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.

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The Tenets of the Apostolic Church

The Unity of the Godhead, and Trinity of the Persons therein.

The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for repentance and regeneration and the eternal doom of the finally impenitent.

The virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, triumphant resurrection, ascension, and abiding intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ; His second coming, and millennial reign upon earth.

Justification and Sanctification of the believer through the finished work of Christ.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost for believers, with signs following.

The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Church, which is the body of Christ.

The Sacraments of Baptism by immersion and of the Lord's Supper.

The Divine inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures.

Church government by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, elders and deacons.

The possibility of falling from grace.

The obligatory nature of tithes and offerings.