4 - Overemphasis Of The Holy Spirit

Every church has a personality. Unfortunately, the Holy Spirit becomes the focus is some places. This is completely wrong for the church to allow. While the Holy Spirit, God, is a critical part of the Triune God and should be loved, appreciated, enjoyed and understood, his function pulls Him out of the center of focus in the church. Jesus taught, He said of the Holy Spirit -

John 16:14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.

Acts 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. 12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

3 - Am I "Filled" With The Holy Spirit?

Probably the most confusing question anyone can ask in some Charismatic groups is "have you been filled with the Holy Spirit?" Sometimes the one asking and the once answering are talking about two completely different things without realizing it. Even more confusing is the fact that when the New Testament discusses “being filled” or “being full” it uses the same Greek words to describe three completely different aspects of being “filled." 

The three different scriptural ideas of being full or filled with the Holy Spirit are:

1. filled – the seal of sonship via the Holy Spirit upon conversion.

John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

Rom. 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 

2 Cor. 1:21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 

1 Cor. 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? 

Rom. 8:9 And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

2. filled – a supernatural experience with the Spirit for endowment/unlocking of supernatural gifts.

Luke 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Acts 8:14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 

Acts 19:1 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when£ you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7There were about twelve men in all.

This can happen one or multiple times in a believers experience , via laying on of hands, or a personal private thing, very often accompanied by speaking in tongues (60% - 100%)

3. filled – engaged for function, a stirring up the Spirit within to function (should happen on a daily basis)

Acts 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!

Eph. 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

Gal. 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Rev. 1:10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet

2 - The Holy Spirit & His Purpose

The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Triune God has a specific function within the Godhead and our lives. He is promised to be present WITH believers: 

John 16:7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

He is promised to be IN you:
John 14:17 But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
1 Cor. 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? 
Rom. 8:9 And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
Acts 7:55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

The Holy Spirit's Primary Purposes Include:

1. To Draw Attention To Jesus - John 16:14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

2. To Bring Conviction - John 16:8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment

3. To Reveal Truth - John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

4. To Give Power To Draw Attention To Jesus - Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

5. To Baptize Believers - Acts 19:1 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when£ you believed?”  They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5On hearing this, they were baptized into£ the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues£ and prophesied. 7There were about twelve men in all.

6. To Deposit Supernatural Gifts - 1 Cor. 12:1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant; 1 Cor. 12:7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.; • 1 Cor. 14:1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.; 1 Cor. 14:12 So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.

1 - Introduction

Simply stated, Charismatic's are followers of Christ who recognize and welcome the full function and activity of the Holy Spirit in their lives and gatherings. Elevate Church absolutely believes in the Holy Spirit. In the Biblical sense, we are fully charismatic and embrace all of the New Testament teachings on the supernatural phenomenon of the Spirit.

At the same time, we distance ourself from cultural Charismatics and Pentecostals who have motives, teachings experiences and a culture in their gatherings that is unsupported in scripture.  As one person observed, we are Charismatic, with seat-belts and airbags.

This study will take you through various topics affecting Charismatic culture while attempting to filter them through the Word of God. In all things, the Word is preeminent and maintaining a Biblical balance is critical for all believers. What we believe on these matters is critical because it affects our behavior as we gather, and the world who can only catch glimpses of Jesus while watching us. Imbalances and error always skews the Jesus that people see as they see Him in us.

Thoughts About Balance

1 Cor. 11:17 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. 22Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!

Anyone can become imbalanced in anything! Imbalance always distorts the message of Jesus Christ, even though we might have the best of intentions. Imbalances cause us to form the the scripture to fit our setting instead of forming our setting to fit the scripture.

Steps That Lead To Imbalance:

  1. an experience
  2. zeal - an experience attached to emotion is even more powerful
  3. a failed Biblical filter - experiences must be filtered through the Word and absence of one makes it impossible to know if what you have experienced is accurate - 2 Tim. 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
  4. continued behavior - repetition has a way of creating us, an us that we no longer question or really observe
  5. culture is created - once a group of people do a thing repeatedly that they value with attached emotion, it becomes part of the culture of that group, valued by the group. Sometimes that culture is not even recognized by the group

A Few Truths About Imbalance: It's not uncommon for a believer to find his/herself in a place of imbalance. Before anyone gets the idea that this study's intention is to throw the guilty under the bus, let's consider a few things:

  1. excess is most often unknowingly engaged in by sincere people with sincere intentions
  2. God often does great things in spite of excess
  3. Excess is a distortion of truth, but truth generally is there

This study will take you through various topics affecting Charismatic culture that tend to be areas of imbalance. The desired outcome is to point out imbalance while clinging to that which is preciously scriptural.