Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Separation series #10: Full Gospel

The term "Full Gospel" used by Charismatics to describe their doctrinal position that sets them apart from all other Christians, is divisive to say the least. It also evidences spiritual pride, in that they believe they have a superior understanding of the Gospel that the rest of us lack and that they have had a second work of grace they call "The Second Blessing", an experience beyond salvation that makes them more complete and better Christians than the rest of us. It all centers around an experience they call "The Baptism of the Spirit", an emotional experience that is evidenced by what they call "speaking in tongues".

A dangerous drift
If a ship in the harbor is not anchored, it is going to drift with the wind and currents. Only if a ship is anchored, is it going to remain protected in the harbor of safety. So it is with Christians and churches. Only as they remain anchored deeply in the Word of God are they going to be protected from the ever-changing winds and currents of heresy.

The most dangerous errors of this modern Pentecostal movement that has grown in popularity over the past fifty years, is that it places experience above the Scriptures in importance. This leads to false doctrine. To them it doesn't matter what a person believes about doctrine. If a person has had the second blessing, that trumps any doctrinal error. Any one who can testify of having had a "second blessing" is considered a brother or sister in Christ. In Acts 17:11 we learn that the Berean Christians correctly tested everything they heard by comparing it with Scripture. Anyone who argues for the truth of a doctrine based on their experience rather than on God's Word, puts themselves in a dangerous position of drifting into heresy.

Another dangerous error of the movement is that it magnifies the Holy Spirit, rather than Christ. Jesus explained to His own in John 16:13-14 " Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine and shall show it unto you."

Consider two obvious heretical teachings: the experience they refer to as "the baptism of the Spirit" and the so-called "gift of tongues" which they claim always accompanies the "baptism of the Spirit".

"The Baptism of the Spirit"
It would be well for us to begin with what the Bible teaches about the work of the Holy Spirit, third Person of the Trinity. He has a major part in our salvation.
1. He convicts us of sin. John 16:8
2. He draws us to Christ. The lost resist Him. Acts 7:51
3. He regenerates us or causes us to be born again. Titus 3:5-6
4. He baptizes or unites every believer into the Body of Christ. I Corinthians 12:13
5. He bears witness with our spirit that we belong to Christ. Rom. 8:15-16
6. He teaches us the things of God by causing us to understand the Bible. John 14:26
John 16:13-14
7. He dwells in every believer. Romans 8:9
8. He directs and guides us through His Word and through inner promptings.
Romans 8:14, Galatians 5:18, Matthew 4:1, Acts 8:29
9. He comforts us, enabling us to sense the presence of Christ. John 14:16,26
10. He helps us learn to pray according to God's will. Romans 8:26-27
11. He gives spiritual gifts to every believcr; not for our own enjoyment, but for our
employment in serving and edifying other Christians. Gifts are for enabling us to
serve others; not for showing off our supposed spirituality to others. I Corinthians 12
12. He glorifies Christ. John 16:14
13. He will see to it that when Christ returns for us, we Christians will be caught up to
meet Him in the air. Romans 8:11

Note that all of these things God graciously does for us. We do not seek the Spirit nor do we seek any of these blessings. Certainly we do not need to seek for a baptism of the Holy Spirit when according to I Corinthians 12:13, He has already baptized every believer into the Body of Christ.

We have only one command, as far as our relationship with the Spirit of God is concerned. In Ephesians 5:18 we are commanded to not be filled and controlled by wine, but we are to be filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit. This command has nothing to do with seeking an emotional experience of "being slain in the spirit" or going into a trance or falling to the floor and laughing or weeping. Rather, we are filled with the Spirit as we surrender to the Lordship of Christ. We want to be controlled by Him. When we are controlled by Christ, we are controlled by His Holy Spirit and we never manifest self-control more than when we are fully controlled by the Holy Spirit.

What are three evidences of being filled with the Spirit? Ephesians 5:19-22. tells us.
1. God puts a song in our hearts. vs 19 A Christian is never happier than when He under
Christ's control and he is doing God's will.
2. We are thankful for everything God allows in our lives. vs. 20
3. We have a submissive heart towards God; and because of that, it is not difficult to be
submissive to one another. vs 21

Would you note that nothing is said of having an overwhelming emotional experiences or speaking in tongues when we are filled with the Spirit? Instead our daily walk will be affected as we begin to experience love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. As we daily walk with Christ, surrendered to His Lordship, we will live a life controlled by His Spirit. Galatians 5:22-26

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May 21, 2006 - Posted by | Separation Series

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