2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 5, January 28-February 3, The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit
Tuesday, January 31
God is love. His law is love. He wants to abide in us through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. He wants to write His law upon our hearts. He wants His law on hearts of flesh, not on hearts of stone. And His Word indicates that certain conditions must be met in order for the Holy Spirit to abide in us, and for His law to be written upon our hearts. Logically, how can anyone conclude that God’s love is therefore unconditional? Let’s examine this issue more deeply.
“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” KJV, Acts 2:37, 38, emphasis added.
What is repentance?
“And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” KJV, Acts 5:32, emphasis added.
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” KJV, 2 Corinthians 7:10, emphasis added.
So we might say that repentance involves obedience to all of God’s commandments. Baptism is a public proclamation that we believe God will make us loyal, obedient subjects of His Kingdom, and are affirming by baptism that we are willingly and cheerfully choosing to crucify sinful flesh with Christ, be buried with Him, and resurrected to a new life of loyal obedience.
“That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” KJV, Galatians 3:14, emphasis added.
Obedience by faith is righteousness by faith.
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” KJV, James 1:6-8, emphasis added.
“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened…. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” KJV, Luke 11:9, 10, 13, emphasis added.
“Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church, and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like every other promise, it is given on conditions. There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord’s promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people ‘to will and to do of His good pleasure.’ Philippians 2:13. But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive.” (Ellen White, Desire of Ages, 672, emphasis added.)