Better Equipped

Mark Office

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Acts 18:25-26 (NLT)

25 He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about Johns baptism. 26 When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.

 When Tina and I were in Bible college we were pretty popular people. However, the reason we were so popular had to do with theology. You see we were one of the few Pentecostals on campus as we attended a non-Pentecostal school. As a result, whenever anyone had questions about the Holy Spirit or charismatic activity (which usually centered around speaking in tongues) they came to us for answers. Well recently I discovered that not much has changed in the nearly 20 years since we attended college, because I still get responses from former classmates on Facebook about Pentecostal theology. Often times they begin their message with “I need some Pentecostal prayer,” or something to that nature. However, very recently I have been contacted by a couple from college that is actually attending an Assemblies of God church in Indianapolis. Not surprisingly, they are having some struggles with our teaching on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and more specifically, speaking in tongues. Both of them are having a hard time because they misunderstand what we mean concerning the baptism of the Holy Spirit. To them it seems that we are saying that if you haven’t been baptized in the Holy Spirit then you don’t have the Holy Spirit living inside of you. However, that is not the case at all. On the contrary, we believe that everyone receives the Holy Spirit at conversion, and we refer to his a regeneration. But we also believe that there is another work of the Holy Spirit which is separate and subsequent to salvation. This second work, called the baptism of the Holy Spirit, is for empowerment for ministry. One of the great illustrations of this belief comes from the story of Apollos in Acts 18. In this chapter Apollos is referred to as an enthusiastic and gifted speaker who taught about Jesus accurately. Yet it also tells us that he only knew about the baptism of John, a baptism of water. When Priscilla and Acquila meet him it says that they “explained the way of God more accurately.” The reason that I believe that this had to do with the baptism of the Holy Spirit is that in the next chapter Paul encounters some disciples of John the Baptist who only knew about John’s baptism and had never heard of the Holy Spirit. So Paul lays hands on them and they receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit as evidenced by the fact that they spoke in tongues. So what I am saying is this, Apollos was a gifted speaker who had great zeal for the Gospel, but after learning about and receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit he was better equipped for ministry. That’s the purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it better equips us to do God’s work.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

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