The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

June 26th, 1983 @ 10:50 AM

1 Corinthians 12:13

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
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THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Dr. W. A. Criswell

1 Corinthians 12:13

6-26-83    10:50 a.m.

 

This is the pastor bringing the message entitled The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  The message is delivered because of the unendingness of the unscriptural response I see and hear everywhere.  To summarize the unscriptural response to the truth of God: everywhere there are those that are persuaded that there is a work of grace when we are regenerated, when we are converted; something God does when we are born into the kingdom of God, born of the Spirit, born anew, born from above, anōthen, born again [John 3:3-7].  That is one experience of grace, a work of God.  Then they avow there is a second, later work of God, an experience of grace at another time, and that is called “the baptism of the Holy Spirit.”  If you have not received that second work of grace, that so-called “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” then you are a second-class Christian.  You are down here somewhere, and those who have experienced that work of grace are up here somewhere.

That doctrine is everywhere.  I run into it all the time.  And in one of those strange providences that are almost inexplicable, it was furthered by great men of God like Dwight L. Moody and R. A. Torrey.  His own son, Dr. Torrey’s son, pled with his father to change the nomenclature he used in describing his experience, and Dr. Torrey refused to the end of his life.

In my own experience, for the years and the years, I misunderstood.  I did not understand the truth of God with regard to the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

One time, in these years gone by, there came two brethren here to Dallas to see me from Louisiana.  They had heard me preach on the baptism of the Holy Spirit at a conference in Louisiana, and they came all the way over here to sit down with me and to teach me the Word of God.  Even listening to them, I still didn’t understand it.

One time, in preaching through a conference at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, I announced my preaching on this subject, and there came to my hotel room the men who led that great Christian teaching institution.  And they talked to me at length, because at that time there were excesses, battling, confronting the school in this area, in this baptism, this doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

In those long ago days, years gone by, I studied, and I studied, and I prayerfully studied, and finally came to an understanding of the truth, a clear understanding of the truth of God, the revelation of God in the Holy Scriptures, and I wrote two books on the subject: the Holy Spirit.  Now coming to this hour, I felt I ought to speak concerning it.  I run into it so constantly: the aberration, the misunderstanding, the misconstruction, the misinterpretation of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Then as I struggled to combine it all and to present the quintessence of it in just one brief sermon—I was struggling with it.  You need hours.  As I say, I wrote two books concerning it, and how do you combine it and compress it and condense it in just a few minutes like this?

Well, I have come into the habit of studying late at night.  And one night in preparation for this message and in struggling to present it in just one brief moment like this—reading the Scriptures, poring over the Word of God, preparing this message—I went to bed and went to sleep, still not knowing how, in one sermon, to present the truth of this tremendous doctrine.  And in the middle of the night I awakened, and when I did the entire message lay before me from beginning to ending, every point and every discussion under every point.

I would not be so proudly spiritually egotistical as to say that an angel had presented it to me.  Maybe the psychologist is right, is correct, when he says that your mind works when you are asleep as it does when you are awake, and my mind, working, arranged that whole message from beginning to end, and when I awakened there it was.  My mind had worked it through and now presents it to me.  However you explain it, whether it was a gracious interposition and kindness from heaven, or whether it is psychologically conditioned that my mind was working through it even while I was asleep, the whole message was there before me.

Now the main points of it are this: the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an historical prophetic event.  Second: the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an historical heavenly event.  Third: the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an historical ecclesiastical church event.  And fourth: the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an historical never-to-be-repeated eternal event.  And then the conclusion: we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit continuously and continually.

Now we begin.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an historical prophetic event.  It is something that God specified at a particular time, at a particular place, in one event, years and years and centuries before it came to pass.  It is one historical event prophesied by the Lord God in heaven [Joel 2:28; Matthew 3:11; John 7:39].

It is the same thing as concerning the coming of our Lord.  There was a time prophesied, a specific moment when the Lord of heaven would be incarnate in human flesh.  He would be born of a virgin—prophesied [Isaiah 7:14].  There was a time prophesied, one event, when our Lord would die in atoning grace for the sins of the world [Daniel 9:26].  There was a time prophesied, an event, when He would be raised from the dead [Matthew 12:40].  There is a prophesied time, an event, when the Lord will return from heaven [Acts 1:10-11].  It is set in heaven, prophesied, and we’re waiting for that coming event [Titus 2:13].

In the same way that there is an historical prophecy, was historical prophecies, were historical prophecies concerning the birth and the atoning death and the resurrection and the return of our Lord, just so there are prophecies, historical prophecies, that point to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God, the baptism of the Holy Spirit of God, the pouring out of the Spirit of God upon human flesh.

Now we look at just some of those prophecies.  The first one that I point to, you just read.  In the second chapter of Joel:

It shall come to pass… that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men dream dreams, and your young men see visions.

[Joel 2:28]

There is a day coming, says Joel—a prophecy when God will pour out upon this earth the Spirit of grace, the presence of the Holy Spirit of God bathed, baptized the world with the Spirit of God.

In the third chapter of the First Gospel of Matthew, in verse 11, John the Baptist preached, saying:

I indeed baptize you with water… but He that cometh after me, mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire.

[Matthew 3:11]

There is a day coming, says John the Baptist, when God will pour out upon this earth—baptize this earth in the Holy Spirit.

I turn the pages of the Gospel, and in the seventh chapter of the gospel of John, John explains in a parenthesis:

This spake Jesus of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.

[John 7:39]

Isn’t that a wonderful way to talk?  John describes the crucifixion of Jesus as “the glorification of Jesus.”  What an amazing come-to-pass, that a man could look upon the execution of what had been reserved for felons and malefactors and slaves, and call that “the glorification of Christ” [John 7:39].

Well anyway, in the middle of Christ’s ministry, in the very middle of it, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is yet to come; it is something in the future.  It’s a date that hasn’t been arrived at: “This spake Jesus because the Holy Spirit was not yet given” [John 7:39]. I turn to the first chapter of the Book of Acts.  And the Lord is speaking with His apostles, and He says:

Wait for the Promise of the Father, which, saith He, you have heard of Me.

For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.

[Acts 1:4-5]

 

Look at this:  the Lord has finished His ministry; He has died in atoning grace for our sins; He has been buried; He has been raised from among the dead [Matthew 27:32 – 28:7], and now after forty days [Acts 1:3], He is ready to ascend back to heaven from whence He came [Acts 1:8].  And yet the baptism, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, has not come—it is still in the future—but the Lord says it is coming soon.  The baptism of the Spirit is not many days hence [Acts 1:5].

Then I turn to the second chapter of the Book of Acts, and in the sixteenth verse, Simon Peter says, “This is that”—speaking of the passage, the prophecy, you just read in Joel 2:28-32—“it has come to pass” [Acts 2:16].  This is the specific historical event that the prophets pointed to in all of these centuries past [Acts 2:16].  It has now come to pass at Pentecost.

In the tenth chapter of the Book of Acts, Simon Peter says: “This is that which was prophesied by John the Baptist” [Acts 10:37].  The great historical day has come:  the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon human flesh [Acts 2:16-18].  Now, that’s the first point: the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an historical, prophetic event, at one time, at one place, and it occurred, says Simon Peter, this day at Pentecost [Acts 2:16-18].

Number two:  the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an historical heavenly event.  In the last chapter of the Book of Luke—Luke 24:49: “Behold,” says our Lord, “I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until you be clothed with that power from on high.”  That’s what literally he wrote: “until the Holy Spirit clothes Himself with you, power from on high—the Promise of My Father.”

Now I turn again to the first chapter of the Book of Acts, and I see that same word again in verse 4:

And, being assembled together with them, the Lord commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the Promise of the Father.

[Acts 1:4]

 

The promise of the Father: the baptism of the Holy Spirit is called in these passages the fulfillment of the promise of the Father.

Now this is what I think that means, the promise of the Father: before the foundations of the earth were laid, before God flung these planets into space, before there was matter or substance, before the creation of the world, God the Father said to the Son: “You die for the human race.  You suffer in penalty for the sins of the people.  You do that, and I promise You, the promise of the Father, I promise You two things.”  Now I am a Calvinist, and you’re going to see a little instance of it now.  “I promise You,” says the Lord God to His Son, “if You suffer and die on the cross, paying the penalty for the sins of the world, I promise You—one: I promise You a people.  You will not die in vain.  I promise You there will be those who will believe on You and trust You, and receive Your grace and forgiveness, and will love You and serve You.  I promise You a people.”

The Bible calls that election.  There are those that are going to trust Jesus in every age and in every generation in this earth until He comes again: election.

God promises to His Son, “If You suffer and die, I promise You a people.”  There will be those who will respond to the announcement and the proclamation and the preaching of the gospel.  “I promise You a people.”

The second: “And I promise You that, because You have done this, I will pour out upon the earth the Spirit of grace and of heavenly power”: the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  That is the Promise of the Father.  It is an historical, heavenly event.  God promised His Son, “You suffer and die, and I will pour out upon the flesh of the earth the Spirit of grace, and salvation, and supplication, and power; glory.”

All right, number three:  The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an historical, ecclesiastical event.  It concerns the church.  I read here in the Word of God, in the fourteenth chapter of the Book of John, our Lord says, “Ye shall know Him,” this Spirit of truth, this Comforter, this alter ego, this third Person of the Trinity.  “I will pray the Father. He shall give you another Paraklete [John 14:6] …for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you,” this Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit of God: John 14:17.  “He will dwell with you, and shall be in you.”

 Now let me expatiate on that for a moment.  The Holy Spirit of God, our Lord says, is going to have a new dwelling place, a new tabernacle, a new home.  It’s going to be in the church, in the body of Christ [1 Corinthians 6:19].  Heretofore—before Pentecost, before the outpouring, the baptism of the Holy Spirit—heretofore, the Holy Spirit had come upon differing people at differing times.  Sometimes, the Scriptures say—the Holy Spirit came upon Samson at times [Judges 14:6, 9].  The Holy Spirit came upon Samuel [1 Samuel 3:19-21]. The Holy Spirit came upon Saul [1 Samuel 10:10, 11:6].  The Holy Spirit came upon David [1 Samuel 16:13].  The Holy Spirit came upon Isaiah [Isaiah 61:1].

At different times, the Holy Spirit came upon different men—just the same thing as the theophanies or the Christophanies of our Lord and Savior.  The Lord was in heaven.  Jesus’ home was in heaven at the throne of God [Philippians 2:6], but He appeared from time to time to different men.  For example, He appeared to Abraham [Genesis 18:17].  He appeared to Hagar [Genesis 16:7-8].  He appeared to Jacob [Genesis 32:24].  He appeared to the elders of Israel [Numbers 11:16-17].  He appeared to Daniel [Daniel 10:5].  He appeared to Isaiah [Isaiah 6:1].  Christophanies: the appearance of our Lord while He was up there in heaven.  He came down to earth and appeared to these saints from time to time, but His home was in heaven. He lived in heaven at the throne of grace [Philippians 2:6].

Now the Lord came down here to earth from heaven [Hebrews 10:5-14], and for thirty-three years He lived in human flesh.  Then He returned back to heaven, when He was raised from the dead [Matthew 28:1-6; Acts 1:9-10], and there He is now in heaven, at the right hand of the throne of God [Hebrews 12:2], awaiting that specified, prophesied, known-to-God time when He will return back to earth for His people [Matthew 24:36].

The Holy Spirit is just like that.  He had His home in heaven.  Once in a while He would come upon a Samson [Judges 14:6, 9], or a Saul [1 Samuel 10:10, 11:6] or a David [1 Samuel 16:13], but His home was in heaven [Philippians 2:6].  But our Lord said, in this prophecy in the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John, that the day is coming when the Holy Spirit will change His central residence, will change His home from heaven to earth [John 14:16-26].  And His home is going to be here, and He is going to dwell in the body of Christ, His people [1 Corinthians 6:19].  He is in the church [1 Corinthians 3:16].  That is a most wonderful thing!

A week ago, I was seated in a chair before a TV camera.  They were having an interview about something, and the man who was presiding over it said to me, “I don’t need to go to church.  I can worship God just as well on a creek bank, fishing, as I can going to church.” What he doesn’t know is he’s out there worshiping himself.  That’s his idea of God.  That’s his idea of coming into the presence of the Lord.  That’s his idea of the worship of God.  It’s his idea.  It’s not God’s.  God has commanded us “not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together” [Hebrews 10:25], and he supposes that, out there by himself, he has all of the fullness of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, out there catching a fish. Now, I’m sure in favor of catching fish.  I could eat fish three times a day, but it would never occur to me that that is the substitute for the great outpouring of the Spirit of God in His church! [Acts 1:4].

There is something so marvelous and wonderful about God’s people being together in the church.  I will praise God in the assembly [Psalm 111:1].  I will praise God in the church.  It is a wonderful thing that happens: “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go up [to] the house of the Lord” [Psalm 122:1].  It is a wonder and a glory to be in God’s house with the Lord’s people, however imperfect we may be—yet the Lord is here.  He blesses our songs of praise; He blesses our instruments of music, and He hears our prayers.  And we are encouraged in the faith and in the worship and work of our Lord;  the Spirit of God is in His church [1 Corinthians 3:16].

Not only that, but when I am saved, when I am converted, when I am born again, the same Holy Spirit that “borns me again,” that regenerates my heart [John 3:3, 7; Titus 3:5], that same Spirit baptizes me into that body of Christ, the church.  In 1 Corinthians 12:13: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body”: ebaptisthēmen, from baptizōebaptisthēmen.  It’s an aorist.  It’s an indicative.  It’s a passive: ebaptisthēmen.

In English, we have tenses.  You can’t talk in English without pigeonholing what you’re saying in a tense.  You’re talking in the present.  You’re talking about the future.  You’re talking about the past.  You can’t talk in English except in tenses. Every verb has a tense.  It’s not so in the Greek language.  In the Greek language, they spoke in terms of action: what kind of action—it’s pointed, it’s in the past, it’s in the future, it’s going on right now—it’s a kind of action.

Now in the verbal tenses of the Greek language, there is a whole system called aorist, “aorist tense.”  And an aorist tense refers to an action that happened in a point just like that and then continues thereafter. Now this is an aorist verb: ebaptisthēmen.  When I am saved, I am baptized by the Holy Spirit of God into the church [1 Corinthians 12:13].  And there I am forever!  If I had time—and we don’t have time; about the time I get started, the thing says it’s time to stop. When one is baptized into the church, he’s there forever.  He never gets away from it.  Like the prodigal son, he may go out of the hog pen, but as he sits there on the top rail, watching the hogs eat, do you know what he’s thinking about?  He’s thinking about home.  He’s thinking about his father.  He’s thinking about his father’s house [Luke 15:13-21].

No man who’s ever saved ever gets away from that!  He may be out there in the gutter!  He may be out there in the hog pen!  But he can’t forget: “I don’t belong here.  I’m in the wrong place.  I ought to be at my Father’s house.  I ought to be with God’s people.”  And he never gets away from it—never, never, ever!  And, I think, according to God’s promise, he’ll come back someday.

That’s this: when we’re saved, we are baptized into the body of Christ [1 Corinthians 12:13].  And we’re there forever. It’s a wonderful doctrine: in the 1 Corinthians, this same Corinthian letter, the sixth chapter, in the nineteenth verse, the apostle says there that “the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts” [1 Corinthians 6:19].  And when we come to church, we bring Him with us.  And that’s why, when all of us are assembled together in God’s presence, it’s just one of the heavenliest things that mind could imagine, or that providence could arrange for:  the assembly of God’s people.  We bring Him with us, and we’re all in the body of Christ, placed there by the almightiness and the grace of God.

It’s like writing our names in the Book of Life.  It’s something God does for us.  It’s the beautiful thing of being made part of God’s eternal kingdom.  He does it, like writing our names, I say, in the Book of Life; God does it [Revelation 17:8, 20:12, 15, 21:27; Luke 10:20].  God does this.  He adds us to the body of Christ [1 Corinthians 12:13], and we’re there forever. Why, my brother, it would be unthinkable that we could look on the body and say, “I cut that hand off and then put it back on again, and then cut it off and put it back again.  Or my foot: I can cut it off and then put it back on again; cut it off and put it back on again.” Paul says the body of Christ is just like this:  some of us are a foot, and some of us are an eye, and some of us are a hand, and some of us are an ear. We’re not all foot; we’re not all hand; we’re not all eye.  We have differing gifts and differing assignments, but it takes all of us to complete the whole body of Christ [1 Corinthians 12:12-28].

Now, when you’re added, there’s no such doctrine in the Bible as taking off the hand and putting it back on, or taking you out of the body of Christ and putting you back in the body of Christ.  No.  When God adds us to the body of the blessed Lord, we’re there forever, forever:  the doctrine of the security of the believer, the eternal salvation of the saints.  “These,” says God, “are Mine.  They belong to Me!”  And I repeat, some of us may be sorry, no-account, good- for-nothing representatives of the grace of God, but He is not done with us yet!  We’re on the way, we’re on the way; we’re growing in grace.  It’s a wonderful comfort.  It’s a blessed assurance.  It’s what we sing about, isn’t that right?

Well, we’ve got to hasten, as I say.  The fourth one: it is an historical, never-to-be-repeated, eternal event, this baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Our Lord said, in John 14:16, “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Paraklete,” this One who lives with us and is in us, our Comforter, our Strengthener, our Encourager.  “When I am gone, He will come” [John 14:16].  Now look at the Word: “That He may abide with you forever—that He may abide with you for ever” [John 14:16].  This baptism of the Holy Spirit [1 Corinthians 12:13], is an eternal, never-to-be-repeated event.  “When He comes,” says the Lord Jesus, “He will abide with you for ever” [John 14:16].

Now we’re going to look at how that works with us.  In the second chapter of the second Thessalonians letter, Paul is writing about the end times, and the Day of the Lord, and the manifestation of what he calls the man of sin—the Antichrist, John calls him.  Now in verses 6 and 7, the apostle writes:

You know—of course, I told you when I was there with you—what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way.

Then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.

[2 Thessalonians 2:5-8]

Now Paul is talking about that day and that time, the end time, when the Antichrist, the man of sin, is revealed.  And I think in every generation Satan has his “man of sin,” his “antichrist.”  It will be a Hitler in one generation, as when I was a young fellow, starting out to preach.  It will be a Stalin in the next generation.  It will be some other character in a coming generation.  But he always has his man.  Satan always has his man, and the day is coming, says the apostle Paul, when, when that man of sin will be revealed [2 Thessalonians 2:8].  The Antichrist will be revealed.  This final great ruler of the evil of the world will be revealed [2 Thessalonians 2:8].  But, says the apostle, he is not revealed now because there is Someone who restrains him, translated here in verse 6 “the One who withholdeth” [2 Thessalonians 2:6]; translated in the next verse “the One who letteth—letteth” [2 Thessalonians 2:7].

The word is katechōKata means “down,” and echō means “hold.” There is Someone here in this world that holds it down, that restrains, and that man of sin and that Antichrist will not be revealed until that Someone who restrains is taken out of the world[2 Thessalonians 2:7].  Now who is that?  As I read the Holy Scriptures, I think that One that restrains, that “holds down,” that keeps this world from being drowned in a deluge and a flood tide of violence and blood and iniquity—I think the One who does that is this Pentecostal Spirit of grace that was poured out upon the earth and that dwells in the church, the body of Christ [1 Corinthians 3:16].

Now listen: there is a day coming, says our Lord and says the Holy Scriptures—and I’m going to preach on that tonight, the rapture of the church—there is a day coming when the church is going to be taken out of this earth.  The church is going to be “caught-up”; it’s going to be “raptured,” to meet our Savior in the air, to be forever with the Lord [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17].  Now when that happens, the Holy Spirit of Pentecostal grace and power that dwells in the church will be taken up with us, because He, according to Jesus, lives in us forever [John 14:16], and when the church is raptured up, the Holy Spirit of God in Pentecostal grace goes up with us.

Now what’s left behind is the Spirit of God only in His omnipresence.  The Holy Spirit of God is like God, He is everywhere.  He was in the creation bringing form out of chaos [Genesis 1:2].  But the Holy Spirit of God in Pentecostal grace and power is in the church, and when the church is taken up, the Holy Spirit is taken up with the body of Christ, and we have those awful days described in the Apocalypse, as it was in the days of Noah, and as it was in the days of Lot, and as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah [2 Peter 2:5-8].  When the church is taken up and out, and the Holy Spirit that lives in the church [1 Corinthians 3:16], is caught up back to heaven again [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17], what remains is the violence and the bloodshed and the awful hē thlipsē hē megalē—the tribulation, the great—that ends in the indescribable destruction of the battle of Armageddon [Revelation 16:16, 19:19-21].

Now I repeat the point; the baptism of the Holy Spirit [1 Corinthians 12:13], the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, is an historical, never-to-be-repeated, eternal event.  The Holy Spirit abides in His people forever [John 14:16]. And when His people are caught up to meet Jesus in the air [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17], the Holy Spirit is caught up with us [1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19], and the earth remains as it was in the days of Noah and in the days of Lot—hē thlipsē hē megalē: “the tribulation, the great” [Revelation 7:14, 16:16, 19:19-21].  Lord, Lord, I don’t want to be left behind.  Now I must conclude; our time is gone.

What is this experience that we have, you and I and all of God’s people?  If the baptism was an historical event, one great moment in the life of the human race, the outpouring of the grace, and when we are saved we become a part of that great historical event, we are baptized into that body of Christ [1 Corinthians 12:13], then what is this that happens to us?  Well, God plainly says, Ephesians 5:18: “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” Plerusthe, be filled with the Spirit: it’s an imperative, plerusthe. It’s an imperative from pleroō, which means to fill, fill up; fill.  It’s an imperative, plerusthe.  We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit [Ephesians 5:18].

Will you look at it again?  It is a present tense—remember what I said?  In the Greek language you don’t have “time tenses,” you have kinds of action, and plerusthe, which we don’t have any way to describe it—we don’t have any nomenclature to use except what we have in our own language—but plerusthe refers to a kind of action.  That is, it goes on, it goes on, it goes on continuously; it goes on continually.  “Be ye filled with the Spirit” [Ephesians 5:18], plerusthe; it is a command.  It’s an imperative.  It’s what we call “present tense,” that is, in their language, it goes on and it goes on and it goes on, again and again and again, continuously.  And it is “passive voice”; it is something God does through us, acts upon us.

He has a contrast here: “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit” [Ephesians 5:18]; passive voice, something from the outside happening to us.  By contrast, he illustrates it.  When a man gives himself to drunkenness [Ephesians 5:18], he becomes another kind of a man.  You hardly recognize him.  He’s something else.  He’s given his mind to alcohol.  He’s given his motor reflexes to alcohol. He becomes another kind of a man!

I heard the craziest story.  There was a bunch of drunks in a hotel room somewhere, and one of them said, “You know I can fly?”  And he jumped out the window.  Well, his friend came to see him in the hospital, and the guy in the hospital, all bunged up, said to him, “Why didn’t you keep me from jumping out that window?”  And his friend said, “Well, I thought you could do it!”  You’re somebody else when you’re under the influence of alcohol.  Now he uses that by contrast.

When a man is filled with the Spirit of God [Ephesians 5:18]—passive voice—the Lord comes in, and He takes his mind, and He takes his hand, and He takes his heart, and He takes his life, and he does things that he never dreamed for.  It’s a wonderful thing, and that’s the way God commands us to live.  We’re to live in the power, and grace, and presence, and fullness of the Holy Spirit [Ephesians 5:18].  One time God baptizes us into the body of Christ [1 Corinthians 12:13], and then He fills us again, and again, and again, and again, and that’s what you read in the Bible.

In the second chapter of the Book of Acts, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit was poured out [Acts 2:4].  In the fourth chapter of Acts, “And they were filled with the Holy Spirit” [Acts 4:31].  In the ninth chapter of the Book of Acts it says that Saul of Tarsus, to whom Ananias was sent—God said to him, “I have come here to open your eyes, that you can see, and that you be filled with the Holy Spirit” [Acts 9:17].  In the seventh chapter of the Book of Acts, it says, “Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven, and saw Jesus” [Acts 7:55-56]. “And his face was as it had been the face of an angel” [Acts 6:15].

It’s a wonderful thing and it’s a daily experience with the people of God to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Singing in the Spirit, praying in the Spirit, studying God’s Holy Word in the Spirit, worshipping in the Spirit, filled with the Spirit; it’s a glorious, glorious, glorious daily experience for the child of God.

Bless your hearts, and God, fill us all to overflowing, and make our cups bigger and bigger, Lord, that God can give us more and more of Himself.  Now may we stand for the prayer?

Our wonderful Lord in heaven, what a, what an incomparable blessing, providence, opportunity, privilege God hath given to us, opening the door of grace, bidding us to come in, and what a wonderful thing it is to see these whom the Holy Spirit has touched, whom God has called, answering, “Here am, Lord.  Here am I.”  And in this moment when our people pray and we sing our hymn of appeal, a family you, a couple you, a one somebody you: “Pastor, the Lord has spoken to me, and I am on the way.”  If you are in the balcony, there is time and to spare.  If you are on this lower floor, into one of these aisles, and down to the front: “Pastor, here I stand.  I have decided for God” [Romans 10:9-10].  Bless you as you come.  Angels attend you as you come.  And wonderful Spirit of God, thank Thee for wooing, and convicting, and drawing, and bringing to us these whom that Lord hath called.  In Thy saving and keeping name, amen.  While we sing our song, a thousand times welcome, while we sing.