Mark 1:8, Part 1, Baptism in the Holy Spirit discussion guide.

The subject of the baptism in the Spirit is one that is taught to mean very different things within Christianity. It is therefore necessary for clarities sake to start off by addressing the position taught by Pentecostals and many Charismatics.

Discuss: What have you understood the "Baptism in the Holy Spirit" to be?

The Pentecostal position teaches that the baptism of/in the Spirit is a second blessing or sometimes referred to as a second work of grace. It is described as an experience that takes place subsequent to conversion and is a work of empowerment (often also increasing sanctification, intimacy with Christ, and assurance).

We noted that one of the most prominent texts that is used for this position is found in Acts 8:12-17. Read and discuss and chew on this. We did not adequately interpret this yet (this coming Sunday it will be). We simply pointed it out a said that it is less than convincing even on its face value to mean what Pentecostals say it does.

Discuss the following quotes by noted Assemblies of God scholar Gordon D. Fee:

"Two observations should be made about hermeneutics [the interpretation of Scripture] within the traditional Pentecostal movement. First, their attitude toward Scripture regularly has included a general disregard for scientific exegesis [deriving the meaning from the text] and carefully thought-out hermeneutics. In fact, hermeneutics has simply not been a Pentecostal thing. Scripture is the word of God and is to be obeyed. In place of scientific hermeneutics there developed a kind of pragmatics hermeneutics."

"In a sense, the Pentecostal tends to exegete his or her experience. For example, the doctrine of Spirit-baptism as distinct from and subsequent to conversion did not flow naturally out of the Pentecostal's reading of Scripture."

"The purpose of this present essay is to open the question of separability and subsequence once again, and to suggest that there is in fact very little biblical support for the Pentecostal position on this matter."

Discuss: How does the teaching of a second blessing or a second work of grace not do justice to our text in Mark 1:8? A: It relegates John the Baptist to be speaking about something that is secondary.

To understand the Baptism in the Spirit we absolutely must grasp the build up that starts in the Old Testament:

I. It is essential to start in the Old Testament.

A. Jesus is the Unique One, greater than Moses, the Spirit bearer.

See: Deut. 18:15, Isaiah 11:1&2, 42:1, 61:1-3

B. The Preeminent Promise.

See: Numbers 11:29, Jer. 31:31-34, Ezekiel 36:26-27, Joel 2:28

To be continued...