Baptism in the Holy Spirit, part II, notes
Ulimately what was convincing to me on this issue was long study of the Scripture. The folowing men pointed me to what I had been seeing and continued to see in Scripture. It was noted that Merrill Unger's teaching on the baptism in the Holy Spirit (not the gifts of the Spirit) resonated with me and helped the wheels continue to turn on this issue, but that it was Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology that was the clincher for me. I cannot recommend his systematic theology highly enough. I thank the Lord for a man named Dennis Goodwin recommending it to me!
We have said that the teaching of a second blessing or a second work of grace is not lofty or exalted enough for the preaching of John the Baptist in Mark 1:8. To interpret John the Baptist to be talking in our text about a second blessing falls extremely and woefully short of the teaching on the Holy Spirit that he is giving.
II. The Baptism in the Spirit is the Fulfillment of the Old Testament Prophesies (that we have previously looked at).
A. John the Baptist is in essence saying "This (the Baptism in the Holy Spirit) is that." This is precisely the language Peter would use in Acts 2. In other words, This baptism in the Holy Spirit is what the prophets were looking forward and pointing us to that would be the pinnacle of the work of the Holy Spirit in us(believers). This is what they looked forward to with great anticipation.
In the language of the prophets, the baptism in the Spirit would be:
*The mark of the New Covenant work of God in His people.
*A writing of the law on people's hearts.
*A personal and intimate experience and knowledge of God Himself.
*A replacing of the old heart and the giving of a new one.
*A thorough cleansing from sin.
*A pouring out of the Spirit that results in an utter change of affections and is the entryway to supernatural gifts.
When does this take place? It takes place at conversion. The work of the Holy Spirit regenerating, cleansing, and indwelling a person is the reason a person repents and believes. This immersing, powerful, and most profound work is the baptism in the Holy Spirit and takes place in every genuine believer.
B. But what about the seemingly two step occurrences we see in Acts? Are these not indicators of salvation and then a second blessing? No, the book of Acts is recording a transitional time as God's people are moving from the Old Covenant era to the New. Acts 1:8 is key to understanding what is going on. Just as Jesus predicted that Gospel would be preached in Jerusalem (and Judea), Samaria, and to the end of the earth, the book of Acts records how all believers in Jerusalem, Samaria, and the Gentiles received the same Spirit. Acts 8 is an example of a delay in the Spirit given to the Samaritan believers so that there would be tangible evidence for the church and its leadership that it was indeed true, people from Samaria had received the Gospel and had experienced the Holy Spirit the same as the Jews. There was no distinction, they were both validated by God the Holy Spirit. The same is true of the Gentiles in Acts 10.
C. There can be no clearer statement of the baptism in the Holy Spirit for all believer than in I Corinthians 12:13. While some what to interpret this to mean it is a different kind of baptism of the Spirit, the Greek will not allow this. Paul is clearly teaching that all believers have experienced the one and only baptism in the Holy Spirit. For the sake of not wanting to be redundant, translators have translated these words differently than in other places.
III. Why it Matters
A. This is the main reason. We dare not miss the grandeur of what the Scripture is teaching! We live in the age of the Holy Spirit! We are participating in the era in which the Old Testament prophets looked forward to (including John the Baptist; see Matthew 11:11. The least in the kingdom is greater than John because he, the least in the kingdom, is part of the new covenant age.). -See and Study John 14&15-
B. Pride can easily come from teaching two class Christianity. Do we really want to believe that mighty men and women of God missed out on a second blessing?
C. Discouragement can come from people trying to experience a particular encounter, when God works in believers lives in various and tailor made ways.
E. Further errors can come from a lack of respect for hermeneutics and sound exegesis (see part 1).
*We need much greater focus on the Holy Spirit's work in conversion.
*We desperately need to hunger and experience the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Conversion is only the beginning. We rejoice when we or others encounter the mighty presence of God. This is to be encouraged and passionately pursued. The fillings of the Spirit are to be continual and are life changing.
Two quotes from Gordon Fee:
1) The tragedy is "what happens is that the dynamic, experiential quality of the Christian life, as life in the Spirit, also seems to be the first to go. Thus there arose a generation that 'never knew about the empowering of the Holy Spirit'."
2) Pentecostals "belonged to that tradition of piety that cried out, "'O God fill me with yourself and your power or I die.' Out of that hunger and cry, they experienced a mighty encounter with God the Holy Spirit." Amen and Amen
More in Blog
September 7, 2018A link to social justice statement that I have signed
August 27, 2018The Scam, Silencing, and Sadness of Social Justice (part III; personal experience)
August 27, 2018Thoughts on Racism