Friday, October 26, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
It has been stated a number of times in this discussion that all a Christian has to do to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to believe and seek, and perhaps tarry. Here, then, is the catch-22 in which I find myself: I simply don’t believe.
Let me clarify my unbelief. I do believe that the first generation of saints received the baptism almost exactly as my pneumatic brothers have described it: it appears to have been frequently experienced subsequent to conversion; it appears to have been universally given to all who were converted; it appears to have been invariably accompanied by supernatural manifestations. No problem there.
I do not deny the possibility that God still does such things; I do not even deny the possibility that God could some day do so to me. But what I do not believe, and what it seems I would be required to believe if I were to receive the blessing, is that God will do so to me.
What is the cause for my unbelief? I do not believe that faith is effectual unless it is based upon the explicit promises of God. And though I see, for example, that God universally promises salvation to all who put their faith in Christ, though I see that he universally promises that as many as die in Christ will be raised with him, I have yet to see where he universally promises that all who are converted will experience this supernaturally-manifested baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I cannot receive, you say, until I believe God's promise. I cannot believe, I say, until I have heard his promise.
Help my unbelief.