One of the unique features of the Pentecostal experience as it developed was its understanding of the baptism of the Spirit. The idea that something could happen beyond conversion that would be called “baptism” has been cause for controversy, division, and a lot of conversation both within and outside of the Pentecostal and charismatic movements.It’s not for lack of Biblical support…just a lot of discussion about what the Scriptures mean when they talk about baptism in the Spirit. Frequently, we’ve set on trying to define baptism of the Spirit as a standalone idea, but when the Scriptures talk about it, it’s almost always in connection with water baptism. They are both critical to our identity with Christ (Ephesians 4), our commission (Matthew 28), and, apparently, to one another. For now, we’ll assume that water baptism and baptism in the Spirit are separate works and see what kind of story the book of Acts tells us about them, and what that story means for us as believers. (more…)
Archive for March, 2012
Preachers make a lot about the fact that Acts has a cut-off ending. You get to the end of Acts 28 and the next question, “Wait! What’s next?” It’s a chance to talk about being “on mission with God.” Our story and the activities of great men like Peter, Barnabas, Paul, and others have a direct link and Scripture lets us think like that. It’s true. I’ve got no argument with that teaching and I wish we’d pay more attention to it. But before we can get back to being “Acts 29” Christians, shouldn’t we remember that Acts 3-28 never could have happened without Acts 2? Before we set out on mission, shouldn’t we listen to Jesus’ instructions: “wait for the promise of the Father” (Ac. 1:4)?
So let’s listen to the text… (more…)