Tag Archives: Baptism of the Holy Spirit

God’s Power Is Available Power

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.

Acts 1:8

On this blog, I have shared my experiences of fresh fillings of the Holy Spirit. I can say without hesitation and equivocation that without these very personal and deeply intimate encounters with the Holy Spirit, I would not have stayed in Christian ministry for over thirty years. Ministry is a hard-fought, supernatural battle: preaching the gospel, encouraging others to trust Christ, standing against Satan’s schemes, etc. I need, we all need, God’s power to see hearts changed, souls encouraged, and Satan defeated.

Ministry requires that we walk in supernatural power to fight and win a supernatural war. Our Heavenly Father gives us spiritual tools and supernatural weapons for the battle—the spiritual gifts.  These weapons are concrete expressions of grace, charismata, which enable and empower us as believers to do the words and perform the works of Jesus. This power, God’s power, is available to everyone of us, all need to do is ask (Luke 11:13).

God’s power is available power. We are supernatural people, born again by a supernatural birth, kept by a supernatural power, sustained on supernatural food, taught by the supernatural Teacher from a supernatural Book. We are led by a supernatural Captain in right paths to assured victories.

J. Hudson Taylor, Hudson Taylor on Spiritual Secrets: A 30 Day Devotional Treasury, compiled by Lance Wubbels (Lynnwood, WA: Emerald Books, 1998), Day 2.

My Baptism in the Spirit (Conclusion)

 

He Wants Us to Ask

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

Luke 11:13

My testimony of Spirit-infilling is not intended to be a formula or a model or a pattern for others, but a testimony of God’s faithfulness. I asked for more of his Holy Spirit in my life and ministry and God answered. I found that I lack power for witness that morning in Dallas and by that afternoon God provided through a bold petite African-American witness. God’s word’s was true, “Ask and our Heavenly Father will give us the Holy Spirit” (Luke 11:13).

The Persistent Neighbor

Let us examine Luke 11:5-13 and discern what Jesus would want us to do. The context of the chapter is prayer, with Jesus telling a parable describing a persistent neighbor. In that parable, the main character is the next-door neighbor. He has suddenly received an unexpected guest. The neighbor is very needy because he lives in an age where food is not readily available. He has to care for his guest, and he does not have the resources to provide. He goes to his sleeping neighbor and asks for his leftover bread. The neighbor is perturbed. If he gets out of bed, he will awaken his whole family who are all asleep in the same bed with him. Any parent knows the difficulty of getting a group of children to go asleep, but now the needy neighbor wants to disturb them. Yet, the sleeping neighbor does hand over his leftover bread because of the friend’s boldness. Jesus commends the friend’s boldness as a true characteristic of genuine prayer. All God wants us to do is to ask and to ask boldly! “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13, NIV). How to we receive the Holy Spirit? We ask and we ask boldly!

However, we must have a flexible attitude. Whatever type of bread the Father decides to give must be acceptable to us. Many times, we will say “We want the bread of the Holy Spirit!” but when God gives it we say, “This is not the kind of bread we wanted!” “No Lord, I wanted rye, wheat, or pumpernickel!” When the Holy Spirit comes whatever gifts he wants to display through us, we must be willing to receive. Remember the gifts of the Holy Spirit are just that-gifts. Gifts are for blessing, for encouragement, and for spiritual growth. The purpose of the charismata is to bring you and me, as the Body of Christ, into a deeper love relationship with Jesus. So, Let us ask! [Robert Smith, Jr., “Christian Preaching Practicum” [class notes] (Birmingham, AL: Beeson Divinity School, 2002), April 30.]

Like the disciples, all God desires is that we recognize that we are at our wit’s end and we cannot go on any farther without him. All he waits for us to do is ask! Then, he will come and pour his presence upon us, bathe us in his love, and display his great and mighty mercy. The Holy Spirit will come and will reveal Jesus to us. If you desire more of the Holy Spirit, pray boldly, and you will be filled afresh with the sweetness of his presence.

Glenn E. Davis, “Who Is the Holy Spirit for Us Today?”, Pilgrims on the Sawdust Trail, ed., Timothy George (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 97.

My Baptism in the Spirit (Part Three)

Holy Spirit: Power for Service

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Acts 1:8 ESV

The Holy Spirit is the Lord and giver of life: fully God working in the world bestowing life, empowering for service, purifying our hearts, providing God’s presence, and guiding God’s people. My story continues . . .

Later that morning as the team moved north, we began to walk down Commerce Street. We were very conspicuous in a crowd as we carried our Bibles in one hand and held on to our sleeping bags with the other. We turned and began to walk through a plaza where a number of executive-types were sitting on park benches eating sack lunches. Out from the crowd, a short, plump African-American lady stood up and yelled, “What are you boys doing?” We replied that we were from Lindale, Texas and we were out witnessing. At the top of her lungs, she cried out, “Have you ever been filled with the Holy Ghost?” I thought, “Oh, my goodness, we have got a live one.” My team leader, who was standing front of me said, “Yes, I have.” The team member bringing up the end said, “So have I.” I thought, “Good, maybe she will leave us alone.” Then without warning, the last member of the team shouted, “No, I have not!” I thought, “Why did you have to go and say that?” Immediately, she asked us to come over, so that she could pray for him.

This is the scene: four men in their early twenties knelling in front of a park bench as this lady is standing over the one young man praying loudly in tongues. She was praying very loudly in tongues. As she began to pray, I asked the Lord whether this whole thing about the fullness of the Spirit was for real. The denomination in which I was raised discounted the gifts of the Spirit. I told the Lord that I did not want to resist anything if it was genuine, even if it seemed a bit bizarre. At that moment, I began to speak in tongues. Very gently and without great emotion, the Holy Spirit began to touch my heart and bless me with the sweetness of Jesus. My emotions were so subdued that I wondered whether my ministry team understood what God had done in my life. I was experiencing for the first time, a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit with a manifestation of a spiritual gift. Already, God was answering my prayer from that morning; he was responding to my cry for his personal power, presence, and authority. Thank God for that little African-American lady who was willing to be bold for Christ.

Glenn E. Davis, “Who Is the Holy Spirit for Us Today?”, Pilgrims on the Sawdust Trail, ed., Timothy George (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 90.

My Baptism in the Spirit (Part Two)

My First Experience of the Holy Spirit’s Power

Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

John 20:22 NLT

Yesterday, I defined what I mean by the infilling or baptism of the Holy Spirit. Please allow me to reiterate. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an overwhelming experience of the Spirit’s presence, power, and purity: a total submergence within the person of God. This individual experience is instantaneous and can be reoccurring: one baptism, many fillings. The Baptism refers to the initial work of the Spirit in uniting believers to Christ as well as on-going encounters with the Spirit bringing refreshment and strengthening in the Christian life.

It was a hot summer in late August 1979. I was a member of a parachurch organization called the Agape Force, which conducted a training program named Crystal Springs Institute. As part of that program, each of us was required to participate in a mission trip. This mission trip was highly unusual. You and your team are dropped off in a Texas town with instructions to minister to whomever God brings in your path, to trust God for shelter and finances, and to rely on the Lord for safe return. The Agape Force ministry called the trip, the “Weekend Mission,” but the students called it the “Trust God or Die” weekend.

My four-man team was assigned South Dallas, I did not know at that time what a rough area it was.  For the first time in my life, I did not know from where my next meal was coming from, with whom I would be staying, what was going to happen, and how I was going to get home. After getting off the bus, the first thing we did was pray.  We were desperate. As we prayed, we felt that the Holy Spirit wanted us to begin at the beginning. So, we decided to start by evangelizing the first people we met on the street. My partner and I began to talk with an African-American man who was obviously down and out.

As we shared, he grew more and more obstinate. The more we shared the less and less effective I felt we were in reaching him. In fact, it seemed as if my words were dropping out of my mouth and straight onto the ground. I felt that I was not communicating the gospel clearly, effectively, or powerfully. Finally, in desperation I said, “If a car hit you this afternoon, where would you go, to heaven or hell?” He just looked at me and began to curse. I walked away feeling empty and helpless. I had no authority and power in my witness. I began to pray anxiously that God would somehow help me to be an effective testifier of God’s grace. I did not want the weekend to be a waste (to be continued).

Glenn E. Davis, “Who Is the Holy Spirit for Us Today?”, Pilgrims on the Sawdust Trail, ed., Timothy George (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 89.

Holy Spirit Power For a Holy Ministry

The Holy Spirit in You

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses . . . .

Acts 1:8

In August of 1979, I attended Crystal Springs Institute, the training school for the Agape Force located in Lindale, Texas. We were on a mission of sorts, a “trust God or die” mission. Every semester the student body was divided into teams of four and dropped off in various locations around the state of Texas. We were to trust God for our lodging, food, transportation, and ministry.

Long story short, our four man team was in downtown Dallas when a petite African-American lady stopped us and asked what we were doing. We explained that we were on a short-mission trusting God for his provision, protection, and direction. She asked loudly and boldly, “Have you ever been filled with the Holy Ghost”? Two of my companions said, “yes” and one said, “no” and I hoped she would go away.

She prayed for us that day in a plaza located on Commerce Street and I was forever affected by the Holy Spirit’s person, presence, and power. That day, I first experienced the spiritual gifts, I felt power and authority for ministry, and I was freshly enabled by the Spirit to live a holy life. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit for Christlike ministry–a ministry that prayerfully would change hearts and lives for the gospel.

From that day to this, it has been the tendency of carnal Christians and a carnal Church to be more interested in power for performance, than it has been interested in power for purity. More interested in power for conquest than in power for Christlikeness. We need to stress that the power of the Holy Ghost is power for Christlikeness, before it is power to go out and do things that produce headlines in the newspaper. It is power to be like our blessed Lord in mind and motive and spirit.

Paul S. Rees, “Adequacy for Life and Witness,” Daily Thoughts from Keswick: A Year’s Daily Readings, ed. Herbert F. Stevenson (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1980), 363.

Fresh Manifestations of God

On-Going Encounters of the Holy Spirit

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.

Eph. 5:18

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an overwhelming experience of the Spirit’s presence, power, and purity: a total submergence within the person of the Holy Spirit. This individual God-encounter is instantaneous and reoccurring: one baptism, many fillings. The Baptism of the Spirit refers to the initial work of the Spirit in uniting believers to Christ as well as on-going encounters with the Spirit bringing refreshment, renewal, and endurance to the Christian’s life.

No matter what level of spiritual maturity we are on, we need renewed appearances, fresh manifestations, new visitations from on high. While it is right to thank God for the past and look back with joy to His visits to you in your early days as a believer, I encourage you to seek God for special visitations of His presence. I do not mean to minimize our daily walk in the light of His countenance, but consider that though the ocean has its high tides twice every day, yet it also has its spring tides. The sun shines whether we see it or not, even through our winter’s fog, and yet it has its summer brightness.

If we walk with God constantly, there are special seasons when He opens the very secret of His heart to us and manifests Himself to us – not only as He does not to the world but also as He does not at all times to His own favored ones. Not every day in a palace is a banqueting day, and not all days with God are so clear and glorious as certain special sabbaths of the soul in which the Lord unveils His glory. Happy are we if we have once beheld His face, but happier still if He comes to us again in the fullness of favor.

I commend you to be seeking God’s second appearances. We should be crying to God most pleadingly that He would speak to us a second time. We do not need a reconversion, as some assert. If the Lord has kept us steadfast in His fear, we are already possessors of what some call the higher life. This we are privileged to enjoy from the first hour of our spiritual life. We do not need to be converted again, but we do need the windows of heaven to be opened again and again over our heads. We need the Holy Spirit to be given again as at Pentecost and that we should renew our youth like the eagles, to run without weariness and walk without fainting. May the Lord fulfill to His people His blessing upon Solomon! ‘That the Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon.'”

C.H. Spurgeon, “Essential Points in Prayer,” in The Power of Prayer in a Believer’s Life, ed., Robert Hall (Emerald Books, 1993), 136.

We Have Something For Which They Longed . . .

new_covenant

. . . the Indwelling Holy Spirit.

Trinity Sunday, June 7th, I preached the sermon, “We Have Something For Which They Longed.” This message had been burning in my heart for some time and many of you resonated with the biblical truths that I shared. As requested, the outline, notes, and text of my message is now posted for your spiritual encouragement. If you have any problems downloading the entire sermon in Google Documents, please email me and I forward the text to you in Word format.

We Have Something (or Someone) For Which They Longed

Pentecost Year B 2009

[Preached Trinity Sunday Year B 2009]

Rev. Canon Glenn E. Davis

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (emphasis mine)

Gal. 3:13-14 (NKJV).

Overview: The Old Testament people of God yearned for intimacy with God: conscience-cleansing forgiveness of sin, power to obey the law, and life-changing experiences of His presence. The finished work of Christ on the Cross performed the work needed for us to experience all these truths and much more. What Old Testament men and women of faith hoped for and desired, we as New Covenant believers now know. We must not take these precious truths for granted. This sermon is about these great doctrinal truths and how we can fully experience their power and purpose.

Read or download the entire sermon on Google Documents.

To believe fully in the Holy Spirit as the present and abiding and all-comprehensive gift of the New Covenant has been to many an entrance into its fullness of blessing.

Andrew Murray, The Believer’s New Covenant (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1984), 49.