Monday – April 2, 2018 – His Energizing Power.
Acts 1:4-5 (NIV) On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
The word baptism means to be completely immersed in something. Water baptism involves immersion into water and Spirit baptism means to be immersed in the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is most closely associated with power. The power of the Holy Spirit is something to be greatly desired. The benefits are virtually unlimited. Satan understands that as well as anybody and he has used it to produce great disunity in the body of Christ. This disunity comes as the result of segments of the church becoming dogmatic (prescribed doctrine proclaimed to be unquestionably true), where dogma is not called for.
Most of the disunity centers around the doctrine of speaking in tongues (speaking a language unlearned by the intellect). There are two extremes surrounding this doctrine and both are far from the truth. On the one extreme, some church leaders teach that if you speak in tongues, you are either enabled to speak by a demon (demonized), you think you are speaking in a language that is not really a language (deceived) or you are stupid (deluded). The other extreme is to believe that the gift of speaking in tongues is necessary for salvation (it is the evidence of salvation). Regarding extremes, the truth lies somewhere in between.
For a dogma to be established, there would have to be a clear statement in the Bible to support the position. Some believe that the evidence of Spirit baptism is that the recipient will speak in tongues. That may be true but for dogma to be established the Bible would need to say something like this, “The evidence that you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit is the ability to speak in an unlearned language.” The Bible does not make a statement like that; therefore, dogma cannot be established.
You can however, look at the preponderance of the evidence surrounding Spirit baptism and come to an opinion, but you should not be dogmatic in your position. In other words. Allow other believers to disagree with you and keep the unity of the faith. If we would simply abandon our dogmatic positions when dogma is not called for, the church would be much stronger than it is.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank You for enabling me to keep the bond of peace among brothers so we can see Your Kingdom advance and lives changed.