Pentecost Sunday - June 5, 2022
“And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared unto them cloven tongues as of fire and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
The experience described in Acts 2:1-4 was a fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to His disciples: “Tarry ye in Jerusalem until you be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49). Today there are many different views regarding the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. God’s Word teaches us that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is for all believers, that it is subsequent to salvation and, according to scripture (Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-46, Acts 19:1-6), tongues is the initial physical evidence of the Spirit Baptism. I personally believe this--not because it is an Assemblies of God doctrine but because the scripture declares it. Experience does not validate God’s Word - the Word of God must validate experience.
It is interesting to me that Paul dedicated two full chapters in I Corinthians to give timeless teachings regarding the operation of the Gifts of the Spirit. Yet, nowhere in those chapters did Paul renounce tongues or discourage believers from speaking in tongues. In fact, he said in I Cor. 14:39, “Forbid not to speak in tongues”. The essence and value of speaking in tongues is explained well in I Cor. 14:2, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God”.
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not to make up the sum-total of what the church teaches and preaches. Sound, solid, biblical preaching of salvation through Christ and His shed blood must be the theme of what we teach, preach and proclaim. Neither should we be ashamed or, embarrassed about God’s gift of the Holy Spirit Baptism. The message of salvation through Christ and the message of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a dynamic duo that will produce converts and spirit empowered believers.
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not a badge for boasting, or merely a denominational doctrine to be guarded. Nor is it an experience that make us better than others. It is a real and relevant present-day intimacy with God that infuses us with power to live and serve our Lord. As never before, God’s Church must preach Jesus, love the lost and be a place where the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit works in hearts and lives.