Acts 2: The Way For Today - Or Just For Then?

In our last weekly chat, we were going to finish up our discussion on epistemology (different views of how our minds process information and "know truth"), but we somehow dove into the second chapter of Acts.

Forgive me in advance for all the Christian-ese, but inevitably that led to the question: "Is the baptism in the Holy Spirit a second work of grace, as might be deduced from Acts 2, or does Acts 2 depict the initial arrival of the Holy Spirit, with the result that nowadays we receive the Holy Spirit when we believe in Messiah?"

Wow. What an excellent discussion it was.



Unknown said...

I believe that you are automatically entered into the Body of Christ at conversion.

Romans 8:9 Says, “You, however, you are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

All that is required for membership in the Body of Christ is to confess with your mouth and believe with your heart. Later your justified by your deeds. The thief that died on the cross with Christ didn’t have any time I’m assuming to do good works. Or to even exercise in the gifts of the Spirit like Paul did. I said all that to show that it was his faith in Christ that got him into “paradise.”

I’m thinking that when you say a second baptism your referring to speaking in tongues. I know usually it’s a pretty crazy moment for most. Although I’ve heard first hand accounts of more mild events. Which include speaking in tongues while washing the car and speaking in tongues while watching late night bible television in their underwear. (Not trying to be crude by the way.) There isn’t a real clear biblical answer to the second baptism. In Acts Peter preaches to some men in Joppa and they were baptized in the spirit, but it happened as they came to believe in the Lord. The men were servants of a roman soldier who already believed in God.

What I propose is that God can baptize a second time. The second being for confirmation maybe. I know from experience that I wanted to experience what others were telling me about a second baptism. Although I only wanted to speak in Tongues to be more specific. Which when I did speak in tongues it was preceded by something uncontrollable. I’m not given to hyper-emotional fits of joy, but if you were to first come to know me the day that I did speak in tongues then you could make that assumption. If I were to make doctrine out of experience I would be afraid of putting God into a box. While I believe steadfastly that what happened to me was definitely not out of line speaking in reference to orthodoxy but was firmly within context of the Bible. I’m not sure why God decided to move within me that way or how he did it? I assumed it was a tailored experience to show me that He is God I am mortal creation. Or that He wanted to make sure I never forget.

Either way I know this was a far different experience from when I was first saved. I had never spoke in tongues prior to that or exercised in the gifts of the spirit knowingly.

I hope I didn't stray too far from topic. :)

Mike Aleckson said...

You didn't stray, Lowell - that's perfect - it's what we were discussing.

I like your comment, "I’m not sure why God decided to move within me that way...". It reminds me of Lewis' constant reminders in Narnia that "Aslan isn't a tame lion, after all!".