Delivered By
C.C. Risenhoover
Delivered On
August 6, 2017
Central Passage
Joel 2:28-29
Attached Document
Open Document
Description

August 6, 2017

SPIRIT BAPTISM

I understand that not every believer has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit…but also understand that every believer is a candidate for such baptism. I also understand that…among believers…a large percentage have inadequate knowledge about Spirit Baptism and its purpose.

I further understand that Christian leaders…who are responsible for teaching and guiding the church in God’s word…are accountable for providing an antidote for this lack of Spirit Baptism among believers.

The evidence for Spirit Baptism is stated eloquently in Scripture…so, I don’t feel it necessary for me to defend the doctrine. Instead, my purpose is to provide suggestions that will help Christians receive Spirit Baptism…and to help those who have already received it to understand the strength of their experience.

For those who have not received Spirit Baptism…I reiterate that every believer is a candidate. The prophet Joel prophesied that God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh. In chapter 2, verses 28-29, God said, “It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

Note that God references both male and female…young and old…and people of every social standing. In fact, this prophecy in Joel reflects Moses’s hope that is found in Numbers 11:29: “Would that all the LORD’S people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them.”

On the Day of Pentecost…Peter quoted from the Book of Joel about Spirit Baptism. He said the promised gift was for the Jews and their children…and for those who are far away…the latter reference being to Gentiles. Paul made that clear in Ephesians 2:13-18, which tells us, “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.”

Both Peter and Paul made it clear that the prophetic outpouring of the Holy Spirit is no longer limited to a chosen group…that everyone is a candidate for Spirit Baptism.

Now it’s important to understand that the Holy Spirit dwells in every born again Christian…regardless of whether they have received Spirit Baptism. When an individual repents and chooses to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ…the Holy Spirit does the work of regeneration within him or her. The Holy Spirit doesn’t come and go. He continues to dwell within every true believer.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is a gift from God. It’s called a gift because no one is baptized in the Holy Spirit based on his or her merit. It’s another gracious act of God.

Obviously, because Satan attacks and belittles every outpouring of God’s grace…some people fake the experience of Spirit Baptism. This includes Christians who want so much to be in the Spirit that they make up a tongue of their own…or grab hold of one given by a demonic spirit. This usually only happens when a professing believer is living a compromised Christian life.

You can, of course, fool some of the people some of the time by proclaiming that you have received Spirit Baptism…but you can’t fool God. And it’s dangerous to try. Just remember that Spirit Baptism in a gift…not a requirement for salvation. So, if you want that gift…ask God to give it to you…because He’s the only one who can.

Seeking Spirit Baptism doesn’t require some long, drawn out procedure…or a series of procedural steps. What’s required is an appropriate attitude…and a simultaneous submission to God’s authority…along with sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading.

No one can speak in a spiritual tongue unknown to them on his or her own. The recipient must work in concert with the Holy Spirit. On the Day of Pentecost…Acts tells us that every disciple spoke in a tongue unknown to them as the Spirit gave them the ability. This principal of anticipation is a perfect antidote against the false teaching that to be Spirit Baptized you must work hard and wait upon the Lord for a long period of time.

Prayer and worship certainly helps a person in their quest for Spirit Baptism. In Luke 11:13, Jesus taught that God is more than willing to baptize us by the Holy Spirit when He said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

Scripture teaches that in a quest for Spirit Baptism…we are to keep asking, to keep seeking and to keep knocking until we have a breakthrough. And God wants us to know that this is not a hopeless quest. It is, in fact, the foundation of the fourth beatitude…found in Matthew 5:6, where Jesus states, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” In other words, if you really want this gift you can have it

Prayer is the key ingredient to Spirit Baptism. The disciples were praying before the Day of Pentecost came. And prayers and petitions must be combined with praise and worship. After the Ascension of Jesus, Luke 24:53 tells us the disciples “…were continually in the temple praising God.” Their praise in the temple was a prelude to the prayers offered in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost.

Praising God in your own tongue provides a smooth transition to

A heavenly tongue. When the disciples spoke in tongues…they actually

magnified God and His works in language not known to them. It’s interesting to note that the Day of Pentecost is officially an occasion where people thank God for His goodness and provision. The provision He provided on that day was much more than the followers of Jesus could have ever expected.

While God undoubtedly answers prayers…because of reasons known only to Him…His timing may not be parallel with our own. Unexpected outpourings of the Holy Spirit are described in the book of Acts…and they are also recorded throughout church history. But we don’t have the ability to dictate or force when an outpouring of the Spirit will occur. God alone determines when an outpouring will occur.

It’s important to understand that not everyone who experiences Spirit Baptism will speak in tongues. It is a gift…and one of the physical evidences attained by some…but there are other purposes and divine goals related to the experience. In 1 Corinthians 14:2-4, Paul wrote: “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.”

There is a devotional application to speaking in tongues. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:13-18, “Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the ‘Amen’ at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. I thank God that 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 others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.”

Obviously, Paul had experienced Spirit Baptism and had received the gift of speaking in tongues...but he did not use the gift indiscriminately and without purpose. In Ephesians 6:18, he wrote: “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints…”

And Jude 1:20 tells us, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit…”

Speaking in tongues is a practice through which the believer is edified…which is why it is called the language of prayer. We have people in our congregation who have what they call a prayer language…which is simply speaking in tongues. We don’t hear them use it publicly in a worship service because it’s personal and edifies them only. But it’s another feature of God’s grace that is available for the asking. So, while a tongue may be unknown to us…it’s not unknown to God.

Also, the exercise of tongues is not limited to the initial moment of the Spirit Baptism…but is repetitive in nature. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:5, “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy.”

In Romans 8:26, Paul wrote: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings.” The term “inexpressible groanings” resembles the same meaning as praying in tongues.

The recipient of the Spirit Baptism has access to all the spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible. Let’s look at the gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11. “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another the gift of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”

When a person totally surrenders to the Holy Spirit…with a desire to be led by the Spirit…they will feel the very breath of God upon them. We read in both the Old and New Testaments about spiritual gifts being manifested through people possessed of the Holy Spirit…and through Christians in every generation since the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus.

For those spiritual gifts to be manifest through us…we must eagerly hunger and thirst for them. We must not cherry pick the Word of God…choosing only those Scriptures that we want to believe…because Spirit Baptism is associated with the supernatural strength of a holy lifestyle. That requires being immersed in the Holy Spirit…and bearing spiritual fruit, not just exercising gifts of the Spirit.

The most important result of Spirit Baptism is the desire and power to witness. Anyone who claims to have received Spirit Baptism…yet neglects to witness to the spiritually lost…contradicts everything the experience is about. There can be no Spirit Baptism apart from the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.

A recipient of Spirit Baptism is also promised the power to perform miracles in the name of Jesus. The Acts of the Apostles present us with a complete index of gifts of the Holy Spirit. Verbal gifts are among those mentioned…along with gifts of healing, driving out demons and raising the dead.

I pray that this message has been beneficial to your understanding of Spirit Baptism…and to your understanding of the gift of speaking in tongues. I do not possess that gift…but know that some in our church do. It’s a special gift…and one I know is real because Scripture tells me it’s real.

I have received Spirit Baptism…but don’t know if I will ever speak in a spiritual tongue unknown to me? I just know that if God wants me to have such a gift...He will provide it and I will gladly receive it. It’s not something I can force God to give me…but I’m open to receiving any gift He wants me to have…and using it for His glory.

 

 

 

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