John Piper on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

John Piper (who is not a Pentecostal but a Reformed Noncessationist) says…

“Now the positive thing I want to say about the moderate Pentecostal teaching (represented by the Bennets, i.e., Dennis & Rita) is that it is right to stress the experiential reality of receiving the Spirit. When you read the New Testament honestly, you can’t help but get the impression of a big difference from a lot of contemporary Christian experience. For them the Holy Spirit was a fact of experience… I think that being baptized with the Holy Spirit (the way Luke means it) is not the same as being born again or being united to Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit. In other words I don’t think that what Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians 12:13 is the same as what is happening here in Acts. Paul says, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free.” The context shows that he is referring to a work of the sovereign Spirit who unites all believers to Christ. In another sermon he says,

Receiving the Spirit Is a Life-Changing Experience : This is why Paul can say in Acts 19:2 when he meets the confused disciples of John the Baptist, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” What would a contemporary Protestant evangelical say in response to that question? I think we would say something like, “I thought we automatically received the Holy Spirit when we believed. I don’t understand how you can even ask the question.” How could Paul ask that question? He could ask it, I think, because receiving the Holy Spirit is a real experience. There are marks of it in your life. And the best way to test the faith of these so-called disciples is to ask them about their experience of the Spirit.”

(Excerpted from Piper sermon – http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/how-to-receive-the-gift-of-the-holy-spirit )


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