Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
At West Salem Foursquare we’ve been in a teaching series called JESUS IS…. For the last two weeks we have discovered that JESUS IS Savior and JESUS IS Healer.
This weekend we’re gonna find that JESUS IS Baptizer with the Holy Spirit. This is such a huge aspect of the ministry of Jesus that I want to take the next two weeks of HELLO FRIENDS to unpack it.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
At West Salem Foursquare we believe that the Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity and a very important one at that! We see him present at creation and actively working throughout time. When we embrace the saving grace of God at salvation we believe that we receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit as well.
And yet the Word of God points to what we refer to as the “baptism with the Holy Spirit” that is available to Christians for a very distinct purpose.
The Apostle Paul asks a vital question to the believers in Ephesus, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when (or since) you believed?” This is a question that begs an answer from believers even today. Perhaps we are unaware that the Holy Spirit even exists or that he is available to partner with us for Kingdom living. Perhaps we’ve been taught to understand that the Holy Spirit’s ministry ceased long ago and that the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is inapplicable or outdated. This simply is not the case!
“For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:5)
As you read on in Acts 1 you will find the purpose for which we are beckoned to “wait for the gift my Father promised…” The purpose is power. We are promised to receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us so that we are indwelled with a passion and boldness to tell the world about the incredible love of God. Scripturally, we know that the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is not a prerequisite for entrance into heaven, however, we do see that it is a clear point of power, release and Kingdom expansion. That’s why the Bible says in Ephesians 5:18 to “not be drunk on wine which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is one who comes along side the believer as a source of strength, leadership, conviction, assurance, power, prompting and guidance.
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a natural next step for the believer desiring to live a “Spirit-filled and formed life.” The life found in the Spirit is one of grace, freedom, gift-release and of course, love. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is also to be marked by balance.
The Pentecostal/Charismatic movement has often been challenged in the area of balance. At West Salem Foursquare Church we strive to operate in the fullness of the Spirit while maintaining an atmosphere of submission to the Word of God; a safe environment for the unsaved or new believer; and a structure that embraces our corporate responsibility.
In other words we believe in both:
Structure and Spontaneity
The emphasis is placed upon the inner work of the Holy Spirit not only on the emotional experience of the human spirit. Feelings are good and important, but they are not to be what drive us. Instead, we are compelled by the truth of the Bible and by faith in God’s ability to save us and empower us with the Holy Spirit.
Next week in HELLO FRIENDS I will expound upon four aspects of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.