Intro to this Issue: The Unfolding Grace of Pentecost

“On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” 

Acts 1:4-5

Pentecost and being baptized in the Holy Spirit

Through his atoning death on the cross, his resurrection, and ascension to the Father’s right hand in heaven, Jesus completes his work of redemption. The final outcome and result is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus on the Day of Pentecost. 

Shortly before his ascension to the Father in heaven, Jesus gave them a command and a promise: “WAIT for the gift my Father promised” and “in a few days you will be BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT” (Acts 1:4-5)

We are the recipients of a New Pentecost for God’s people today. What an awesome privilege and what a great responsibility. 

Paul the Apostle reminds us,

 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.”

Galatians 5:25-26

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt,but test them all; hold on to what is good,reject every kind of evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit.

Ephesians 5:18

The Lord wants all Christians to be baptized in the Holy Spirit

What is the purpose and fruit of being baptized in the Spirit. Steve Clark in his book, Baptized in the Spirit, explains what kind of experience and results we can expect. Here are a few quotes:

The whole New Testament is alive with the fact that the early Christians were able to experience the presence of the Spirit in them and his work among them. And it is this experience which is returning with the charismatic renewal. The very same things are happening now which were happening then. Today people are reporting experiences of being filled with the Spirit, of being led by him, of having him speak to them, experiences of inspired speech, of prophecy, of discernment of spirits, of healing, of miracles. They are, in other words, beginning to live the life of the Spirit.

 When people are living the life of the Spirit, they know by experience that the Holy Spirit is in them. They do not have to “take it on faith” in the sense of believing it without any experience to indicate it is true. When people are living the life of the Spirit, they begin to experience the Holy Spirit making it possible for them to praise God and worship God with a new freedom. They experience the Holy Spirit making the scriptures come to life and making Christian doctrines make sense. They experience a new ability to talk to people about Christ, a deeper peace and joy.

The life of the Spirit also involves an experience of a new kind of community life – a community living “in the Spirit”. The life of the Spirit is not meant to be an individual life. The Spirit is given to form us into the body of Christ, and the life of the Spirit is a life which a community lives as well as an individual. A person who is part of a community that is living the life of the Spirit can experience the community being led in worship by the Spirit, being guided by the Spirit, being taught by the Spirit. The community as a whole experiences the presence of the Spirit.

Let us all strive to be fully in Christ and to desire everything which the Lord is offering to us. And let us strive to build Christian communities and environments which experience the full life of the Spirit and gifts of the Spirit.

Sincerely in Christ,

Don Schwager


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