Graham continued his look at the Holy Spirit, over the past 3 weeks he spoke about:
- An introduction to the Spirit Gifts
- Gifts of the Holy Spirit
This week, he looked at the Holy Spirit Baptism.
Our church is Pentecostal by type. The Pentecostals are the largest section of the global Christian church, and the fastest growing, numbering over 600 million.
Some would claim that Pentecostalism started at the beginning of the 20th century but most now would say it is a strand of Christianity that has always existed from the beginning of the Christ’s church but came to the fore in the 20th C.
A feature of Pentecostal belief is an understanding and experience of the Holy Spirit, his gifts and the baptism in that same spirit.
What happens when people experience the Holy Spirit?
Outpouring of the Spirit in Acts:
Pentecost (Acts 2:2-4)
Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Samaria (Acts 8:14-17)
When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptised into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Paul (Acts 9:17-19)
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, Brother Saul, the Lord— Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here— has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptised, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.
Ephesus (Acts 19:1-6)
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? They answered, No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit. So Paul asked, Then what baptism did you receive? John’s baptism, they replied. Paul said, John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus. On hearing this, they were baptised into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
At the house of Cornelius and his household (Acts 10:44-46)
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
So, What happens when people experience the Holy Spirit? One answer is that something happens!
1) They experienced the Holy Spirit
Experience is different from person to person. It is displayed in the gifts if the Spirit and in the fruit of the Spirit, and in many ways less spoken of.
… the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptised into the name of the Lord Jesus.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge— that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
2) They were released in praise
For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
- Fear of emotion
- All relationships should involve emotion
- Private versus public
- Emotion versus emotionalism
3) They received a new language
For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
(a) What is the gift of tongues?
It is a form of prayer which builds up the individual. 1 Cor 14:2
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no-one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself
The speaker is always in full control.
(b) Not all Christians speak in tongues
- Not necessarily the sign of being filled with the Spirit
- There are no first or second class Christians
- It is not the most important gift
(c) Why is it helpful?
Praying for self and for others
(d) Does the New Testament approve?
1 Cor 14 contains comments by Paul which were to correct excessive public use but nowhere is the use of this gift discouraged. In 1 Cor it says when Jesus returns at the end of all things this gift will cease, but not before.
(e) How do we receive this gift?
“Eagerly desire.” 1 Cor 14:1
- Ask God
- Cooperate with the Holy Spirit
What are the Common Hindrances to Being Filled With the Spirit?
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
Three common hindrances:
- doubt – “It will be given …”
- fear – “egg,” “scorpion.”
- feeling inadequate – “good gifts” “ your Father.”
Encountering The Spirit: The Charismatic Tradition by Mark Cartledge