Summary: #8 in a series. "As communities of the King, we should model what the Kingdom looks like when God has His way with a group of people." John Wimber
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In chapter 4 Gary Best discusses…EMPOWERED BY GOD’S SPIRIT. This might be one of the best chapters in his book.
POWER FOR A PURPOSE…..but what purpose?
Turn to Acts 1: 3-8
After His suffering, He showed Himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the Kingdom of God. 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. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” So when they met together, they asked Him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1: 3-8 NIV
Clearly this passage shows that Jesus had a clear purpose for the BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT…for the purposes of fulfilling His commission of going.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN AROUND a HOLY SPIRIT out-pouring??
I truly can identify with Gary’s dilemma…going to Vineyard conferences…the POWER of God would hit all around me & I’d be left standing with very little God-activity.
Didn’t God love me? Did He miss me? (I’m a pretty big target…how could He miss?) Am I just a screwy sinful person. No…friends would tell me …God must think you don’t need it.
This brought me LOTS OF SCREWY ANSWERS that left me more confused & frustrated.
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT seems to be pretty controversial thing in American church. It has divided churches, caused church splits, split the Vineyard at least two times. Major differences & dis-agreements.
People are on both sides of the issue.
GREAT PEOPLE who stay away from it…too messy, too controversial…too hard
GREAT PEOPLE who run to it, wallowing in the Spirit, soaking in it, living & dying for it.
If I took a survey of you today…1/3 are into it, 1/3 are not, 1/3 are just unaware or un-informed.
Let’s start with these facts.
BAPTIZED in the Holy Spirit…means fully immersed in Greek. A piece of cloth immersed into dye. It comes out full of the color. Or a ship that is overwhelmed or capsized in a flood, it goes down into the water fully immersed. Not external wet but internal wet.
Jesus is very CLEAR in Acts 2 To enter into His transferable ministry, you’d be a fool to try to do it without the EMPOWERING WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. The GREAT COMMISSION should not be attempted without the FULL EMPOWERMENT of God’s Spirit. BAPTIZED IN THE SPIRIT.
Most everyone in Christianity agrees with that statement…but HOW the Holy Spirit empowers us is the BIG DIVIDING QUESTION…how does the Holy Spirit baptize us?
Gary Best says there are TWO CAMPS.