The Spirit-Filled Example
“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 all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).
The day of Pentecost reveals the birth, the origins, and the beginning of the New Testament church. As previously stated in our last article, the church is that constitution of all born-again believers, all over the world, coming together in the Spirit to make up what Paul referred to as the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23). Paul also said that there is one body, and one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all (Eph. 4:4-6). From this we can perceive that the body of Christ is made up of individuals who come together and form the unified body of Jesus Christ. In this body of believers you will find white, black, brown, yellow and red men, the poor and the rich, women, children, old and young—there is no respect as to persons in this body. You will find believers from all different walks of life, even different denominations, because the only requirement to be a part of this body is to be born-again!
If you attend a Crossfire Youth Ministries meeting, you will find people all of ages, walks of life, and different cultural backgrounds. These diverse elements make Crossfire Youth Ministries a perfect example of the New Testament church we find in the book of Acts. Recently, there has been an anointing on our services that I have never before sensed in my four years with the ministry. The moving and operation of the Holy Spirit has been phenomenal. We are seeing young people having their faith restored and bondages being broken. As well, in almost every service these past two months, we have seen young people being baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues.
Continuing from our last blog and the inception of the church, my next subject, regarding the New Testament church model in the book of Acts, is that the church should be Spirit-filled. In Acts 2:4 it says that they were “filled with the Holy Spirit.” There are two precepts, both incorrect, that the modern day church adheres regarding being “Spirit-filled.” The first, supported by our non-Pentecostal brothers (and I do mean brothers), is the belief that the baptism with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues, was only for the New Testament church. In other words, they feel it was not intended for present day. In fact, they use scriptures such as: "Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away” (I Cor. 13:8), in order to attempt to prove this experience has been done away with in the modern church. But if we say tongues have ceased, then we must concede knowledge has vanished, and prophecies have failed, which is absurd at best. The truth is that baptism with the Holy Spirit evidenced by speaking with other tongues is an experience that still exists for the New Covenant believer today.
Can we prove this?
“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Act 2:39).
Peter was there on the day of Pentecost and was a part of the group of believers who were filled with the Holy Spirit at that time. Some men, who witnessed this event of people speaking in unknown tongues, began to misinterpret what was happening and stated that these people were drunk. Peter then stood up boldly and stated, “these men are not drunk as you suppose… But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:15-16). He preached a message to these men identifying Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and they were pricked to the heart and asked Peter what must they do to be saved. His answer to them was to repent of their sins and become eligible to receive the gift, regarding the baptism with the Holy Spirit, of the Holy Spirit. Peter then said to them “this promise” concerning the Holy Spirit was not just for them or their children, but what they had experienced, and would experience was available to all believers for all time. So, is the baptism with the Holy Spirit still relevant for today? This answer is emphatically, yes! All believers can and should experience the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
The other direction that our Pentecostal friends have taken concerning the baptism of the Holy Spirit is incorrect, as well. They have taken this event and made it the object of their faith. They think that since they have the baptism with the Holy Spirit, they are now capable to live a life free from the power of sin. While the baptism with Holy Spirit does impact our walk with the Lord, it is not this event that enables the believer to live in victory over sin. The baptism that enables the believer to live in victory over sin is our baptism into Christ. We should understand that the baptism with the Holy Spirit enables the believer, and the church, to perform the work of the ministry, and to build intimacy with God.
So being Spirit-filled is not only an experience, but also a way of life, living each day Spirit-filled, Spirit-led, Spirit-controlled, and Spirit-empowered. This is how the New Testament church operated and it is how we are to operate today!
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