First, let me state the doctrinal position of the Foursquare Church on the Baptism of the Spirit, and the gifts and fruit of the Spirit The following is an excerpt from the official Foursquare Doctrinal statement. . The full doctrinal statement can be found on the ICFG website.
“Baptism in the Holy Spirit:
We believe that the baptism in the Holy Spirit empowers believers to exalt Jesus, to live lives of holiness, and to be witnesses of God’s saving grace; we expect the Spirit’s incoming to be after the same manner as that in which He came upon believers in the days of the Early Church (Acts 1: 5, 8; 2:4).
Our denomination’s founder wrote, “. . . the believer may have every reason to expect His incoming to be after the same manner as that in which He came upon Jew and Gentile alike in Bible days, and as recorded in the Word, that it may be truly said of us as of the house of Cornelius: the Holy Ghost fell on them as on us at the beginning.
1. “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (Jn.14:16,17)
2. “for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:5,8)
3. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4)
4. “Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:17)
5. “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.” (Acts 10:44-46)
6. “And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” (Acts 19:6) “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16)
The Gifts and Fruit of the Spirit:
We believe that the Holy Spirit bestows enabling ministry gifts upon believers, and that these gifts will build up the Body of Christ through edification and evangelism(1 Corinthians 12:1-11); as evidence of a Spirit-filled life, believers should show spiritual “fruit”: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Galatians 5:22-25).”
1. “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:...But earnestly desire the best gifts...” (1 Cor. 12:1,31) “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” (1 Cor. 12:11)
2. “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.” (1 Cor. 14:12) “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Rom. 11:29)
3. “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Rom. 12:6-8)
I think it would be good for us to understand that today many believe that there is a difference between the “gift of tongues” and a Christian’s “praying in the Spirit” or “spiritual prayer language.” On one hand, the gift of tongues/spiritual language seems to be given situationally, for public use, with the gift of interpretation, and not necessarily to all believers. On the other hand, the blessing of praying in tongues/spiritual language seems to be available to all believers and has the function of powerful intercession and personal edification. There are many Christians who regularly pray in “tongues”, but have never manifested the public gift of tongues with interpretation.
It also seems normative in the New Testament that when the Holy Spirit came upon men and women in power, they would personally speak/pray/praise in a spiritual language/tongues(Mark 16:17; Acts 2:11ff; 10:46; 19:6). However, there are few today who would use tongues/spiritual language as a litmus test for Christianity.
The Apostle Paul discussed spiritual gifts (including tongues/spiritual language) being divinely given to individuals as the Holy Spirit wills (1 Corinthians 12). He teaches that these gifts are given as needed for the edification of the church corporately (1 Corinthians 14). He also makes a special point in to discuss the benefits of personal prayer and praise in a spiritual language, going as far as saying, "I want you all to speak in tongues . . .(14:5) I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you "(14:18). And of special note is 1 Corinthians 13, right in the heart of the discussion!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
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