Tuesday, October 31, 2006

warnock on mlj

Adrian Warnock has written a nice 4 part summary of Martin Lloyd-Jones' view of the differentiation between baptism of the Holy Spirit and the work of the Holy Spirit in conversion [part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4]. Warnock's conclusion;

You may not agree with Martyn Lloyd-Jones' interpretation ... the theological debates about what you should call an experience of the Holy Spirit should not ... remove the absolute necessity that we recognise the reality of two clearly distinct works of the Spirit. ... we should not jump to the conclusion that there is therefore no second experience to seek for.


I remain convinced that the balance of Scripture teaches us that there is a secret act of the Spirit in regenerating us and joining us to Christ of which we may not be aware save for its effects in us. Many a believer feels that the faith he now feels is his own - little does he know that it has been produced in him by the Spirit, that a rebirth has happened. If you want to call that event the baptism with the Spirit, then at least recognise that it is an event that is centred on joining the believer to the body of Christ.

Believers are, however, to desire and expect that we might "drink" of the Spirit or "receive" him. This event is something that we will recognise when it happens. I do not believe it is a once-for-all event. We are to keep coming back for more drink! We are to desire and savour the Spirit and yearn for more conscious awareness of him as a person who is at work in every believer. What is the difference between the Spirit-filled believer and the one who when asked, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” would have a similar answer to the Ephesians in Acts 19:2? Is it that the Spirit is not working in the latter? Absolutely not. The Spirit is at work in every believer. It is simply that the one who is "full" of the Spirit, who has drunk of the Spirit - who has received the Spirit, is one who has a vivid experience of the third person of the Trinity as a reality in their lives.

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