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Holy Spirit Baptism

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
February 1, 2023 10:00 am

Holy Spirit Baptism

So What? / Lon Solomon

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We want to spend our time this morning talking about Holy Spirit baptism since, as we learned last week, this is one of the two or three constants that tends to pervade the entire thing we call the charismatic movement. Those three constants really are an emphasis on a second baptism of the Holy Spirit, an emphasis on the miraculous sign gifts of Mark 16, which we discussed last week as to their purpose, their intent, and their character, and then finally an emphasis on the gift of prophecy as the Bible knew it.

And we'll be talking about that in future days. But we want to talk this morning about Holy Spirit baptism, and we have a three-point outline, and here it is. Number one, what do our charismatic friends understand Holy Spirit baptism to be? In other words, what do they think it is? Then second of all, what does the Word of God teach Holy Spirit baptism to be?

Maybe it's the same thing as they see it, and maybe it isn't. So let's look at the Word of God and see if indeed their opinion of it squares. And finally, what about a second surrender experience for a Christian?

What about a second blessing? We want to talk about that since that's such a big emphasis in charismatic circles. We want to talk about that for a minute and see what the Scripture has to say about that. Now before we start, let me reemphasize for those of you who are visiting or perhaps even for our regular folk what our purpose and our motive is in these studies. Our purpose is not to attack any particular charismatic group or individual. This is not some sort of vigilante crusade against charismatics. Our purpose is not to deliberately create opposing camps and to foster hostility. Our purpose is not to prove charismatics wrong or right necessarily. Our purpose is to rightly divide the Word of Truth. If we divide it rightly and it comes up agreeing with charismatic doctrine in a particular point, fine. And if we divide it rightly and it comes up disagreeing with charismatic doctrine in a particular point, that's fine too. We're not interested in what the charismatics say.

I'm not even really that interested in what I say to tell you the truth. We're interested in what the Word of God says. And that's our purpose. To, with as much honesty and as much integrity as I know how, to divide the Word of God correctly for you, that we may really find out what God says on all of this. Besides, I realize our elders can count, and if I'd have ended in 1 Corinthians 11 and started in 15, they would have scratched their heads and said, wait a minute, something's wrong here.

So I knew I couldn't skip it. And so we really need to deal with these chapters. If Paul thought three chapters of this book were worth writing on this subject, then we should certainly think it's worth studying.

Now we want you to enjoy this study with us. We're out to put no one in our assembly on the defensive. We're out to put nobody on the defensive, whether they're in our assembly or not. We're just out to instruct in the truths of the Word of God and then allow the Holy Spirit to apply these truths as He sees necessary.

So we want you to relax, okay? And come along with us as we study the Word of God on this subject. Holy Spirit baptism. Let's begin by talking about what the charismatics think this is, what they say this is. The baptism, it's often called of the Holy Spirit, even though that's an unscriptural term, and I'll share with you why in a few moments. But baptism in the Holy Spirit, baptism with the Holy Spirit, baptism by the Holy Spirit, any one of those three is acceptable. I'm quoting now, I have a whole list of quotes from several different references. The first one here is from Don Basham, in his book, a handbook on Holy Spirit baptism.

And I'm quoting. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a second encounter with God. The first is conversion, in which the Christian begins to receive the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit into his life. Quoting further, two baptisms in the Christian life exist, each indicative of a major experience with the power of God. The first is water baptism, referring to the power of conversion. The second one refers to an experience in which the Christian is brought into a deeper relationship with Christ and with the Holy Spirit. Further, baptism in the Holy Spirit is not essential for salvation.

It is a second work of grace, which follows conversion. Most Christians today receive baptism in the Holy Spirit only after instruction and specific prayer. Further, certainly the Holy Spirit is present in our lives at conversion. Holy Spirit baptism comes when the Holy Spirit is not just present in our lives, but when we make him fully welcome and give him full attention. Further, without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Christian is missing out on a great measure of divine power, which will equip him for a more powerful Christian witness. Further, if you are a Christian, you can and should have the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We believe that every Christian can receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Now, those are just some quotes. Then out of a book written by Dennis and Rita Bennett—and we'll learn more about Dennis Bennett next week when we talk about the history of the charismatic movement, the modern charismatic movement, because he really, in many senses, is the founder of it—anyway, in a book by them called The Holy Spirit in You, they have what they call the ABCs of receiving the baptism. Number one, A, ask Jesus to baptize you. James 4-2, you have not because you ask not.

Number two, B, believe you have received it. John 16-24, ask and you shall receive that your joy might be full. And C, confess with your lips. Ask, believe, confess.

And he under-confessed, this is some of what they had to say. Confess with your lips, but in a new way that the Lord is ready to give you. Open your mouth and show that you believe the Lord has baptized you in the Spirit by beginning to speak. Don't speak English, for God cannot guide you to speaking in tongues if you are speaking in a language known to you. Just like a child learning to talk for the first time, open your mouth and speak the first syllables that come to your lips. You must begin to speak as an act of faith, and God will then guide you.

Psalm 81-10, open your mouth and I will fill it. And now we have a new wrinkle in all of this, quoting again, the only clear scriptural evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. And the purpose of all of this? Well, I've just excerpted some of the purposes that they mentioned, but here a couple brings assurance of salvation, brings the Scriptures to light, gives more power in prayer, brings concern for the salvation of others, brings a new emphasis on the Lordship of Christ and His glory, and there's others.

I just chose those at random. So, what have we got here? We've got the baptism of the Holy Spirit as the charismatic believers see it, and that is three critical points. Number one, it is subsequent to salvation.

It is not concurrent with salvation, it comes after salvation, maybe five days, maybe five years, but it always comes later. Number two, without it, the fullness of God's presence cannot be attained. Without it, the fullness of God cannot be yours. And number three, the outward confirmation is speaking in tongues. Now I realize that any one particular group may modify these three things to slight degrees, but this is the essence of what we're talking about. An experience subsequent to salvation that gives you access to the fullness of God and which is, at least in most charismatic circles, manifested with the gift of tongues as the confirming outward proof that you got it, that you got the real thing. Okay?

That's what we're talking about. Now, what we have to find out is, does that square with the Word of God? If it does, praise God, let's all do it.

If it doesn't, then we need to reject it. And the only way to find out is to investigate the Scripture. I want you to turn with me to 1 Corinthians chapter 12. First Corinthians chapter 12. Now there's only one passage in all of the church epistles, all the church letters, that ever used the term Holy Spirit baptism, baptism in the Holy Spirit, or anything like that. And that's here in 1 Corinthians 12. You might say, yes, but the Gospels and the Acts mention the baptism with the Spirit.

That's true. Why don't we start there? Well, that's a good question. The reason we're not going to start there is because, you see, it is the letters to the church that are the marching orders of the church. Everything that is for normal, regular church life is not contained in the Gospels and not contained in the Book of Acts, but in the letters of Paul to the churches specifically overseeing how the church was to function. Now we're going to go back in just a minute and look at these passages in the Gospels and look at the passages of Acts.

We're not going to scurry around them. But we have to start where we should start. The Church of Jesus Christ, in setting up doctrine and practice, should always start in the epistles of the New Testament. They were written to tell us how we should live as a local church. In the Old Testament, the Gospels and the Book of Acts and the Book of Revelation were not.

They're valuable, and they're helpful, and they have application. But we should be centering our programming, our thinking, our approach on the letters of the New Testament. That's why we're going to start there. They're the marching orders of the church. Now let's set the context to 1 Corinthians 12, 13. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul is talking about the fact that the body of Jesus Christ has diversity but unity. Diversity but unity.

That's his whole point. And when we tackle this chapter verse by verse in a few weeks, you'll see this more clearly. They have diversity. That is, there's a variety of gifts. That's what Paul talks about in verses 4 through 11 of this chapter. There's one spirit with different gifts.

There's one Lord with different manifestations. To one was given this gift. To one that gift. To another this gift.

To another that gift. The Holy Spirit's made us different in our function. So there's diversity.

And then verses 12 and 13 begin bringing in the other side of the coin, which is the unity. Now Paul could have picked almost any example to illustrate this. He could have picked a football team. I mean, a running back doesn't do what a guard or a tackle does. He could have picked a baseball team. A pitcher doesn't do what a catcher does. It just occurs to me standing here they didn't have football and baseball, but he could have picked, I don't know, an Olympic Games running team.

I don't know. He could have picked something. He could have picked an army, certainly, right? They had armies then.

I mean, certain members of the army do different things than the other members of the army, but they're all the same army. But you know what he picked to use as the illustration? He picked the human body. The human body. Because Paul saw that the human body is a fantastic creation of God that manifests at the very same time unity and diversity.

The very same time. Unity. That is, there is one life energy, one life principle, one life force that goes through every single cell of our human body. It's an organic unit.

The parts are not disconnected. There's the same life force in my fingers as is in my toes. And the same spirit pervades it all.

So there's unity. And yet there's diversity, right? Even though the body is a cohesive unit, all the parts don't do the same thing. My fingers don't do what my toes do. My heart doesn't do what my liver does. I don't even know what my pancreas does, but I know it doesn't do the same thing as my eyes do. Right?

So there's diversity. And thank God for that. I wouldn't want my pancreas to do what my eyes do. I want it to do whatever it's supposed to do.

Be a pancreas. And enjoy it. Because whatever it does is important. Right?

You don't want your heart to do what your liver does. You'd be in bad trouble. But you're glad.

I'm glad anyway. They're all one part. Right? There's a unity. And that's Paul's point in verse 12. For as the body, the human body is one and has many members, hearts, livers, kidneys, whatever. And all the members of that body, even though there are many, are still one body.

Do you see what he's doing? How he's pointing to the unity. They're all one body.

But the diversity, there's many parts. So also is Christ. Now you know, when I read this, you know what I expected to hear him say? I expected to hear him say, so also is the body of Christ.

So also is the church. He didn't say that, did he? He said, so also is Christ. That struck me. And I thought, I wonder why he said that.

Then it began to dawn on me what he's trying to get us to see here. That all of us as believers are individual parts of this thing called the body of Christ. We all have diverse gifts, and therefore we all have diverse functions. But we're all tied together by one life force, tied together by one spirit, if you will. And Christ is the head of that body. He's the life. He's the energy. He's the director of its parts and the source of its life. And it's his life that forms the unifying factor for all the body. You see that? And that's why when you see the body of Christ, you see Christ. Because it's his energy and his life that is making that body one and making it function. Now that's a kind of a complex theological idea.

Let's see if we can break it down a little bit. When you want to see Lon Solomon, right? You can't see my spirit. I mean, I'm my spirit and I've never seen my spirit. So if I've never seen it, I'm certainly not gonna let you see it, right? I don't know what my spirit looks like. I don't know what your spirit looks like. Well, you can't see that. And that's the real me. But if you want to see me, what do you do? Well, you look at my body, right? See, some of you are smiling. I admit it's not much. But it's the best I have, gang.

I'm sorry. You look at my body, right? Because me, the real me, Lon Solomon, my spirit, I'm the one that animates this body. I'm the one that lives through this body. I'm the one that expresses myself through this body. And so if you want to see me, you look at my body, right?

And you watch how it moves and how it lives and how it expresses itself. Well, the same is true with our Lord. You see, how is a person in this world going to see Jesus Christ? They are not going to see him visibly, I assure you. Not until he comes.

And by then, if they haven't already trusted him, it's going to be too late. How are they going to see Jesus Christ? They are going to see him in the same way through the body that he animates, through the body that he gives life to, through the body that he lives through and expresses himself through. And my friends, you and I as believers are the only Christ this world will ever see.

We're it. And yet if we will surrender to Jesus Christ and let him live through us, he'll manifest who and what he is through us. Because he's the head, and he wants to live through us the parts of the body. That's why Jesus said to Philip, Philip, have I been so long with you and you don't know me? He who has seen me has seen the Father.

Why? Because the Father lives through me and expresses himself through me. And when you see me react to a situation, you see him reacting. When you see me doing a particular thing, that's what he would do in the same circumstance. And my friends, when we're fully surrendered to Jesus Christ, when people watch us react and move, they're watching Jesus Christ, if we're surrendered to him. That's his goal.

That's his plan. That's why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12, 12, so also is Christ, not the body of Christ, but Christ himself. More on this later, okay? We've got to move on. The point is clear, that despite the diversity of the body, there's a unity that pervades the whole thing. Now you might say, how can that be? How can all these different little pieces of people out here and me be all unified, like, I mean, my liver and my kidneys and all these things, they're all packed in here in the one little body, and the same blood and everything, I mean, but you're different than I am. You're a different body.

I'm a different body. How can we have a unity? Well, verse 13 is the answer. For by one Spirit, we're all baptized into one body, whether Jew or Greek, whether bond or free, and we've all been made to drink in one Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the key. You see that verse, verse 13, it starts with the word for.

That means reason why. It's like a little neon sign going, here's how, here's why, here's how, here's why, and the answer is the Spirit of God. He is the life force that pervades the whole body of Christ. You see, just like my toes and my fingers are all one, because they all share the same Spirit, they're all energized by the same Spirit, mine. So too, we as individual parts of the body of Jesus Christ, indwelt by the same Spirit, energized by the same Spirit, are one because we all have the same Spirit, God's. You see that?

That's the point. Now, I want us to take this verse apart, step by step. Verse 13 starts, for by one Spirit, by one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body.

The word by here is a Greek preposition, en, which means in, by, with, never of. So baptism of the Holy Spirit is an unscriptural term. Never anywhere in the Bible is there ever baptism of the Spirit. There's baptism with the Spirit or baptism by the Spirit. Possibly baptism in the Spirit, although that's unlikely because of the case used here with the preposition. But never baptism of. The Spirit never baptizes anybody. Jesus Christ baptizes people with the Spirit. Okay? And it's one Spirit.

Would you notice that? By one Spirit. One Spirit. There's the key to the unity.

There's a tremendous stress in here on unity. The same Spirit. We all got the exact same Spirit when we believed.

There's only one. By one Spirit, we were baptized. The word baptism in Greek means to be immersed, to be dipped, to be immersed into something.

It's even used sometimes of dying fabrics where you take the fabric and you totally immerse it in the dye. That's the idea. And so we as believers were immersed. Now this is a dry verse, okay? It's not a wet verse.

It's a dry verse. We were not immersed in water. We were immersed in the Spirit or by the Spirit. This is a spiritual immersion. We were not baptized with water and that's not what's in view in this verse. It's baptism with the Spirit.

Immersed into what? By one Spirit. We were immersed into one body, the body of Christ.

We were all immersed into that body, made to be one organic unit. And God places you as a believer into vital connection with every other believer. And we've all been made to drink of one Spirit, whether we're Jew or Greek, whether we're bond or freak.

It doesn't matter how great the difference used to be. There was no greater difference than between a Jew and a Gentile, and yet now in the body of Christ, they're one. There was no greater difference culturally between a slave and a master, but in Jesus Christ, they're one. God puts them in the same body, puts the same Spirit pulsing through every cell. And we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Do you see the emphasis? One Spirit. We all got one Spirit. And notice that you had no choice. We were made to drink.

You see that? We didn't drink. See, it's not active. It doesn't say, and we all drank of one Spirit. And what it says, this is a passive in the Greek, we were made to drink of one Spirit. You didn't ask for this. You didn't have any choice about it. God did it because he wanted to do it. As a matter of fact, when he did it, you didn't even know that there was such a thing as a baptism of the Holy Spirit. When you received Jesus Christ, it happened. And it happened not because you wanted it to happen, but because God directed it to happen.

It's passive. He did the action, not you or me. This didn't happen because we asked for it or because we wanted it, but because God dictated it. And notice the key word that's repeated here twice is the word all. For by one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body, and we have all been made to drink of one Spirit. This is the Holy Spirit's point. Now, if he says all, how many don't have it?

None. Right? And it's so important he repeats it twice, friends. He wants us to get the point here. And that is that the unity of the body is based on the fact that every single part—all, every single part—have had the Holy Spirit baptism and been immersed into one body.

If there's a single part that hasn't had it, then it's a disconnected part, and it's unscriptural because there can be no disconnected part. So let's summarize verse 13. The purpose of Holy Spirit baptism is to make every believer one with every other believer. By immersing us into one body and making us all drink of one Spirit, God has produced a body that is organically unified, that possesses one life source, that is indwelt by one Christ. And thus 1 Corinthians 12.13 presents Holy Spirit baptism as an instrument of unity and equality in the body of Jesus Christ. There are not two different categories of Christians with regard to the level of Christ's lifeblood and Christ's energy that they have. There cannot be two levels of the lifeblood and the energy that I have of Jesus Christ. My heart doesn't have a different energy of me than my kidneys do, and you can't have a different level of energy of Jesus Christ in His Spirit than I do. Or you're not a part of the body in an equal way. This is the only Holy Spirit baptism that the church epistles knows anything about.

Do you hear that? This is the only Holy Spirit baptism the church epistles know anything about. And what grieves me is that Holy Spirit baptism, as we hear it presented, often results rather than unity in disunity, by establishing the haves and the have-nots. If you have it, you're a have.

If you don't have it, you're a have-not. And yet can't you see that the whole emphasis of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is not there's a have and a have-not, not there's an elite and a non-elite. There's unity between every one of us in the body of Jesus Christ.

Do you see that? Now when does one get this baptism of the Holy Spirit? Would you notice in verse 13 that both verb tenses are past tense? Look, for by one Spirit we were all baptized past tense. Not we will be, or we are being, or we could be, but we were.

And we have all been made to drink of one Spirit. This is past tense. These Corinthians had already had it, friends. It was past fact for them. You might say is that important?

Sure it's important. You see the Corinthians were the most carnal church that Paul had anything to do with. In fact, he even called them carnal.

Paul was a master of working with people, and he always was building people up. When he stopped and called you carnal, you know this must have been bad, right? I mean the Philippians had their problems and the Ephesians had their problems and the Thessalonians had their problems, and you can read the letters and see, but he never called them carnal.

These characters really had some serious problems. And yet, despite the fact that they were carnal, they had the Holy Spirit baptism. Now I have a question. If Holy Spirit baptism were the key to spirituality, and if Holy Spirit baptism only came as the result of spiritual surrender and spiritual yieldedness, and if it granted new power and new walk with God, how in the world could these guys have it and the Holy Spirit still call them carnal? Furthermore, if the solution to carnality and the secret to spiritual power is some sort of second Holy Spirit baptism, why doesn't the Holy Spirit tell the Corinthians to look for that?

In fact, why doesn't the Holy Spirit tell any believer in any letter anywhere to look for it, for that matter? You see, they didn't have to seek it. It was a fact. They already had it. It was theirs.

They were in union with the Lord, and they were in union with the rest of the body of Christ, even though they were carnal. You see, when my liver starts having problems, maybe something's wrong with it. I don't even know what can go wrong with a liver. But say something goes wrong with a liver, it doesn't automatically not become a part of my body anymore, does it? It's still a part of my body, even though it is giving me a hard way to go. When your back hurts or you've got an earache or anything else goes wrong, that part of your body, sometimes you'd like to cut it off and throw it away, but you can't.

Right? These people were part of the body. They were carnal. They were causing trouble. They were problems, but they were part of the body. They had the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

It was past fact for them. And so the point is that Holy Spirit baptism is the act of Christ in giving us the indwelling Holy Spirit, when? At salvation. Otherwise, the Holy Spirit could never have used that word at all. To have a believer unbaptized with the Holy Spirit makes him a disconnected part, which the Bible specifically says is impossible. Romans 8, 8. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he's not his.

He's not Christ's. Now let's take some objections from the other side. And I'm only going to do four or five of them quickly. But you'll hear these if you ever try to stand for the position I'm giving you, so we might as well cover them together. How about Acts 1?

Let's do the first one. How about Acts 1? Jesus told the apostles there to tarry and wait for the Holy Spirit. Aren't we supposed to tarry and wait for the Holy Spirit? Well, we read that passage earlier, and I trust you'll remember it from our scripture reading. Jesus said, tarry here in Jerusalem until powers come on you.

Then you'll be my witnesses. Here he told them to wait. But the reason he told them to wait is because the Holy Spirit had not come upon the church or any believer in it yet. See, in John chapter 7, we read, this he spoke of the Holy Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for the Holy Spirit was not yet given. And as he spoke to his apostles in that last week of his life, he's talked about the Holy Spirit. He said, who is with you and will be future in you?

See, he wasn't in them. There was no permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit before the day of Pentecost. So of course he told them to wait. But I want you to notice in verse 8, when did they receive power? He said, and you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you? They received power when the Holy Spirit came on them the first time, didn't they? Not a second time, not a second blessing. When the Holy Spirit came on them the first time, they got power.

We'll see that confirmed in other places. I want you to turn with me to Acts 19. A second objection that's raised is, well, you know, here in Acts 19, Paul goes up to Ephesus and here are these believers, and they haven't received the Holy Spirit yet, and yet they're called believers. And so what could this be besides a second blessing?

And when they get it, they get tongues with it. So how do you answer that, sir? Well, glad you brought it up.

Let's look at this very carefully. Verse 2, Paul came there and finding some disciples, he said to them, did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Reasonable question. Now why would he ask that? You think Paul walked around asking everybody, did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? I think there must have been something that made him wonder if they had. Maybe there was no power. Maybe there was no life. Maybe there was no vitality. And so that led to the question, what's wrong with you guys? Didn't you get the Holy Spirit?

Look what they said. They said, we have not so much heard whether there even be a Holy Spirit, because we never heard of this thing called the Holy Spirit. Now that causes Paul to wonder. That causes him to doubt whether or not they really knew Christ.

Why? Because in his mind, if you knew Jesus Christ, you should have the Holy Spirit. If they truly were saved, they should have had the Holy Spirit.

And when they say they never heard of it, notice his question. He says, into what then were you baptized? See, he's wondering now, what did you guys believe? When you were baptized, what were you believing when you were baptized? Now the only reason he would question what they had believed in is if he really thought the Holy Spirit should have been there already and it wasn't.

Now watch. And they said, into John's baptism. John who? John the Baptist. Not John the apostle.

He never been to Ephesus. John the Baptist. All they knew is there is one coming who will take away the sin of the world. That's all they knew. And just like John was baptizing in Judea, preparing people for the coming of the Lord, these were disciples of John. That's who they've been baptized into. And that's the only message they knew.

Now watch. Then Paul said, John indeed baptized with the baptism of repentance. That's what they had had. Saying to people that they should believe on him, who would come after him? That is Jesus Christ. These people hadn't heard this before. He's preaching the gospel to them. Now look, when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And Paul laid hands on them and the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. When did they get that Holy Spirit, friends? When they got saved. These people weren't Christians.

This was no second blessing. This was their salvation. They had never trusted Christ. They had never heard of Christ.

They didn't even know who he was. And do you see that? They got the Holy Spirit when they believed in Christ here. This is not a second blessing. And they got the gift of tongues here too. And let me just mention, if the gift of tongues here is a sign of anything, it's a sign of salvation, not second blessing. Now we've already talked about Acts 10 as a third objection. Cornelius, didn't he get a second blessing?

The answer is absolutely not. You can check on our first tape in this series and we talked about that. Cornelius got saved, friends. You can read Acts 10 and you can read Acts 11 and you will find that salvation is the issue. And you'll even find in Acts 11, 14, Peter says to the Jews that he preached to them, listen, how to be saved. That's what he was preaching to Cornelius and that's when he got the Holy Spirit and that's when he got the tongues.

A fourth objection. What about in Acts 8? The Holy Spirit in there in Samaria only came when the apostles came down and laid their hands on these people. And so these people that had the gospel preached to them, but they received the Holy Spirit afterwards. That's right. Well, that goes against everything you've said.

No, it doesn't. This was the first outreach of the gospel beyond Judea, beyond Jews in the world. Why did God hold off giving the Holy Spirit to these people until the apostles came down? He did it so that the apostles could verify for their own minds and for the minds of others that indeed God was going to reach Gentiles.

That's why. And they still hadn't gotten it straight in Acts 11 when Paul went to Cornelius. You can see the problem they were having. They got upset with him even then after they had been to Samaria and after they had seen what God had done and after they saw God give these people the same Holy Spirit. They still had problems with it. That's why God held off was to show them that he was doing the same thing, that this was not some sort of heresy. It was the same thing. Finally, how about tongues?

They appear in Acts 10 and they appear in Acts 19 accompanying the Holy Spirit coming on people. How about that? Well, how about that? It's true.

But let's think this thing through a little bit. Let's not forget that in Acts 10 and in Acts 19, tongues came with the Holy Spirit at salvation. So if tongues are a sign of anything, as I've already said, they're a sign of salvation and we know that's not right.

Furthermore, there's lots of places where the Holy Spirit was given that tongues never appear. The 3,000 were saved on the day of Pentecost, yet there's no record they spoke in tongues. Paul, when he was knocked down on the Damascus road, he didn't start speaking in tongues.

He started preaching the gospel. The Ethiopian eunuch didn't get the gift of tongues. The Philippian jailer didn't get the gift of tongues. As a matter of fact, in Acts 8 where Philip is doing all these miracles in Samaria and where the apostles come down and lay hands and the Holy Spirit falls, guess what? There's no gift of tongues there either.

What's the point I'm trying to make? But there's lots of cases where the gift of tongues didn't fall when the Holy Spirit fell. Well, why then would he fall in these cases?

Well, he fell in these cases because there was a reason for them to fall. Let's just think, for example, of Acts 10 where Cornelius got the Holy Spirit. The purpose of tongues there in giving it to Cornelius and his Roman friends was to serve as an outward sign to the apostles that God had given the same Holy Spirit to them as he'd given to the apostles.

Listen to Peter tell it, Acts 11, 17. If then God gave them the same gift as he gave us who believed on the Lord Jesus, there's the emphasis, believed on the Lord Jesus, salvation, who was I that I could withstand God? When the Jews heard these things, they became silent and glorified God and said, well then, as much as we don't like it, God has granted the Gentiles repentance to life. See, the issue here was, is God really going to give this to the Gentiles? Well, the only way God could prove to them that he was giving them the same gift is by giving them the same outward manifestation he gave on the day of Pentecost.

That's what Peter says. When I saw the gift was the same as ours, I figured God's treating them just like he's treating us and the Jews didn't like it, but that's the way it was. And then the same was true for the Greeks in Ephesus in chapter 19. Baptism of the Holy Spirit's not the issue here. The gift of tongues not the issue here. Gentiles getting saved on an equal par with Jews is the issue here and that's why the gift of tongues came was to demonstrate that that's what God was doing. Furthermore, First Corinthians 14, 22 says tongues are assigned to unbelievers. Now, how could Paul say that? If tongues were meant to be indicative of this special, deeper, more intimate experience with God, how could he say tongues are assigned to unbelievers? Unbelievers are going to know that I've had a second deeper experience with God?

Don't be silly. It's not the point. Furthermore, why link tongues up in Mark 16 with the sign gifts for evangelistic outreach, and we talked about this last week, if tongues were intended to be a sign of a second work of grace? And furthermore, why put the limits and restrictions of First Corinthians 14 on tongues where you can only use two or three maximum in any service, where they must be interpreted, where it's better if they're not even used in the service, and where it doesn't even really belong in the service?

It's inappropriate, Paul says, for the service. Why put all these restrictions on and limit tongues in any way if it's indicative that we're all getting a deeper walk with God? I mean, if that's what it was supposed to be, praise God, let's all speak in tongues. Why would Paul limit it and where better than in the church to get it? But the very fact he limits it and says it doesn't even belong in the church, and I only want two or three at most and one at a time and only with an interpreter. Paul's not trying to limit our walk with Christ, is he? Doesn't he want everybody to walk deep with the Holy Spirit? Is he saying only two or three people a Sunday can get a deeper experience with the Holy Spirit? You see, it doesn't square.

It just doesn't square. So let's summarize and say this. The believers in the Gospels in Acts 1 were told to look forward to and to wait for the Holy Spirit to come because he hadn't come yet. And he would establish the body of Christ and give them spiritual power, and this happened on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. And since then, this Holy Spirit baptism occurs at salvation for every believer. In the New Testament after Pentecost, never is a Christian told to tarry or wait for the baptism. In the New Testament after Pentecost, never is the Holy Spirit baptism identified with new power, new vibrancy, new dynamic. The only mention of it anywhere in the Epistles is here in 1 Corinthians 12. And there it presents Holy Spirit baptism as the joining of individual believers into the organic unity of the body of Christ at the moment they're saved.

And even the carnal Corinthians had it. And the gift of tongues was not intended by God to be a perpetual sign of receiving the Holy Spirit. We'll talk more about tongues in the days to come. Every believer has had the Holy Spirit baptism. If you're a believer in Jesus Christ, you have had it, and you've had all of it you can get. I meet people who ask me, have you had the baptism? And I'll say, do you mean the Holy Spirit baptism?

That's what I mean. Say, yes, I've had the one the Bible talks about. Now, I'm not sure if I had the one you're talking about. But I've had the one the Scripture talks about. And if you're a believer, so have you. Now, before we quit, I want to hit one more thing. And that is, what about all these claims of new power, new vibrancy, new dynamic at some post-salvation experience?

If I don't have the kind of power I want in my Christian life, but these people seem to have it, and they're telling me I need this Holy Spirit baptism. And I look at them, and they seem to have what I don't have. And you know what? We get all inadequate. We get to feeling like, man, there's something we're missing. We start to feel part of the have-nots.

And we wonder, man, I wish I had what they had. Let me tell you something. You can. Listen. Let's agree, what is the power in the Christian life? You tell me.

Let me hear you. What's power in the Christian life? The Holy Spirit. Right. Okay.

Have you got him? Amen. All right. Now, listen. The secret to setting the Spirit loose. You might say, well, if I have the Holy Spirit, how come I'm not like they are? How come I'm not dynamic, and I'm not witnessing, and I'm not just overflowing and bubbling?

Let me tell you. The secret to setting the Spirit of God loose in your life, to manifest His power, is yieldedness to Him, dependence on Him, surrender to Him, humility before Him. Romans 12, 1, present yourselves a living sacrifice. James 4, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit yourselves to God. 1 Peter 5, God resists the proud, same quote, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. Ephesians 5, 18, calls this being filled to overflowing with the Spirit. As Christians, you and I have all the resources we need to live lives of spiritual power, lives of spiritual victory, lives of spiritual dynamic. We already have it. I want you very quickly, I know our time is going, but very quickly flip to 2 Peter chapter 1.

I want you to see this. 2 Peter chapter 1, and if you'll hurry, I'll hurry, okay? 2 Peter chapter 1, verse 2, grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Now if you have all things that pertain to life and godliness, how many don't you have?

How many? None. You hear what he says? Now look how he got it. He didn't get it with a baptism.

Watch. All things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue. How'd you get this, all things? You got it through the knowledge of Christ. That's a salvation verse, people. Jesus Christ said in John chapter 17, He said, and this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God, and that they may know Jesus Christ, the one whom you've sent.

The knowledge of God is salvation, and that's how they got all things that pertain to life and godliness, not through some sort of blessing of the Holy Spirit. Colossians chapter 2 says you are complete in Him. Now if you're complete, what are you missing?

Nothing, right? And yet right there in verse 6 of Colossians 2, it talks about as you have received the Lord Jesus, again, salvation is the issue. Every bit of spiritual power and spiritual dynamic you'll ever need is yours. All you and I have to do is yield to Him, yield to Him that's already ours, and allow the power that's dwelling in us to flow out through us.

You see, the real question, and if you don't get anything else this morning, you get this one sentence. The real question is not that you need more of the Holy Spirit. The real question is that the Holy Spirit needs more of you.

That's the problem. You don't need more of Him. He needs more of you. I was watching the ball game on Thursday night between Oakland and the Yankees, and I'm not a Yankee fan, so it wasn't a great game, but anyway, I watched this Oakland player get up there, and he was left-handed, and I'm not, but he's left-handed, and he took a cut and the back came all the way around and wrapped around his neck and hit him in the ribs. That was some cut, right?

And he's a lot more limber than I am in his suit, too, because I can't even reach that far. And anyway, he bruised his ribs, and his muscles and his back went into spasms, and he tried to get up and hit the ball again, and he couldn't. He fell back down on the ground, and he tried to get up again, and he fell back down on the ground.

The trainer came running out, trainer ran back, trainer came running out, trainer ran back. Finally Billy Martin comes out and goes, look, man, are you playing ball or aren't you? And they took him out of the game. Now, I thought about that, and the announcer, as we were watching the game, said, you know, he really wants to stay in there with everything he's got. His spirit is really committed to this ball game, but his ribs won't cooperate.

So I left the game. Now, do you see his ribs wouldn't yield to his spirit? Do you see that? Spirit wanted to stay in. Ribs said, no way, buddy, we're hurting.

We're not staying in this game. You see that? Now, listen, watch.

Can you see the parallel? Jesus Christ wants to manifest himself through us. He wants people to see him in us.

But I want to tell you something. If you don't yield to him and you don't submit to him, he can't do it. Had that ball player lost the ability to play ball, is that why he had to leave the game? No, he was just as adept and had all the same skill, but his body wouldn't cooperate. And so he couldn't use the skill. He couldn't show forth the skill. He couldn't play. And in the same way, does the Holy Spirit in your life not have the power to give you dynamic, the power to give you vitality, the power to give you victory? Of course he does. And if you're not having it, maybe it's because you're being an uncooperative rib.

And he can't work. Maybe you're not truly submitted. Maybe you think you are, but you're not. Maybe you're not truly yielded. You think you are, but you're not. The heart's deceitful, friends, want to tell you that.

And what you think you are, you're probably not. You couldn't use your hand if it fought back. Say, I want to write my name in your hand and insist on doing something else, could you?

And in the same way, God can't manifest his power through you and me if we don't let him do what he wants. Yeah, can you ever remember a crisis when you cried out, oh God, I can't handle this. Oh God, I can't solve this. This is beyond me, God. You do it.

Remember one of those? He did it, didn't he? And he did it in an unbelievable way, didn't he?

I don't even know your situation, but I guarantee if you ever cried out like that, he did it. Now what God wants is that same attitude in everything in life, no matter how minute, every minute of the day. That's what he wants. And most of us say, Lord, you handle the crises, I'll handle the everyday matters. But John 15.5 does not say, without me, you can only handle the everyday matters. John 15.5 says, without me, you can do nothing. And the problem is we don't really believe we're as helpless as God says we are.

That's our problem. But the broken do and the humble do, they know their weakness. That's why Paul says, I rejoice in weakness, for when I'm weak, then I can let Christ be strong. And that's why God gives grace to the humble, because they're depending on him totally, because they're surrendered fully to him. Because if he doesn't do it, they have no alternate plan.

They're right where God wants them. He can use that. That's what Andrew Murray called absolute surrender, and that's the way it has to be. Now, let me just say, sometimes that can come subsequent to salvation. Sometimes it can come five years later. Sometimes it can come in a crisis situation, vocational, medical, spiritual, when you really are pointed, when it's really pointed out to you how helpless you are.

It doesn't have to come that way, but it can. And then when there's a total yielding to God, when you stop working for him and let him do the work all by himself through you, see, there's a big difference. And this humility of spirit and yieldedness releases the spirit to do his work. This is the filling of Ephesians 5 and the yielding of Romans 12 and the submitting of James 4. It's not a baptism. You don't need some sort of outward manifestation of any spiritual gift. It's just the peace and the joy and the vibrancy and the release and the power that was always there but was pent up because you would not yield.

Okay, a couple of examples. I think of Jacob. He knew God before he left Canaan, didn't he? God spoke to him on the way to Laban's house, but he was a self-resourceful, cunning, deceitful, conniving man. And when he headed back to Canaan, you remember Esau came out to meet him with all his troops, remember that? And our friend Jacob finally ran out. His resources were at an end. And he wrestled with the angel all night.

You remember that? Now that outward wrestling was just an outward sign of what was going on inside. He'd been fighting with God for years. And you know what happened? He lost the wrestling match.

Isn't that great? How can you say it's great he lost? Oh, because by losing he won. See, God finally got that man to yield. He finally got that man to stop trusting himself. He finally beat that man. The man's never the same again. God even changes his name. The man was never the same again. It's interesting that God had protected him and even used him before that, but he never knew fullness of power.

And so just because God's protecting you and using you doesn't mean that you're where he wants you in all of this, okay? I think of D.L. Moody, possibly the greatest evangelist this century or probably the modern world has ever known. He said this, I'm hurrying.

It was the fall of 81. I'd been very anxious to have a large Sunday school, a large congregation. I remember being proud and having the largest congregation in Chicago on Sunday night. You see the problem? He didn't need more of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit needs more of this fellow.

See the pride? He said, I began to realize God, I didn't have any real power. At the end of three months God sent this blessing on me. Once I carried buckets to a well, now I'm in a stream that carries me.

Isn't that beautiful? Once I carried buckets to a well, now I'm in a stream that carries me. See, he didn't get more of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit got more moody. I think of Hudson Taylor, who is the biographer who as his son said, surrendered to Christ he had known, but this was more. This was a new yieldedness, an unreserved handing over of everything to Christ. It was no longer just a question of giving up this or giving up that if the Lord wanted it, but an acceptance of God's will in all. And we could go on and on and tell you about, you know, lots of people, but the point is clear, that these people experience the release of the Spirit without tongues and any other manifestation, without Holy Spirit baptism, because they yielded. And I believe our charismatic brethren have found the source of power in the Christian life.

I believe that. It's an absolute full surrender, but I believe they've misunderstood it theologically. It's not another baptism of the Holy Spirit. You don't need the gift of tongues to signify it. It's the filling of Ephesians 5 that produces the boldness, the joy, and the power. And it doesn't come when you get the rest of the Holy Spirit. It comes when he gets the rest of you. I think what's happened here is we've taken Spirit-filled living and embellished it with all this costumed jewelry, and we, the fundamental church, because of the offense of the costumed jewelry have rejected the Spirit-filled living that we so desperately need.

We've thrown the baby out with the bath, and we've thrown the bill out because of a rider. And so even though our charismatic friends may be doctrinally off into an area here or an area there, my friends praise God, at least they've got power, and at least they have vitality. What good is it if we have right doctrine but we're dead and we're lifeless in our orthodoxy?

What good is it? And you see, that's what's happened here. We may have right doctrine, but we have been stultified and dead because we haven't understood this truth. My goal here at McLean Bible Church is zeal according to knowledge. I want the zeal those people have. I want the zeal of the Holy Spirit, but I want it with knowledge.

I want powerful dynamic but pure doctrine. I want the release of the Spirit but no costumed jewelry. And it can happen here, and God's going to make it happen here, and the secret is you and me.

It only happens here when it happens to us. And so when you were saved, you got the only Holy Spirit baptism that's coming. You have all that God has to give. There's no more he has to give.

What he needs now is more of you. You see, dependence equals dynamic. Yieldedness equals fruitfulness. Absolute surrender is absolute power. Partial surrender is partial power.

No surrender is no power. And D.L. Moody once heard a man say, the world has never seen what God will do with one man totally surrendered to him.

D.L. Moody said, by God's grace, I'm going to be that man. And he tore two continents up for Jesus Christ. Same power he has available to us, no different. We just need to qualify by being a man or a woman totally surrendered to him. I trust the Holy Spirit will illuminate our hearts, and this won't be just another sermon, because that's the last thing we need is another sermon, but that this will be a life-changing encounter with the living God. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we thank you for your Word. We thank you that all that you are, we have.

And all that we need, you've given us. And Lord, I pray that you would switch our focus from trying to get something we don't need and neglecting what we really do need. I pray, Lord, you'd lead us to the place where absolute surrender becomes a characteristic of this place called McLean Bible Church, where not only do we do it in our individual lives, but we do it as an assembly to the will of the Spirit of God, where elders and trustees and pastors don't look for what they want and for what they would like to see, but what for you want, Lord. I pray that be true in our own lives as well. Lord, I thank you for these people, and I thank you for their willingness this morning to let me go a little longer. And I pray that our extra little bit of time would have been worth it in the crop of changed lives that we harvest for your glory, not for ours. In Jesus' name, amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-01 12:10:13 / 2023-02-01 12:32:08 / 22

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