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Posts Tagged ‘regeneration’

Adrian Warnock asks this question in reference to something that Doctor Lloyd Jones said in one of his books.

There is nothing, I am convinced, that so ‘quenches’ the Spirit as the teaching which identifies the baptism of the Holy Ghost with regeneration. But it is a very commonly held teaching today, indeed it has been the popular view for many years…”

I was quick to accept this in my initial post on the subject on my other blog Dancing with the Trinity But having reflected further on the subject and specifically what the Doctor says next.

But if you say that they are identical, you do not expect anything further.

Yet there may be some who do hold that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is equal to Salvation / Regeneration who do believe that there can be an ongoing experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit and who may seek the Lord for that fresh infilling. It could more be a matter of semantics and misunderstanding of Theological language rather then truly hardening ones heart against the Spirit.

Which I think Jones would agree with from what he says next.

And if you do not believe that it is possible for you to experience the Spirit of God bearing direct witness with your own spirit that you are a child of God, obviously you are quenching the Spirit. That is why so many Christian people are miserable and unhappy; they do not know anything about crying out, ‘Abba, Father’; or about ‘the Spirit of adoption’. God is a Being away in the far distance; they do not know Him as a loving Father; they do not know that they are His children. They may believe it intellectually, theoretically…

Perhaps he is mixing the experience of the fresh infilling of the Spirit rather then the one off Baptism of the Holy Spirit subsequent to salvation which he speaks?

I come from the Pentecostal position in that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a one off event, subsequent to salvation, followed by fresh experiences of the infilling of the Spirit.

However I believe and some may think me overly harsh for saying so, that the cessationist doctrines are not Holy Spirit inspired and those who hold and teach the same are guilty of hardening their hearts against the work of the Holy Spirit and perhaps may even come close to, or commit the act of actually blaspheming against the Spirit. Even at best they are guilty of grieving the Holy Spirit and James says that teachers will be doubly judged.

We need to look at the Bible, using doctrine when doctrine is taught, bringing Doctrine alongside the Biblical narrative. We read of three cases in Scripture where Salvation / Regeneration take place before the Baptism of the Holy Spirit happens.

  1. Jesus breathes upon the Disciples and tells them to receive the Holy Spirit .
  2. The Samaritans who accept the Gospel with joy, but did not receive the Holy Spirit until the Apostles went to them.
  3. Paul discovered some believers who had not received the Holy Spirit. We need to note that Paul specifically asked them if they received the Holy Spirit when they believed…to which they replied “what Holy Spirit?”…

Further more in every Scriptural recording, something overt happened to signify the reception of the Spirit – usually with tongues or prophecy. You can read more about that gift here.

The normal teaching regarding the Acts narrative is that it fulfilled the requirements of first the Jews, then Samaritans and then the Gentiles to receive the Holy Spirit and through those 3 incidences the Holy Spirit had been completely given and therefore the Spirit had been given to all. It does seem rather forced to the natural reading of the Scripture according to the way it was documented as history.

The other issue about it, is many who hold to this teaching say you cannot use Acts for doctrinal purposes to those who hold to a more natural reading of the narrative, which is rather hypocritical when their own doctrine has been formed from the same narrative.

In forming our theology of the Holy Spirit we cannot divide any of the authors of the Epistles Doctrine from the narrative story, and read our own western mindset / experience into it. Its by combining both the Biblical narrative with the teachings that we can clearly see that there is a indeed a experience of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to be had…. and then not only that one of event, but Scripture shows there are times of repeated refreshing s.

I don’t think God cares about honest mistakes in belief when his people are clearly seeking after him. But when hearts are hardened against both the clear teaching of Scripture and against seeking a fresh experience of the Lord and all he would give to them and teaches others the same- then those people are guilty of quenching the Spirit of the Lord.

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