"The specific character of faith is that it looks away from itself and finds its whole interest and object in Christ. He is the absorbing preoccupation of faith."
I don't guess we have ever talked about this issue. I overheard you and Ross talking about it.I don't think I agree with Lloyd-Jones.Serve us, Rob: Give us a series of posts dinfining and defending your position on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I need to hear more.
Well, that would be quite a challenge--i will think about that--it would certainly serve me to research this further. First, I would say I'd rather be experiencing this than writing about it. Nevertheless, Ross and I were talking about the debate between people who are staunch in defining an experience of the Holy Spirit as "THE baptism of the Holy Spirit." I think Grudem is most helpful here. Many charasmatics who defend the term have used it as a source of title and position--something that defines you and provides a level of status. Grudem thinks that this is very unhelpful and that we should stay with terms like "filled with the Spirit" and "empowered by the Spirit;" "immersed in the Spirit" etc. This is what I find the quotes by Lloyd-Jones helpful on--showing us that real, life-changing, mysterious encounters with the Spirit when He sweeps you up into the love of Christ were experienced and sought after by deep-thinkers of the past--whether they defined it as a "baptism of the Holy Spirit" or something else.So, I probably would part with Jones on the issue of "filled" verses "indwelt." I think that baptism (immersion of/with) would be synonymous with "filled" "empowered." It would be a seperate experience not to be confused with God's ongoing, moment-by-moment (miraculous) work of the Spirit by which He "indwells" us. Having said that, I'm all for people having the freedom to remember both the "inagural" event in which they sensed God's presence for the first time in a unique way--so long as that event neither elevates a person to a higher Christian status, or hinders someone from pursuing further "immersions" because he is trapped in a state of nastalgia.I do believe Paul's command is for every day "be filled with the Spirit." I'm encouraged to see that God commands what He knows will bring us joy--encounters and experiences with His presence.
First, Happy Birthday Rob. What are you like 39?Now, in my limited knowledge of the Holy Spirit and His workings, I agree with you. We are filled with the Holy Spirit at converstion and are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit daily.That is precicely why I disagree with those who say there is a "baptism of the Holy Spirit" that is separate from conversion and is also a one time experience that is accompanied with super powers.Now another question: Is the command to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18) the same command as to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16)?
Much more on this later--but i must respond yes. I believe essentially the same idea is being expressed with two illustrations. Eph 5 is a command to "be filled" with a Person--an already abiding Person. It seems the only way you can be filled with a Person the way a drunk is filled with wine is to surrender your will and desires to the influence(es) of that reality. But a Person (having desires, feeling, emotions) operates differently than a non-living substance (wine). Whereas the wine simply brings to the surface innate, indwelling desires of sin (described by Paul as "debauchery")to be under the influence of the Spirit appears to be under the influence of His desires. This same idea is in Gal. 5:17 when to "walk by the Spirit" is described as gratifying "the desires of the Spirit" (as opposed to the desires of the flesh). Again, same idea in Romans where we see Paul saying, "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit." (Rom. 8:5)I think the "setting of mind" on "things of the Spirit" are not primarily doctrines of the Holy Spirit--but the "things" here being the desires of the Spirit. Which, happily for us--the Spirit desires to glorify Jesus for our everlasting and ever-increasing joy (John 16:14).
Incidently, Craig preached a sermon on prayer on Sunday that was an excellent reminder of the awesome place the Spirit places on prayer. He both initiates it, empowers it, and completes it. Pray for me, that I would be filled with His presence and experience joy in Christ (Eph. 6:19).
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