Galatians 3:1

Sunday, 20 August 2017

-For today’s teaching, I want to talk about the baptism with the Holy Spirit. -While I’m keenly aware that the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be a source of contention, I’d like for us to revisit this vital truth. -I’m hoping that at the conclusion of my sermon on the Holy Spirit the confusion surrounding this can be somewhat cleared up.

-In order to understand what Paul is saying to the churches in Galatia, we need know a little bit of what was happening there. -Namely, that of what were known as the Judaizers, who were legalists, coming into the churches requiring they keep the Law. -Specifically, the Law of Moses, which required they be circumcised even after coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

-You’ll forgive the graphic nature of this description, but this meant the men had to undergo this painful circumcision surgery. -They actually taught that as soon as the cut was made the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon them in keeping with the Law. -This is why Paul asks them these specific questions concerning their having received the Holy Spirit by the works of the Law.

-It’s viewing what Paul says through the lens of this false teaching concerning the Holy Spirit that helps us better understand it. -Absent knowing what was happening, one could get the impression that Paul was being disproportionately harsh and unloving. -However, when it came to the serious implications of this, the Apostle Paul finds himself pulling no punches, and rightfully so.

-It’s interesting to note that Paul doesn’t ask them if they have received the Holy Spirit, instead, he asks them how they received. -In other words, the presupposition is they had received the Holy Spirit, but they bought the lie that it came by way of the flesh. -This explains why Paul would say, “you foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?” What he’s saying is, what are you thinking?

-It’s for this reason I wan to approach this by asking specific questions related to the baptism of the Holy Spirit in a believers life. -What follows are four questions concerning the baptism with the Holy Spirit, specifically related to the work of the Holy Spirit.

Question #1: What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit? -It’s when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon you, to empower you.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power (dunamis/dynamite) when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

John 16:5–7 (NKJV) — 5 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

Question #2: Don’t I receive the Holy Spirit when I receive Christ? -Yes and no. It is possible for someone to be baptized with the Holy Spirit when they’re born again, however we find in the scriptures that there are three separate experiences. 

1) “Para” = Along side, as a helper ­(Para is where we get words like Paramedic, Paralegal, or a Parachute)

John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor (parakletos) to be with you forever

2) “En” = In or indwelling

John 14:17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

3) “Epi” = Upon or overflowing

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

-An illustration of all 3-The pitcher of water is alongside, (para) the glass -The pitcher of water is being poured in, (en) the glass. -The pitcher of water is being poured upon (epi) the glass to overflowing. An example of this subsequent work is in Acts 8:12-17.

Acts 8:14-17 -14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Question #3: How do I get baptized with the Holy Spirit? -Ask!

Luke 11:9-13 -9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Question #4: Is speaking in tongues the only evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit? -No, it can be a sign, because it’s one of the gifts however, gifts are received in an event, while fruits are grown in a process.

Galatians 5:22-23 -22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.