Today I have been struck again by the vital importance of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. At Together on a Mission, Dave Holden taught on the role of the Holy Spirit in our church meetings. It was so helpful to hear practical teaching on this. Gifts of the Holy Spirit are not optional. They are an essential part of church life. It is not about making church more contemporary, but about the Holy Spirit having freedom to move in our midst. He is the leader. He delights to glorify Christ and to draw us into the Lord’s presence.
Yet nothing of the liberty of the Spirit will happen without the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Dave Holden said, “People move in the gifts of the Holy Spirit with greater freedom once they are baptised in the Holy Spirit.”
In the revival of joyful, passionate worship, joyful passionate people can be drawn into churches, but without them being baptised in the Holy Spirit. It is not enough to build a church on people who have a temperament that means they enjoy a particular style of worship. It’s not about having services full of shouting, dancing, and hand-raising, but rather having God break in. It’s about having God lift us up through a tongue and an interpretation, speak to us through prophecy, to heal and deliver, to give us and awesome experience of His power in each meeting. As Dave Holden concluded:
“If we are a charismatic community it is not about modern and contemporary but about having a deluge of the Holy Spirit upon us. A people being ready to move in gifts of the Holy Spirit.”
For this vision for be fulfilled, the vast majority of church members to be baptised in the Holy Spirit. That means new Christians must be properly taught and prayed for. And for those that have been Christians for longer, we must not assume that they are baptised in the Spirit. We must lovingly teach so that they become fully persuaded that the gift of the Holy Spirit is for them. Moses prayed “oh that all the Lord’s people were prophets” (Num 11v29). God has laid on my heart, “oh that all the Lord’s people would enter into their inheritance and be baptised in the Holy Spirit.”
As each member receives the mighty drenching of God – which is the birthright of every Christian – the church becomes filled with God-saturated people and so the gifts will start bursting out, and we will have the breaking-in of God in every meeting. Glory!