The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit

We at the Awakening strive to be like the early church outlined in the book of Acts. We want to be a church that operates in the same power of the Holy Spirit so that they are healed, delivered, set free, and saved from their sins. In order to experience signs and wonders, see the lost get saved, and encounter the power of God, we must as a church family seek for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit for empowerment unto service to God and also the continual filling of the Holy Spirit for each new need arises unto the Lord. What happened on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-4 is not only possible for the church to experience today, but will experience today as we seek God for this blessed gift of the Holy Spirit. We must desire a “Pentecost” like experience such as described in Acts 2:1-4 for today, as well as a continual filling of the Holy Spirit. It is important that we realize that the term “filled” here in Acts 2:1-4 is also called a “baptizing” (Acts 1:5; 11:16), “a pouring out” (Acts 2:17; 10:45), and “a receiving” (Acts 10:47). So the terms “filling of the Holy Spirit,” the “baptism in the Holy Spirit,” the “gift of the Holy Spirit,” the “Holy Spirit being poured out”, the “Holy Spirit falling,” etc. all point to a single experience and the gift of the Holy Spirit (for the sake of simplicity, in this article we are going to use the term “baptism in the Holy Spirit” to describe this gift unless otherwise indicated). Therefore the basic act of receiving the Spirit can be described as being baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit, but the verb “baptize” is not used for subsequent experiences anywhere in the New Testament. Therefore, it is probably best to see the baptism in the Holy Spirit as a one-time experience, whereas a believer in Jesus Christ needs a continual filling of the Holy Spirit as the need for service arises (one baptism and many fillings, although we cannot be dogmatic on this point because it is an argument from silence). This is made clear in Ephesians 5:18 and in the book of Acts (this will be discussed further down below). We do not believe that the gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was a one-time historical event for only the early church to experience, nor do we believe that it happens at the initiation of conversion, but rather is an experience for the whole church to experience and receive after one is saved and born again (thus distinct and subsequent to salvation).

Now many believers at this point would debate and argue that the baptism in the Holy Spirit happens for all believers at the point of conversion due to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:13. At first glance this does seem to suggest that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit happens at conversion for all believers, but a closer examination of the passage reveals otherwise. The Baptism IN the Holy Spirit described by the author Luke in the book of Acts and Luke is completely different from the baptism BY the Holy Spirit described in 1 Corinthians 12:13 by Paul (the author of 1 Corinthians). Paul and Luke are not disagreeing with one another, but looking at the Holy Spirit from two different angels and thus complementing one another. The baptism of (or in/with) the Holy Spirit has Jesus as the baptizer and He gives this gift to people as a subsequent experience after salvation for power unto service to God. The baptism by the Holy Spirit has the Holy Spirit as the baptizer and is a baptism that the Holy Spirit baptizes all Christians to incorporate them into the body of Christ. This is also called the “indwelling of the Holy Spirit” which all believers in Jesus Christ receive at the moment they are born again (Romans 8:9 and 1 John 4:13). Therefore, every believer in Jesus Christ has the Holy Spirit living within them at the moment they initially get saved. However, there is another gift of the Holy Spirit that God wants His people to continue to receive for power unto service to God called several different names such as the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the filling of the Holy Spirit, etc. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a separate and ubsequent experience from salvation, although it sometimes happens right at the same time a person is born again (Acts 10:44-46). This is seen clearly throughout the book of Acts. The disciples had been with Jesus for three years and had the best “seminary” experience anyone could have ever dreamed of for they had lived with the best teacher of all – Jesus Christ. One would think that the disciples were prepared thoroughly to do ministry unto the Lord. But Jesus said that they were not yet fully prepared, for they had not yet received the “promise,” which is the baptism and filling of the Holy Spirit. They were to wait until they received this gift before they moved out to minister (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:5). The same was true of Jesus who was God in human flesh. When He was baptized in water the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove came to rest upon Him and thus Jesus was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Only after Jesus received the fullness of the gift of the Holy Spirit did He step out unto the fullness of his ministry (Luke 3:21-22). If Jesus and the disciples needed this gift and promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, how much more do we? The disciples already had the Holy Spirit (John 20:22), but yet there was more of a fullness of the Holy Spirit for them that they were to receive under the new covenant. Just because we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit does not mean we don’t need any more of the Holy Spirit. Peter already had the Holy Spirit (John 20:22) and he had received the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4). However, we read in Acts 4:8 that Peter, “filled with the Holy Spirit…” stating that Peter again was filled with the Holy Spirit a second time and than a third time in Acts 4:31 where Peter and the rest of the believers were, “all filled with the Holy Spirit…” We need these separate and subsequent experiences as each new service and need arises to the glory of God! We also see the subsequent/separate experiences of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in several passages throughout the book of Acts. In Acts 8:12-17 we see that people in Samaria had “received the word” and thus became believers in Jesus Christ. However, they had not yet had the Holy Spirit “fall” on them (another way of saying they had not received the baptism with the Holy Spirit). But when the apostles laid their hands on these believers and prayed for them, the Holy Spirit fell on them! In Acts 9:3-6 we see that Paul experienced the presence of Jesus and was forever changed! He now became a chosen instrument of God (Acts 9:15) and thus saved. However, he was not yet filled with the Holy Spirit until after he was converted when Ananias laid his hands on Paul (Acts 9:17). We also see another situation in Acts 19:1-6 when Paul came to Ephesus and found some disciples (i.e. followers of Jesus Christ) who had not yet had the Holy Spirit come upon them. They were clearly saved and were already baptized in water by John the Baptist, but they were not baptized in the Holy Spirit. Then Paul laid his hands on these believers and the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied!

Another question must be answered and that is, what is the primary purpose of the gift of the baptism in the Holy Spirit? The primarily purpose of this gift is to give a believer power unto service to the Lord so that he will be a witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those in his local community and ultimately to all the nations of the earth (Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-4; 8:14-17; 9:17-18; 10:44-46; 19:1-7). It also empowers us to live for God and to do His will, to be used in spiritual gifts such as the gift of tongues and prophecy, to display the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, to exhort and speak the truth to people, to fills us with praise and worship to God, to do the works of Jesus as evidenced in extraordinary miracles such as healing the sick, casting out demons, and even raising the dead, and helps us to live sanctified and holy lives unto God. This baptism of the Spirit is an immersion and saturation of God’s Spirit within a Christian. When one gets saved he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9), but as he seeks after God and fully surrenders everything to Him and asks by faith for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, God in His perfect timing will bless him with this gift (Luke 11:13). Although Jesus’ disciples had already received the Holy Spirit, they still needed the baptism in the Holy Spirit for additional power and service unto God (John 20:22).

There are various evidences to verify and confirm the reception of the gift of the the Holy Spirit from the Lord. The primary activity and normal evidence of one receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking in other tongues as is clear in several Scripture passages (Acts 2:1-4; 10:44-46; 19:1-7). For instance on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:4, the text states, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” Again in Acts 10:45-46 it states, “All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God…” And then finally in Acts 19:6 it states, “…the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.” The word primary and normal is used, because although other evidences were mentioned as a result of the reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit (prophecy and extolling God – Acts 10:46; 19:6), speaking in tongues was the first and most common evidence. Two other passages in the book of Acts could also imply, but do not explicitly state, that those who received the baptism in the Holy Spirit spoke in other tongues. The first passage is found in Acts 8:17-19. After the statement, “they received the Holy Spirit” (8:17), the Scripture reads,”Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit” (vs. 18-19). Since it was outwardly evident to Simon and no doubt to others as well, there must have been some sort of outward manifestation of the Spirit. It may have been speaking in tongues, extolling God, or prophesying, or all three (see, Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6), but whatever the visible sign and evidence was, it was clear to the apostles that the Holy Spirit had fallen on the Samaritans in a similar way to that of what happened to them and others on the day of Pentecost (see, Acts 2:1-4). So both the word structure and the context suggest and imply that what Simon saw, in all likelihood, could have been the Samaritans speaking in tongues just like the apostles and others had on the day of Pentecost. The second passage is found in Acts 9:17-18 when Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit. Concerning whether or not Paul received the normal evidence of speaking in tongues as a result of being filled and baptized with the Spirit, the book of Acts is silent. However, by Paul’s own later testimony he spoke of his personal practice. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 14:18, “I thank God I speak in tongues more than you all.” Although it is not stated specifically in the book of Acts, Paul could have first spoken in tongues when he was filled with the Holy Spirit (but this is merely speculation). We do not know for sure but the author of the book of Acts, Luke, might be asking the reader to supply the evidence of speaking in tongues with the filling of the Holy Spirit in this passage, for that was the normal pattern throughout the book of Acts. The same can be true of belief in Jesus Christ and water baptism. Often Luke specifically mentions water baptism in connection with belief in Jesus Christ (see, Acts 2:38, 41; 8:12-13, 35-38; 9:18; 10:48; 16:14-15, 31-33; 18:8; 19:5); but on other occasions he describes people coming to faith in Jesus Christ without any reference to water baptism (see, Acts 9:32; 11:21; 13:12, 48; 14:1; 17:12, 34). In summary, the record in Acts clearly states that in the majority of the cases – three out of five – those who received the gift of the Holy Spirit spoke in tongues (Acts 2:1-4; 10:44-46; 19:1-7). In the other passage of Acts 8:17-19 it is implied that the Samaritans spoke in tongues and in the last passage examined, Acts 9:17-19, it is possible that Paul spoke in tongues when he received the fullness of the Holy Spirit (although we do not know for sure). So with that said, it is possible that in all five of these passages, the people could have spoken in tongues as a result of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. But due to the evidence in the book of Acts not explicitly stating that in all five cases they spoke in tongues, we can not draw an absolute or dogmatic conclusion that speaking in tongues will invariably follow the reception of the Spirit all the time. We can, however, safely conclude that tongues is a common and normal evidence of those who receive the baptism and filling of the Holy Spirit.

Now that we discussed that speaking in tongues is a common and normal evidence of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. The next question is, “what is speaking in tongues?” According to Mark 16:17-18, it is to be a normal occurrence and manifestation in the life of the believer, “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” According to this text, speaking in new tongues was to be a normal occurance in the life of believers. But what exactly is speaking in tongues? Don Basham defines it in his book, “A Handbook on Holy Spirit Baptism,” “Speaking or praying in tongues is a form of prayer in which the Christian yields himself to the Holy Spirit and receives from the Spirit a supernatural language with which to praise God. It is a miraculous manifestation of God’s power, but one which combines both human and divine elements and which expresses both human and divine initiative. It is truly a cooperation between the Christian and the Holy Spirit” (65). Although God sovereignly gives a person the gift of tongues through the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:11), the person must choose with his will to make his tongue and lips available to the Holy Spirit for Him to give the utterance. Man does the speaking, but the Holy Spirit furnishes the words (notice in Acts 2:4 that they, the people, had to choose to speak in order for the Spirit to do it through them). The purpose of this wonderful gift is to be a blessing both to the church and the individual believer. It is a sign of the believer and a sign to the unbeliever (1 Corinthians 14:22). It can be a means of preaching to men of other languages (Acts 2:4), it is self-edifying (1 Corinthians 14:4), for the edification of the church (1 Corinthians 14:5), for personal prayer to God (1 Corinthians 14:2,14,18-19), for “singing in the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 14:15), and for praise unto God (Acts 2:11; 10:46; Eph. 5:18-19). But not only that, he or she must according to 1 Corinthians 14:1, “desire earnestly spiritual gifts,” which includes the gift of speaking in tongues. The gift of tongues, as with the other spiritual gifts, is a distribution of the Spirit, “individually just as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:11). Therefore this is a gift that God sovereignly gives to believers as He wills (while the human cooperates with God with his will and seeks after the gift – 1 Corinthians 14:1). The gift of tongues is “for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7) and thus edification of the church. It is a distinct gift that operates above and beyond the mind (supramental gift) as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 14:14, “If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.” Paul states in 1 Corinthians 12:10 that there are, “various kinds of tongues,” and hence there may be a variety of tongues supernaturally uttered. It is important to recognize, however, that there is an important difference between tongues as an accompaniment of the coming of the Holy Spirit (for personal praise and prayer unto God), and tongues as an individual gift of the Spirit for the church congregation (for the building up and edification of the church).

Even though they are both the same gift, there are two distinct purposes on how the gift is used. The first is a sign which accompanies the filling and baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4; 10:45-46; 19:6), and the second is a gift for the church body that Paul discusses in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. This distinction is vitally important and urgent for the church to understand. Much confusion on the topic of tongues could be done away with if the church understood this distinction! In the book of Acts when it was recorded that people spoke in tongues as a result of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, all persons present spoke in tongues and it was not limited to just one or a few people. Nor is there any attempt to teach or instruct the recipients in the proper use and order of tongues. It is also important to note that not all those who speak in their “devotional tongues” (or private prayer language) will speak in the gift of tongues corporately for the church body. As J. Rodman Williams states in “Renewal Theology,” “The difference is apparent: Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:10, 30 is dealing with speaking in tongues as a particular gift for ministry; in 1 Corinthians 14:5, 23 Paul is referring to the general practice of tongues in the devotional life of all in the community” (398). Therefore, it is correct to say “I do not speak in tongues because it is not my gift” (which not all have the gift of tongues for ministry to the cooperate church as 1 Corinthians 12:30 states in asking the rhetorical question, “Do all speak in tongues?” with the implied answer no) in reference to church ministry, but it is incorrect to add, “Therefore God does not want me to speak in tongues at all.” This attitude can keep people from experiencing tongues that results from being baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, as well as the continuation of prayer and praise in an awesome and full dimension (one of the purposes of devotional tongues is to edify oneself – 1 Corinthians 14:4).

Devotional tongues is a common and normal accompaniment of the Spirit-filled life and is what a believer possesses and can use at will in his personal prayer and praise time with God. But ministry tongues is sovereignly given by the Holy Spirit for the church body and is never possessed, but is practiced only when the church body comes together as the Spirit leads a person to exercise it. In the book of Acts people received devotional tongues, but in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, Paul treats speaking in tongues, not in terms of receiving, but in terms of exercising the ability at a given time in the service of worship. If there was a ministry tongue given out loud to the church than there had to be an interpretation in the known tongue of the church body so that the people would be edified (1 Corinthians 14:27-28). But the devotional tongue could also be spoken in the church, but it had to be done in silence and quitely between the person and God (1 Corinthians 14:28). The difference is also seen in 1 Corinthians 14:18-19 when Paul states, “I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct other also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.” Paul is implying here that he speaks in devotional tongues outside the church for he makes a contrast with the words “in the church…” in verse 19. Paul is making a distinction between private devotion and public worship. He is saying that outside of church he speaks in his private prayer language of devotional tongues, but in church so that others might be instructed, he would rather speak just five words that could be understood than countless words in a tongue. Thus with devotional tongues an interpretation is unnecessary because it is a private prayer language (or devotional tongues) unto God, but with the spiritual gift of tongues, there must be an interpretation so that the church body is edified. This interpretation is further reinforced in 1 Corinthians 14:14 when Paul states, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.” There does not have to be an interpretation when the devotional tongues is in operation with an individual. It is important to note too that there is no ESSENTIAL difference between devotional and ministry tongues. The differentiation is not in essence but in PRACTICE (for it is one and the same gift). For example, a person who speaks in a ministry gift to the church body is one who already speaks in tongues in his personal prayer life. It is essentially the same speaking but now is used to build up the community of believers. But a person who has devotional tongues might not be used sovereingly by the Holy Spirit in ministry tongues (for the Holy Spirit determines that at will). When one truly receives the gift of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit he will not have to be told he received it or constantly question himself and be confused about the matter. Normally he will speak in tongues initially when he receives the gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and/or speak with other evidences (such as prophecy or extolling God). But even if he doesn’t speak in tongues (or prophecy or extoll God) immediately after receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, God will still make it clear to him for it will totally transform his life! There have been men of God throughout church history who claimed to have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, but never received the gift of speaking in tongues initially upon its reception (or at all) such as D.L. Moody, R.A. Torrey, A.B. Simpson, and Charles Finney. But they still knew they received this blessed gift because it completely changed their ministry and life! One will not have to question himself due to the life transforming experience he receives! Jesus specifically told his disciples to wait until they had received what the Father promised them. Jesus assumed that his disciples would clearly and un-mistakenly know when they got it because it would give them a power for witness and service unto God that they had never known or even dreamed of before (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4).

It is important that one does not receive the gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and stop there, for he needs a continual filling of the Holy Spirit as God and the occasion and circumstance calls for it due to the fact that Christians often become spiritually dry and leak. As stated earlier, the filling of the Holy Spirit is often used interchangeably throughout the book of acts in reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5; 2:1-4). They are very close in their meaning to one another, but are different words in the original Greek language of the New Testament. It is clear that there is never any mention of a repeated baptism of the Holy Spirit in any of the believers of the early church, but there were repeated fillings of the Holy Spirit. So it might be argued, therefore, that the Bible is stating by implication that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a one-time experience subsequent (or right at salvation as in Acts 10:44-46) to salvation. However, we can not be dogmatic on this point due to it being an argument from silence and due to the fact that the same experience called the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:5 is said to be also the filling of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:1-4. Therefore, it is probably best to see the filling of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a continual experience for the church, although we can only be dogmatic on the clear unction of the continual filling of the Spirit as is specifically mentioned in Eph. 5:18 (and in regards to the baptism of the Spirit being a one time experience verses a continual experience, there is room for differences of opinion and therefore to agree to disagree in love amongst different denominations and traditions). This is where the Scripture is explicit and clear, in that the filling of the Holy Spirit is a continual experience in the lives of the believers and should be sought after. We all need and should desire more of the Holy Spirit and completely surrender ourselves daily to the leading and control of the Holy Spirit in every area of our lives and hearts. Just because we have the Holy Spirit inside of us as Christians, does not mean we are continually walking by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16). Paul explicitly commanded the New Testament church to be filled (Greek – present passive imperative, literally “be being filled”) continually with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). If Jesus the Son of God needed to continually be filled with the Holy Spirit as well as Peter and Paul and the early church, how much more do we today (Luke 4:1,14,18; Acts 4:8; 31)!? May the Awakening Church truly be a Spirit-filled and Spiritbaptized church for the glory of God!

2 thoughts on “The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit

  1. Response to the Article the Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit
    To: Chris Dubois at The Awakening Church
    Dear Chris,
    Let’s find out what the Bible has to say regarding the True interpretation so we might be able to appropriately apply, and thereby walk in obedience to the Will of God as revealed in His Self-Authenticating Word. I only ask to please excuse possible spelling, and grammar errors, and to examine my motives for writing said response.
    Let’s begin in John Chapter 3 as a springboard to jump from for validation of The Truth through careful examination of The Scriptures that supersedes man’s experience as authoritative, and or authenticating. The Bible teaches initial regeneration of the believer; what is referred to as a monergistic work brought on by the sovereign will of the almighty and living God. Every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God at the moment of salvation by justification, and is therefore declared to be holy, and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor. 1:2, 30, 6:11; 2 Thess. 2:13; Heb 2:11, 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Pet 1:2).
    The Bible Teaches there is also by the work of The Holy Spirit a progressive sanctification – (referred to as synergistic) by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the likeness of Christ through obedience to the Word of God, and the empowering of The Holy Spirit –The believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more, and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:17, 19; Rom 6:1-22; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Thess. 4:3, 4; 5:23). In this respect, every believer is involved in a daily conflict – the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh- but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle, nevertheless, stays with the believer all through this earthly life, and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but The Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Gal 5:16-25; Phil 3:12; Col. 3:9, 10; 1 Pet. 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9)

    A. John 3:3 “Born Again” – i.e., the need for spiritual transformation, or regeneration produced by The Holy Spirit. New birth is an act of God whereby eternal life is imparted to the believer (2 Cor. 5;17; Titus 3:5; 1 Pet 1:3; 1 John 2:29, 3:9, 4:7, 5:1, 18). John 1:12, 13 indicates that “born again” also carries the idea “to become children of God” through trust in the name of the incarnate Word.
    a. “Cannot see The Kingdom of God” – In context, this is primarily a reference to participation in the Millennial Kingdom at the end of the age, fervently anticipated by the Pharisees, and other Jews. Since the Pharisees were supernaturalist, they naturally, and eagerly expected the coming of the prophesied resurrection of the saints, and institution of the Messianic Kingdom (Is. 11:1-16; Dan 12:2). Their problem was that they thought that mere physical lineage and keeping of religious externals qualified them for entrance into the Kingdom rather than the needed spiritual transformation which Jesus emphasized (8:33-39: Gal 6:15). The coming of the Kingdom at the end of the age can be described as the “regeneration” of the world (Matt 19:28), but regeneration of the individual is required before the end of the world in order to enter the Kingdom.
    B. John 3:4 “Born of Water and The Spirit” – Jesus referred not to literal water here, but for the need for “cleansing” (Ezek 36:24-27). When water is used figuratively in the OT, it habitually refers to renewal, or spiritual cleansing, especially when used in conjunction with “spirit” (Num. 19:17-19; Ps. 51:9, 10; Is. 32:15, 44:3-5, 55:1-3: Jer. 21:13; Joel 2:28, 29). Thus, Jesus made reference to the spiritual washing, or purification of the soul, accomplished by The Holy Spirit through the Word of God at the moment of salvation (Eph 5:26; Titus 3:5), these are immediately placed into one united spiritual body, the church (1 Cor. 12:12, 13), The bride of Christ ( 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph 5:23-32; Rev 19:7, 8), of which Christ is the head (Eph 1:22, 4:15; Col 1:18). Therefore, every believer possesses the indwelling presence of The Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation, required for belonging to His Kingdom.
    C. John 3:8 “The wind blows where it wishes” – Jesus’ point was that just as the wind cannot be controlled or understood by human beings, but its effects can be witnessed, so also it is with The Holy Spirit. He cannot be controlled or understood, but the proof of His work is apparent. Where The Spirit works there is unmistakable, and undeniable evidence.

    (2 Cor. 13:5)
    (Matt 7:21-23)
    (James 2:14-26)
    *If List 1 is true of a person and list 2 is false, there is cause to question the validity of one’s profession of faith. Yet if list 2 is true, then list 1 will be also.

    I. List 1 — is a list of Evidence that neither prove, nor disprove one’s faith
    A. Visible Morality – Mat 19:16-21, 23;27
    B. Intellectual Knowledge – Romans 1:21, 2;17ff
    C. Religious Involvement – Matt 25;1-10
    D. Active Ministry – Matt 7:21-24
    E. Conviction of Sin – Acts 24;25
    F. Assurance – Matt 23
    G. Time of Decision Luke 8;13,14

    II. List 2 a list of the fruits/proofs of authentic/true Christianity
    A. Love for God – Ps. 42:1ff, 73:25, Luke 10:27, Romans 8:7
    B. Repentance from sin – Ps 32:5, prov 28:13, Romans 7:14ff, 2 Cor 7:10, 1 John 1:8-10
    C Genuine Humility – Ps. 51:17, Matt 5:1-12, James 4:6,9ff
    D. Devotion to God’s Glory – Ps. 105:3, 115:1, Is. 43:7, 48:10ff, Jer. 9:23,24, 1 Cor 10:31
    E Continual Prayer – Luke 18:1, Eph 6:18ff, Phil 4:6ff,1 Tim 2:1-4, James 5:16-18
    F. Selfless love – 1 John 2:9ff, 3:14, 4:7ff
    G. Separation from the World – 1 Cor 2:12, James 4:4ff, 1 John 2:15-17, 5:5
    H. Spiritual Growth – Luke 8:15, John 15:1-6, Eph 4;12-16
    I Obedient Living – Matt 7:21, John 15:14ff, romans 16:26, 1 pet 1:2,22, 1 John 2:3-5
    J. Hunger for God’s Word – 1 Pet 2:1-3
    K. Transformation of Life- 2 Cor 5:17

    III. The Conduct of the Gospel
    A. Proclaim it Mat 4:23
    B. Defend it Jude 3
    C. Demonstrate it Phil 1:27
    D Share it phil 1:5
    E Suffer for it 2 Tim 1:8
    F Don’t hinder it 1 Cor 9:12
    G be not Ashamed Romans 1:16
    H Preach it 1 Cor 9:16
    I. Be empowered by it 1 Thess 1:5
    J Guard it Gal 1:6-8

    John chapter 6:
    A. 6:44 “draws him” – The combination of v. 37(a), and v.44 indicate that the divine drawing activity which Jesus referred to cannot be reduced to what theologians call “prevenient grace” i.e., that the power to come to Christ is allegedly dispensed to all mankind, thus enabling everyone to accept or reject the Gospel according to their own will alone. Scripture indicates that no ‘free-will’ exists in man’s nature, for man is enslaved to sin (total depravity), and unable to believe apart from God’s empowerment (Rom. 3:1-19; Eph 2:1-3; 2 Cor. 4:4; 2 Tim 1:9). While “whosoever will” may come to the Father, only those whom the Father gives the ability to will toward Him will actually come to Him. The drawing here is selective, and efficacious (producing the desired effect) upon those whom God has sovereignly chosen for salvation. i.e., Those whom God has chosen will believe because God has sovereignly determined that result from eternity past (Eph 1:9-11). V.37 (b) – no one chosen will be lost (Romans 8:31-39). This saving purpose is the Father’s will which the Son will not fail to do perfectly (v. 38, 4:34, 10:28, 29; 17:6, 12, 24). Intellectually harmonizing the sovereignty of God, and the responsibility of man is impossible humanly, but perfectly resolved in the infinite mind of God.
    a. Getting comfortable with not being able to intellectually harmonize these Truths result in:
    i. Greater Worship (The Sovereignty of God)
    ii. Greater motivation to evangelize (human responsibility)
    1 Corinthians Chapter 12
    A. V.13(a) “baptized” – The church, the spiritual body of Christ, is formed as believers are immersed by Christ with the Holy Spirit. Christ is the baptizer (Matt 3:11) who immerses each believer with the Spirit into unity with all other believers. Paul’s point is to emphasize the unity of all believers. There cannot be any believer who has not been Spirit baptized, nor can there be more than one Spirit baptism, or the whole point of unity in the body of Christ is convoluted. Believers have all been Spirit – baptized, and thus are all in one body (Eph. 4:4-6). This is not an experience to seek, but a reality to acknowledge. (Acts 8:44, 10:44, 45, 11:15, 16).
    B. In closing V. 13(b) “drink into one spirit” – The Bible teaches with overwhelming evidence that:
    a. At salvation –
    i. All believers not only become full members of Christ’s body, the church, but the Holy Spirit is placed within each of them. (6:19, Rom. 8:9; Col. 2:10; 2 Pet. 1:3, 4)
    b. There is no need (or divine provision) for
    i. any such thing as a second blessing.
    ii. a triumphalistic experience of a deeper life.
    iii. Any formula for instantly increased spirituality (John 3:34)
    *Christ’s salvation provision is perfect, and He calls only for obedience, and trust in what has already been given (Heb 10:14). i.e., Luke 23:42, 43 – The thief on the cross
    (Adapted from the MacArthur Study Bible 2nd edition)
    Please understand that the interpretation of said texts have been firmly held, stood the test of intense scrutiny throughout the centuries, and established by the True Church for the last1,900 years up until the new Pentecostal movement took place in 20th century.

    Thank you for your patience, consideration, and time.
    Chris Perl
    602 460 6801
    [email protected]

    1. Hi Chris! Thank you once again for your informative response. As I replied to your other response to my other article on divine healing, I will bear repeating it again here. This is not an essential doctrine for salvation and therefore, I think it is healthy and mature for us to be able to agree to disagree agreeably with humility, love, and respect. There is far more that unites us as born-again followers of Jesus than what divides us. I pray we can unite around the essential Gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom. None of us know it all and none of have perfect interpretation or the “True interpretation” of all the Scriptures. The curse of sin has affected our ability to interpret the word of God perfectly and therefore, no one has perfect theology but Jesus alone. I’m not saying this as an excuse not to do our diligent research and study because we are commanded to do our very best to “study to show ourselves approved” and to properly interpret the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15). We must not only study hard and properly exegete or draw out of the text of Scripture the proper hermeneutical approach based upon its proper context, but we must also look at Scripture in the light of the whole counsel of Scripture and be led by the master teacher – the Holy Spirit – in all of it. I think it is imperative that we have a good dose of humility in approaching this subject and be willing to change our interpretations if convinced through the study of Scripture based upon its proper historical and grammatical context. Many great men and women of God have disagreed over this topic throughout church history and it will continue until Christ returns. As Augustine once said, “In the essentials unity, in the non-essentials disunity, but in all things charity.” So, with that spirit I will now respond to your response my brother. First off, you use the theological word “monergistic” to refer to the interpretation of Scriptures known as “monergism.” Right off, I must say that I do not believe that monergism is biblical. I am not a “Calvinist” and I do not believe in the TULIP or 5 points of Calvinism. So right away, we are coming at this from two totally different perspectives. I believe in the term “synergism” and that man has a part to play in his relationship or partnership with God and God has a part to play. I call it the “Divine dance.” I DO NOT believe man can save himself or add anything to his salvation nor do I believe in a works salvation or in Pelagianism. I believe that it is by God’s grace alone 100 percent that we are saved. But the Bible says that we are to be “co-laborers” or partners with God (1 Corinthians 3:9). It is a relationship and I don’t believe God forces anyone into heaven nor did He make us robots or puppets. I do not believe it is in God’s nature (He is just, merciful, loving, and good) to save just a small elect of people and damn the majority of people to hell without any choice on the part of humans. I do not believe in fatalism or God coercing people into heaven against their will. I believe all of mankind has freedom of choice given to them by their Creator and that salvation is available potentially to all who respond with their freedom of choice by trusting in Jesus and repenting of their sins (John 3:16). I believe God’s heart is spelt out clearly in the Scriptures when He says that He wills or desires ALL to be saved (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9) and that He takes no delight in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23; 33:11). I do not believe it is logical or reasonable to believe that God would will or desire all to be saved and yet at the same time, go against His will or desire and damn the majority of the world to hell apart from any choice on their end. That simply is not biblical nor logical nor does it do justice to God’s nature as revealed in the Scriptures (that He is a just, merciful, good, and loving Father). Of course, I believe in predestination and election because they are biblical terms but not in the way “Calvinists” interpret them. God predestinates us to service for Him and He elects to salvation those who trust in Jesus. God elects based upon His foreknowledge of those who would freely choose to trust in Jesus (1 Peter 1:2). I also believe that we must do our part to continue to believe and to remain or persevere in the faith to the end in order to be saved until the end (Matthew 24:13). It’s not just how you start but rather most importantly how you finish that matters most to God. There are plenty of real warnings in the Bible about the possibility of having our names erased from the book of life and falling away or apostatizing from the faith (Psalm 69:28; Revelation 3:5; Hebrews 3:12; 6:4-6; 10:26-31; 2 Peter 2:20-22). Our part is to have faith in Jesus (or “faithing” – faith is constantly in the continual tense in the Greek) and God’s part is to justify, sanctify, glorify, and keep us by His grace. As long as we do our part to trust in Jesus, Jesus will always do His part and keep us until the end blameless and spotless (Jude 20-25). It’s 100 percent by grace from beginning to end – there’s prevenient or initiatory grace, saving grace, sanctifying grace, and glorifying grace – in our Christian journey. I disagree with you about prevenient grace. I do believe prevenient grace is biblical or that God draws all of mankind to Himself by grace. You referenced John 6:44 which is true that only those who can come to Jesus can come based upon the Father’s drawing or prevenient grace. However, you limited it to only a few that God chooses. I believe this drawing or prevenient or initiatory grace goes to all according to Titus 2:11 – “For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to ALL men.” The Holy Spirit regenerates us as you mentioned the moment we are saved by God’s grace through our faith. We do have a part to play to cooperate with God in the process by trusting in Jesus. This is not a works salvation because faith is not a work. We simply trust in Jesus to do all the saving for us based upon His merit and what He performed or earned for us through His perfect obedience to the Law of God and through His substitutionary work on the cross and His resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God the Father. We simply receive the free gift of salvation which is all 100 percent by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10). I do agree that there is both a positional sanctification and a progressive sanctification. I wrote a book on this called “Wholly Holy: A Training Manual for Living a Completely Holy Life” which can be purchased on Amazon. I also agree that there is no possibility of sinless perfectionism on this Earth and that we will have to struggle against the flesh, the world, and the devil until we get our resurrected renewed bodies in heaven. But I also believe we can have true and lasting freedom and victory over sin on this Earth as well. I do agree with you that there must be good works or fruit demonstrated in one’s life to prove that the faith is in fact a saving or genuine faith (James 2:14-26). We are in agreement here. But moving on from the topic of soteriology, let’s focus on the topic at hand – the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit. I disagree with you on your interpretation of 1 Corinthians 12:13. This is not referring to the same baptism of the Spirit mentioned in Acts 1:8 and 2:4. The agent doing the baptism in 1 Corinthians 12:13 is the Holy Spirit and that is referring to regeneration which happens at the moment of conversion by grace through faith and a believer is then incorporated into the universal church body. Romans 8:9 talks about this indwelling Holy Spirit that all Christians receive at conversion and I believe this is what 1 Corinthians 12:13 is referencing. Acts 1:8 and 2:4 (and throughout the book of Acts) is a totally different experience from the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:13 and Romans 8:9 and it is a secondary and subsequent experience (although it can happen at conversion as well) where a believer is empowered for missions and ministry and people can receive multiple fillings of the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18 – the tense in the Greek is continual). I notice that for both responses you referenced John MacArthur. You mentioned more than once about the “True church” and the “True interpretation.” This sounds incredibly cult like and arrogant. I do not intend to judge your heart and motives but rather I’m referring to those specific terms you used – “True church” and “True interpretation.” This is why I say it “sounds” cult like and arrogant. No one church or one teacher has perfect theology or interpretation nor is there one perfect church out there. MacArthur is a great Bible teacher but he is not right about everything. I disagree with his Calvinistic views and his views on Spirit Baptism and the gifts of the Holy Spirit for example. But I agree with him on many things as well. Just be careful not to follow just one teacher or any one man. Listen to many Bible teachers and take many different interpretations to the Lord and use the brain God has given you to study for yourself with the master teacher – the Holy Spirit. I am not claiming to know it all and if anything I said in response to you does not line up with the Scriptures properly interpreted in their right context, then reject it. But if I am correct in my interpretations, then accept them. The key at the end of the day is for all of us to come under the authority of the Scriptures like the Berean church and to examine everything taught to make sure it lines up with the Scriptures (Acts 17:11). We must “test everything and hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). God bless you my brother!

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