talk about a future time when the Holy Spirit will be poured out. And it won't be just on prophets and kings, it'll be on all people, and Joel too. It's all peoples, so I think it's Gentiles as well. And its future is done by God on the people. Okay, cool. Matthew chapter three... Oops, that's not what I want to do, Matthew chapter three, John the Baptist repent for the king who is having his hand and these people come out. Matthew 3:11, I baptize you with water for repentance, but after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I'm not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand. He will clear the threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn, burn the chaff with unquenchable fire." Okay, when? It's future, but it's the near future because he's talking about Messiah. There's one coming.
He, there's the Baptizer. Who's the Baptizer? I baptize you with water. He will baptize you with Holy Spirit and fire. Who is that? That's Messiah. Who's the you? He will baptize you with Holy Spirit and fire. Well, that's the ones who are coming for repentance. It's not real clear who the you is, but it's people who are coming for baptism. And what's the result? You'll be refined, winnowed and so that's what's coming out. So this uses the term baptized, baptizo, baptism with the Holy Spirit and it's done by Messiah. Okay, very cool. Now again, this is a very quick summary. Acts chapter one, Jesus has been resurrected. In my former book I talked about all these things, giving instruction of the Holy Spirit, suffered presenting himself, appeared Kingdom of God. Verse four, "On one occasion as he is eating with him, he gave the command, don't leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my father promised which you heard me speak about."
So there's a gift coming, "For John baptized with water, but you in a few days you'll be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Okay, and down in verse eight he says, "That you'll receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you'll be my witness to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria on all the earth. So when? Future, but when? Near future. Yeah, not many days from now. So it's very near. Who's the Baptizer?
The Holy Spirit.
No, you've been baptized with the Holy Spirit, who's the Baptizer? It actually doesn't say but he's referring back to John's baptism in his statement. Who's the baptizer in Matthew chapter three? Messiah. So it would be a reasonable conclusion to say the Messiah is going to do the baptizing. Who's the baptizee? Who's going to receive this baptism? The disciples. And what's the result? Power. Power to do what? Take the mission to the world. Okay, now Acts chapter two, this is a fulfillment. This is a fulfillment. You get the violent wind, you get the tongues of fire, all that sort of stuff. Verse four, all of them are filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues as the spirit enabled them. There were Jews from every nation under heaven and it lists them. And how is it that each of us hear them in our own language and it's just a tour of the Roman world. Amazing perplexed, what does it mean?
And they're declaring the wonders of God. Okay, so this is Pentecost when? So here it is, what's the timeframe in relation to when the disciples first followed Jesus? How long have the disciples been following Jesus? Well, some of them three years. So this is long after their conversion, if you will. Who's the Baptizer? The only thing you can say here is it's from heaven. So it's several times there. It's from heaven they're filled with the Holy Spirit. So whatever it is it's from heaven. Who's the baptizee? It's the whole crowd. It's the 120 who are gathered together in prayer. What's the result? The primary thing is the declaring the wanders of God in Phrygian. How many people from North Galilee speak Phrygian? The answer is zero, or Arabic or whatever it is? Now here's where the Pentecostals come in, these guys have been following Jesus for three years and only now do they get the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That's the Pentecostal piece.
If you go back and look in John chapter seven, John puts yellow posty note when he says he's referring to the Holy Spirit. And John puts a yellow posty note and says, "Well, this hadn't happened yet because Jesus has not yet been glorified." So what I think is happening here and I'll just give you the summary here, there's a lot of work to be done, I think this is the inauguration of the new covenant that's promised in the Old Testament. The reason the Holy Spirit has not been poured out until now, it's not been poured out on anybody until now. Jesus says, "Not many days you'll receive the Holy Spirit you will be baptized of the spirit." And this is the occasion. I think this is the first time it's ever happened is the Holy Spirit being poured out on the church. And when it happens, it happens to everybody who's gathered there. So it's afterward, but this is actually the first experience of New covenant blessing. And is how Peter interprets it when, what's this about? He [inaudible] Joel chapter two and says this is that.
So I think this is the first time it's been done and I think it poured out on all 120. They declare the wonders of God. This is an evangelistic sermon. They're just praising God and they're doing it in Phrygian, this is verse 11. Peter stands up and summarizes the gospel. It's amazing. They're convicted. I think it's bad you did kill the Messiah. Is there any hope for us? Yeah, there's hope. Acts 2:38, "What shall we do?" He says, "Repent and be baptized. You'll receive the forgiveness of sins and you'll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. So Acts 2:37 to 43, you'll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38. When is the gift of the Holy Spirit given for the 3000 people that gets saved in the post Pentecost celebration? They get it at conversion. Who's the Baptizer in the second experience in Acts two? It doesn't say. Who's the baptizee? All the converts. And what's the outcome of it? The community of the spirit. The church begins to function with all the miracles and sharing of goods and all that.
Now again, there's a lot we could do in here. I'm just going to look at one more and leave the rest for your homework. Act chapter four, this is Peter who's been released. They come to the church, the church welcome them gladly. And they have a marvelous prayer meeting. I would love to have been there. And they conclude the prayer. Verse 29, "Now, Lord, consider their threats, enable your spirits to speak the word with great boldness." That's their first request. We want to speak the word with boldness. What's their second request? Their first request in verse 29 is speak your word with great boldness. What's the second request?
Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders.
The second request is signs and wonders. They pray for both. Is that Baptist or Pentecostal?
It's the Bible.
It's the Bible. See in Baptists want to speak the word in boldness, Pentecostal do miracles, Bapticostals want both. I'm being more than slightly sarcastic. But here's what happens. "After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly." They're all one in heart and mind, no one claiming any possession for himself. They shared everything. And in chapter five and six, we see great miracles happening. The prayers were answered. So the word filling here is the same word as Acts chapter two, Pentecost. So in Acts chapter four, when does this happen, this filling in relation to their conversion? Well, Acts chapter two was quite a while earlier. We know the exact timeframe, but it's not the same day. We've got several things that happened in between there, so it's weeks at least later. And the same people who were filled in Chapter two are now filled again in chapter four, same crowd.
So this is after their inaugural experience. It's a refilling. Who does it? It doesn't say. Who experienced the filling? It's all the believers and the outcome is bold witness and miracles. So when I look at this, I see the inaugural filling in Acts chapter two. The church is formed by the second group. In chapter four, the same crew something happens again. The place is shaken and it's amazing again. Yes?
Why wasn't the first time enough?
Aha, because as we grow in our Christian life more stuff will happen to us. The first time through it's quite an experience here at Pentecost. Now it's further on, they're more mature. Their prayer now is a deeper prayer and their work is a bigger work. And I think that's what's true in the Christian life, We get enough filling, if you will, for where we're at now and as we grow more comes. And see, that's the piece we all agree on is there's subsequent empowering that can be quite dramatic or they can be fairly mild. So you come in Ephesians five, is keep on being filled with the spirit and there it's tied to worship and to submitting. So when I look at this, I see, yep, there's a conversion time reality but there's also a post-conversion time reality.
Could it be that also Peter and John they were thrown in prison, there was persecution, that that persecution with that became more of a revival
With the persecution caused more of revival, clearly that happened. They were stoked that these guys got out and found faithful. So it's a connection to that, yeah, absolutely. But notice it doesn't use the term baptism here, he uses the term filling. Let me show you the other place where the term baptism appears and then we'll quit and I'll let you do the rest of the homework. First Corinthians chapter 12, and I look down to 1st Corinthians 12:12, he's talking about the diversity of things in the body. We'll come back to one Corinthians 12 again when we talk about gifts in just a bit. But 1st Corinthians 12:13, this is where baptism appears again, "We are all baptized by one spirit so as to form one body, Jews, Gentile, slave, free, we were all given one spirit to drink." This is baptizo, baptized. How many people are baptized here in one Corinthians 12? That's an all thing. When? All believers are baptized, when does it happen? If it's true for all-
When they came to Christ,
It has to be a conversion experience, otherwise it'd be some. All were baptized. Who does the baptizing?
They're baptized by the spirit.
They're baptized by the spirit. The spirit is the baptizer here. So here Holy Spirit is baptized into one body and then all are given one spirit to drink. Who gives the Holy Spirit to be consumed, to be drunk? Well, actually that may be appropriate. It doesn't say, but again we're putting pieces together. This is a conversion time experience. So as I put the dots together, baptism, baptizo is a conversion time thing. So incorporation and indwelling, but there's a subsequent empowering work of the Holy Spirit in the biblical word that's more commonly used as filling, though it's not the only word. That's why I put the dots together. A guy like Jack Hayford or... Gosh, Robert Morris at Gateway Church in Dallas, they put it together a little different way. They say that there's a work by the Holy Spirit that's incorporation and dwelling. And there's work by Messiah that's with the Holy Spirit, that's a baptism of empowerment. So they have two baptisms, one an incorporation and one subsequent which they call the baptism of or with the Holy Spirit.
So I make two baptisms. And we can fight over the words, I don't want to fight over the words. The Pentecostal tradition, the baptism of the Holy Spirit becomes a statement of the powerful work of the Holy Spirit to empower and release. Now there are abuses with some of the Pentecostal movement for sure, but there are abuses in the baptism movement as well. So when I think of Bible words, I want to put baptism with conversion experience. But I want to also affirm the reality that there's a subsequent empowering that can be quite dramatic but it's not a one-time thing, it's a repeated thing. So Jack Hayford and Robert Morris who are leading Pentecostals... Well, Jack Hayford's fully retired now, but they have two baptisms, a baptism incorporation by the Spirit and a Messianic baptism with the spirit, that's the empowerment. I don't think two baptisms is a good idea. I think baptism is one time thing.
But again, we disagree with the words and I don't want to fight about the words. I just want to recognize as we do in other areas, the words mean different things in different traditions. Soma mean one thing in a Calvinistic tradition, means something else in Armenian tradition. Baptism of the Holy Spirit means something in a Pentecostal tradition, it does not mean the same thing in my Baptist tradition. But what I do want to say is the reference is very similar. And the reference is a baptism incorporation and dwelling that happens at conversion for all believers and then a release of the spirit or a filling of the spirit. Different terms are used that can empower us to do greater works and I think miraculous works as the spirit gives lead. And I want to see spirit empowerment that looks for bold witness. I want to see spirit empowerment that really believes in miraculous work in the Holy Spirit.
Not that I have the authority to do miracles myself so much, but I have an empowered work of the Holy Spirit and I don't want to fight about which one is baptism. So Glenn and I are still friends. He's retired, just moved to Florida. I live in Portland, Oregon. We're about as far apart as we can be but we still like each other. And I've got total hardcore Baptists in my class. I've got total hardcore Pentecostals that really want me to speak in tongues. Where's the point of disagreement? The point of disagreement and it's still significant, is what should be the emotional flavor of the gathering on Sunday morning. Baptists, I'm using the term loosely, tend to be we do the Bible and we sit and listen and take notes. Now singing, sometimes we stand up and sometimes we may even do a little bit of hand stuff. I'm being again sarcastic. The Pentecostal experience is much more the worship experience. But what I like to see, what's happening in Pentecostal churches and more are saying, we've got to get exposition the word in here too.
And so more Pentecostal churches are doing spirit empowered proclamation of word in the gathering on Sunday morning, as well as very emotional, sometimes ecstatic worship of the spirit. That's a point of difference, is the emotional flavor of the normal meaning on Sunday morning. The other point of difference is the role of tongues and meaning of tongues. And the traditional Pentecostal groups like Foursquare and Assemblies of God, the statement is you'll speak in unknown human languages at least once. And like I said, most Assemblies of God pastors don't believe that anymore, but they still sign the statement. And I've asked around, "Well, my director's okay with it." So I talked to the director, "Well, actually I don't believe in it either but I understand the tradition. I'm signing the intent not the literal words." Something like that. How can you sign something you don't believe? "Well, Gary, are you a Pentecostal?" "No, I'm not." "Well, give us a little break."
Okay, now here's what happened. Glen Menzies, after our conversation and some other things actually went to the headquarters of some of God in Springfield and said, "We should change our language, it's not biblical." He's a New Testament guy. And the people there said, "We really can't do that because we stand in a tradition. We cannot deny our tradition. We're going to keep the language." And so there's growth in different things. Let's give room to each other for growth and emphasize the commonalities and then appreciate the differences. So that's where I'd come out on that as far as the baptism spirit is concerned. Comments, questions, I see that hand.
Is this still being taught at all widely, that the baptism is only some of the spirit and the filling is then all of the spirit?
I've not heard that in a really long time. I've not heard in my lifetime that you get saved and then later receive the Holy Spirit that you don't get the spirit at conversion. Traditional Pentecostal said that at one point, I've not ever heard that taught.
Just to be clear, when I was a kid I heard that at conversion you did receive the spirit but only some of the spirit, and all of it came later on when you speak in tongues.
Yeah, I've not heard that. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but that's not a common teaching at least. And I end up working with a lot of different groups, independent Pentecostals, Assemblies of God, Foursquare, charismatic of all different stripes, Calvary Chapel and such and I'm not hearing that. It's talked about the release of the spirit. And in the release of the Spirit is when this overwhelming joy and such in... Coming from a non- Pentecostal background, my background is Brethren which is about as non-Pentecostal as you can get. And what I'm seeing in my tradition is there's more and more people, they're not using the Pentecostal language but they really do believe there's an empowerment of the Holy Spirit that we need to seek.
And they emphasize the Ephesians 5:18, "Keep on being filled. And it's a command and that we need to be receptive in order for that to happen. And I'm seeing actually a convergence at many spots between Pentecostal doing good exposition of the word as well as the practice of gifts. And I'm seeing more non-Pentecostal churches that are saying We need the power of the Holy Spirit to do really good prayer and to do really good evangelism. And I think that's right, commonalities. Okay, there you go. You've got a lot to ponder.