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© 2010 George Hartwell, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
George Hartwell M.Sc. is a Christian counselor with a masters degree from the University of Calgary, 40 years experience integrating prayer therapy into his professional counseling practice. To learn all About George or his professional practice see: George's Professional web site, Christian marriage counselling, Christian phone therapy, and Christian Marriage Retreats. To e-mail George click on:
How do I see being gifted with spiritual gifts according to 1Corinthians 12 for the use of your ministry? How do I see Baptism in the Holy Spirit? See also the article on How to pray for Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
I would agree with those whose understanding is that normal Christian initiation includes proclomation of Jesus as Lord of your life (from the heart), declaration of this with fellow believers through water baptism and receiving of the Holy Spirit perhaps through laying on of hands and anointing with oil (christening). In normal Christian life in the early church this all happened early in one's Christian experience or else something was wrong (Acts 19). Reference: Kilian McDonnel and George Montague: Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 1991, The Liturgical Press.
We live in an abnormal time of the church does not teach and insist on the presence of all three of these markers as essential to Christian initiation. This differs from Pentacostal teaching that there is a second experience because acceptance of a second experience accepts our abnormal time in which baptism in the Holy Spirit is not taught as essential to the Christian identity. Normal is not two out of three. Normal means Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not an add on or a second experience. Normal is three out of three at the time of adult initiation.
Let me repeat: the church must teach and insist on the presence of all three of these markers as essential to Christian initiation: conversion by proclomation of Jesus as Lord, water baptism and receiving the "gift from above" of the Holy Spirit just as Jesus did at his baptism. Jesus set the norm of receiving the Holy Spirit. We must follow.
Normal Christians are gifted by the Holy Spirit with ministry gifts as needed. Of course, I assume the Christian has asked for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that gift from above that Jesus said was essential to be witnesses and to fulfill our calling.
And, of course, I use whatever gifts and abilities I can to do my utmost to see people's lives healed by God as we call out to God to "Heal My Life!"
However, a video tape will not reveal any overt manifestation in a Pentecostal church service way. I do use listening prayer but I do not do the listening for people. I facilitate my clients to connect directly with God.
The gift of Faith and of Discernment are especially helpful in my profession.
The Charismatic and Pentacostal movements have done the Body of Christ a huge favour of unimaginable importance in returning to us an understanding of both spiritual gifts and the absolute centrality of Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
In birthing and renewing these absolute essentials to Christian identity and the "church that Jesus builds" there have aslo been start up hiccups. One is the immature focus on who has what gift. Second is the abusive insistence that everone speak in a special prayer language - the supernatural gifts of speaking other languages that reverses the Tower of Babel. Third is making Baptism in the Holy Spirit a special badge of distinction of some Christians and a second exprience separate from conversion and baptism. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is essential to the Christian identity and, therefore, should be ministered and received at conversion and baptism as part of Christian initiation.
Allow the Holy Spirit to give you the gifts you need when you need them for the building up of the Body of Christ.
Be bold in using and sharing what God gives you when he gives you something to share.
The way to receive the gifts of the Spirit and that fullness of the Spirit called baptism is to ask for it. Ask others who believe in it to pray for you. Anointing with oil has been used by the Body of Christ in ealry years to be the symbol of the Holy Spirit. Have those who know about th gifts pray for you and annoint you with oil. Or anoint yourself.
Pray for others to be filled with the Holy Spirit - not just the gifts but the very presence of Christ within which brings in the Fruit of the Spirit into your life. Pray for your children when they go to sleep to be filled with love, joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control.
Remember not to worry so much as to whether you have the spiritual gifts as to whether you are using thegifts you have to love and build up others.
Do NOT make Baptism in the Holy Spirit about the gift of tongues. Do not demand that of yourself or God.
The chief benefit of Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the ability to hear God and through hearing God's truth to be healed of emotional wounds so that you are whole and effective for life, love and God.
I have asked Jason Kruse to add his thoughts on these topics:
By Jason Kruse © 2011 www.propheticoutreachintl.com,
Being baptized in the Holy Spirit is first of all most essential because it is when you are "endued with power," and when He comes "upon you," that you are then much more able to effectively deal with the various spiritual dynamics we face as Christians in this life.
Christians who are not baptized with the Holy Spirit, or who are not "overflowing with Him," often go oblivious to the realm of the spirit, because they do not have the heightened spiritual awareness that He brings. The enemy's immediate plan after he loses a soul to salvation is to indoctrinate the newborn Christian with teaching that he or she does not need the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In doing this, he tries to keep them from getting "plugged into the POWER SOURCE that will make them a MAJOR THREAT to his chaotic kingdom."
When the believer simply asks the Holy Spirit to baptize him or her by faith, it can and will happen. The baptism does not need to be done with the laying on of hands, although it can. We see in the book of Acts, when Peter was just speaking to the men and "suddenly the Holy Spirit fell upon them." The key factor there was "faith." For even as Peter was declaring the word of God to them, faith was arising in their hearts, and that is when the Holy Spirit was able to enter in and "fully immerse those believers with Himself."
Before salvation the Holy Spirit is "with a person," trying to convict that person and woo them to Christ. At the point of salvation, the Holy Spirit "indwells the believer" and causes their spirit to come alive or be "born from above." When the believer is baptized in the Holy Spirit, He then "comes upon the believer for acts of service" and gives greater: illumination, revelation, understanding, spiritual discernment, boldness to share the good news, and even causes the various operations of His gifts to flow.
So many are living below their privileges, as believers, by not allowing the Holy Spirit to baptize them. Some are even in fear about it because they think that being baptized in this manner is all about "tongue talking." Goodness gracious, this way off kilter view of tongues is so awful! The gift of tongues is given to the believer to build up his or her spirit man, so that one can be strong spiritually......."not to show off that they can talk in another language and scare people by doing so." It is given to build up the believer's most holy faith, by praying in the Spirit(as the book of Jude states), which can be in tongues, at times, as well as in the known language.
I tend to believe that not allowing the Holy Spirit to baptize oneself could be a very serious matter in the not so distant future. There is a parable of ten virgins. Five were wise, by having oil stored up(The Holy Spirit is often likened to oil in figurative bible language). Five were foolish and did not have any stored up. They tried to get the "extra," later but it was too late. Only the one's that took precautions and went to the length of storing up beforehand, in preparation, made it to the wedding supper of the Lamb.
This could have other spiritual applications, but we simply cannot overlook the obvious notion that if we are not fully prepared, even with spiritual reserves, when the end comes, only the prepared will make it. If you need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, please ask the Him to baptize you now, by simply praying with all of your heart of faith, out loud, right now: "Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Who came in the flesh to this Earth, please baptize Me with Your very Self. I need You in my life as never before.'
"If I have ignored you in fear or pride, I repent and ask the Lord to forgive Me for my ignorance. Please fill me to overflowing by coming upon me now and empowering me to live this Christian life the way that the Lord Jesus and the Father would have me do so. I need You to come in and begin to lead, guide and direct me in all my ways. I do not want to be in control anymore. I believe that You hear me right now, and that You are coming upon Me for powerful acts of service for the glory of God in the days ahead. Please use me in whatever way you see fit. Thank You precious Holy Spirit." Amen and Amen.