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Book Give Away!

I wrote a new book which came out last Easter just after the first lockdown started, and so, well, even I sort of forgot about it. But, I eventually got my hands on a few copies, so, I'd like to give two of them away.  The book is about the theology of the founders of the Apostolic Church, so it should hopefully be of interest to Apostolic pastors, which means one of the copies is reserved for any pastor in the Apostolic Church. The other copy is for anyone in the UK (because international postage is too expensive, sorry!). Here's the link to enter the competition. (I've never tried making a competition before, so sorry if it's not the most slick!) There are four ways to enter.  1) Subscribe to the blog by email. 2) Follow me on Twitter. 3) Tweet about the competition using via the competition page above.  4) For the pastor copy, any pastor can email me at the address in the Apostolic Church UK Staff Address Book.  You can see the full table of contents on the Google b

Us-focused or God-focused: The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

It seems that some really good Christians do not realize that the Holy Ghost is doing the extraordinary today - this Pentecostal blessing, the fullness of the Spirit is not something merely to prepare us for heaven, but to bring to fruition the purposes of God.

So said Pastor Thomas Rees back in 1939 at the Penygroes Convention, and His point is still important today 70 years later. The focus of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not on us, but on God and His purposes. Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit primarily as an experience we have. In that case the focus falls on us; we're at the centre. It's true that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is an experience, and an important one at that, but the most important aspect is that it is an experience given by our Triune God for His own glory and purpose. God the Father has promised the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49), God the Son has poured it out (Acts 2:33) and it is God the Spirit with whom we are filled. All the action is on God's side!

The goal of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is also all about God. Through the baptism in the Holy Spirit we receive power for service, including evangelism (Acts 1:8). So through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit our God equips us to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. He equips us to speak His Word. It's all about Him, not us. It's all for His glory not ours.

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not so that we can 'live our best life now', but for the outworking of God's purposes. It's not to make me more blessed, but so that God can bring a blessing to others through me. And that's much more extraordinary than simply doing something for me. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is all about Jesus.