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Holy Spirit.

The following is a conversation I seem to have on a regular basis. It happens at least every three months. Sometimes more frequently.

Me: Can you run my card as credit, please?

Cashier: Yes. Can I see your ID?
Me: (hands cashier my ID)
Cashier: Your last name is Pentecost?
Me: Yes. (thinking "We're going to do this again?")
Cashier: Are you Pentecostal? (Laughs like they are the most clever person in the world)
Me: Haha (Was that fake laugh convincing enough)

Don't get me wrong. I love my last name. I want to hold onto it as long as I can. 

Seriously, though, if you ever run into someone with the last name Pentecost, don't ask them if they're Pentecostal. Chances are you are not the first person to have attempted that joke, and you are definitely not the first person to ever come up with it.

What does that have to do with anything?

Over the past few days, I've seen several people challenging each other to post their favorite verse on Facebook. I thought it was an interesting idea. I also thought, "Why not share mine on the blog?"

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8, ESV)

Why is this my favorite verse?

It is the foundation of what we are supposed to do as Christians. We are supposed to tell those who are like us (Jerusalem), those who are not quite like us (Judea & Samaria), and those who are completely different than us (ends of the earth)

This verse also tells us that we are not going to be alone in this experience. We have the Holy Spirit to help us and guide us. If we are listening, He will give us the right words to say. He will tell us what steps to take.

There are another few verses that I rather like that go along with this.

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4, ESV)

These few verses show that God follows through with what He says that He's going to do. He said He was going to send the Holy Spirit, and He did.

Among the many Christian denominations, there is a disagreement about what exactly Baptism in the Holy Spirit means. There is a disagreement about whether speaking in tongues was an experience for the early church or if it is an experience for now as well.

Growing up Assemblies of God, I am very familiar with the term "speaking in tongues". I have experienced Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It was an experience that I will never forget. However, I am not going to pretend to be a Theologian. My four semesters at Bible College have taught me that I know enough to know that there is a lot that I do not know.

Here is the foundation of what I believe:

7. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit

All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church. With it comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry.
This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth.
With the baptism in the Holy Spirit come such experiences as:
  • an overflowing fullness of the Spirit, John 7:37-39 [KJV/NIV], Acts 4:8 [KJV/NIV]
  • a deepened reverence for God, Acts 2:43 [KJV/NIV], Hebrews 12:28 [KJV/NIV]
  • an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work, Acts 2:42 [KJV/NIV]
  • and a more active love for Christ, for His Word and for the lost, Mark 16:20 [KJV/NIV]

8. The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance.
The speaking in tongues in this instance is the same in essence as the gift of tongues, but is different in purpose and use.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:4-10 [KJV/NIV]
  • 1 Corinthians 12:28 [KJV/NIV]

I believe that it is a gift that we were given to help empower us to complete the work that Christ has asked us to do. It is a gift we were given to fill us up and keep us on fire for the cause.

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in the Spirit, serve the Lord. (Romans 12:11, ESV)


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