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Clothed with Power

This book is a presentation of the Pentecostal position on Holy Spirit baptism. Not all those who are connected with the movement will agree with all that is in these pages, but the position taken does generally represent both the Pentecostal and Charismatic viewpoint. It probably hovers somewhere in the middle of the more extreme views taken by some on either side.

 

Clothed with Power

Clothed with Power is a presentation of the Pentecostal position on Holy Spirit baptism. Not all those who are connected with the movement will agree with all that is in these pages, but the position taken does generally represent both the Pentecostal and Charismatic viewpoint. It probably hovers somewhere in the middle of the more extreme views taken by some on either side.

The Pentecostal position on the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and on the gifts of the Spirit, depends on establishing four things -

  1. that there is available to every Christian an experience known (among other titles) as “Holy Spirit baptism”.
  2. that new birth (or regeneration) and the baptism in the Spirit are discrete;[1]  that is, they are separate and distinct happenings, though they may sometimes occur simultaneously.

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THE PENTECOSTAL POSITION

  1. that there is available to every Christian an experience known (among other titles) as “Holy Spirit baptism”.
  2. that new birth (or regeneration) and the baptism in the Spirit are discrete; that is, they are separate and distinct happenings, though they may sometimes occur simultaneously.
  3. that “glossolalia” (speaking in tongues) is the usual initial evidence that a person has been baptised in the Spirit.
  4. that the miraculous gifts of the Spirit (the charismata) which existed in the early church are still available and should be occurring in the worship of the modern church.

The remainder of this book will try to establish those propositions.

A SUPERNATURAL VIEW

You will soon realise that I endorse the world-view of the early church, which recognised supernatural experiences, accepted the reality of miracles, and believed in God’s personal involvement in human experience. I accept also that the scriptures give us an accurate presentation of the teachings and practices of the early church, and that what they did establishes the normative pattern for Christianity. As a corollary, I reject that essentially secular theology in which there is no place for miracles. When one has seen a miracle it is hard to say that they don’t happen!

I am of course aware of the arguments against seeking an absolute paradigm in the early church. There are necessarily many places where the modern church, in its practice and emphasis, must part company with the first Christians. However, I am satisfied that the same general practices and beliefs, or at least those that are revealed in scripture, and which led those first Christians to such resounding success, are equally relevant to our time. The success story of the current worldwide charismatic movement certainly supports this view. (There are today at least 50 million members in the various Pentecostal denominations, after less than 100 years of witness. To those must be added the many millions more who belong to the “neo-Pentecostal” or “charismatic” movement, which is located in the older denominations.)

A ROSE BY MANY NAMES

This study adopts the position that the following and other similar terms are all more or less synonymous:

  • baptism in the Spirit
  • gift (singular) of the Spirit
  • infilling of the Spirit
  • fullness of the Spirit
  • promise of the Father
  • the Holy Spirit falling “on” or “upon”

They all refer basically to the same experience: that “clothing with power from on high”, which every Christian should receive subsequent to his or her conversion to Christ.

  • If you are unfamiliar with the word discrete, do take note of it now, because it will occur frequently in a couple of the following chapters.
  • At the time of writing this book, Pentecostals were the largest single group in the Protestant family, ahead of Anglicans, Baptists, and Lutherans. According to church statistician David Barrett, the total number of Pentecostals and Charismatics worldwide is in excess of 250 million, with a projected growth by the end of this century to 500 million. (Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, ed. Burgess & McGee; Regency Reference Library; Zondervan Publishing House; 1990.

This book is now also available as an ebook from Smashwords Clothed with Power - Ebook version

Doctrine Study Stream

Clothed With Power  is a subject taken from our Doctrine Study Stream, you may also like to consider these other study options

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