Questions #05 – This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, November 15, 2009.
Sermon Notes »
Even though I grew up here in Tulsa, the Charismatic capital, I was not confronted with the issues of being “Spirit-filled” until I was in college. It just wasn’t an issue in the crowd I ran with. But in college as we were seeking to understand the Faith and come to our own convictions about what the Bible taught we started reading books and listening to tapes by some folks who were not part of “our crowd.” This was in the late 70s and early 80s as the charisamatic movement was making its way out of Pentecostalism and into mainstream. The Jesus Movement of the late 60s and early 70s was beginning to have a larger impact. Peter Wagner and the church growth movement out of Fuller Seminary was talking about “spiritual gift inventories” and other tools to help people discover their gifts and find places of ministry in the church. There was a movement among Southern Baptist begun by some men who had had an “experience” with the Spirit. Fulness conferences featured men who wanted Southern Baptist to understand that the miracle working God of the New Testament hadn’t gone away. He was still in business and His power was great. Books, tracts and tapes were in abundance telling how you could be filled with the Spirit. Was there excess? Of course, there always will be when certain aspects of truth are “rediscovered.” I have to say I greatly benefited from many of those teachers. On the whole I think it was good for us. For too long Southern Baptist were so afraid of getting out on a limb with the Holy Spirit – we wouldn’t even get in the tree!
As “people of the book” we have nothing to fear from the third person of the Trinity. Any movement or teaching that causes us to go back to Scripture and seek understanding is a good thing. But what about this question of being “Spirit-filled?”
Are their Spirit-filled Christians and then regular Christians?
Is there a “second blessing” subsequent to salvation?
These are important questions and they are deserving of honest, biblical answers.
I Googled “spirit-filled” and found there were 121,000,000 related items!
I was greatly comforted to find a site that walked me through some simple easy steps to being “Spirit-filled.” Of course the sight began by explaining that there are three kinds of people: the natural man – he is the lost man without Christ in his life; the spiritual man with Christ on the throne of his life directing and empowering all things; and then there is the carnal man – the man who “allows” Christ in his life but he (the man) is on the throne and Christ is off to the side.
I don’t believe such a division is biblical but we’ll come back to that a little later.
Let’s start with some definitions.
Are all believers Spirit-filled or is it only certain believers?
That’s not a simple answer. By that I mean it is not a yes or no kind of answer. I say that because the Bible speaks of “filling” in a couple of different ways. There is a filling for service and a filling for sanctification. They are different and they have a different purpose. Let’s look at each.
The Filling for Service.
Filling for Sanctification.
WAIT A MINUTE – WHAT ABOUT EPHESIANS 5:18?
What About Fruit?