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Lloyd-Jones and the baptism of the Spirit
on 18 February 2006
During the twentieth century, one significant teacher regarding the understanding of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who ministered for a long time at Westminster Chapel, London. In this book we can see that he believed it was possible to be a Christian and have the holy Spirit dwelling in you, and yet still not be baptised with the Holy Spirit. He supports his claim by reference to passages throughout the book of Acts (1:8; chapter 8; 19:1-10). He claimed that baptism of the Spirit "is an experience of the Spirit which gives the full assurance of faith and is to be identified with the sealing of Ephesians 1:13" He continued to say that such an experience "results in power and boldness which are the prerequisites for truly effective Christian witnes."(p. 67) While initially teaching this view in the 1960s, his teachings have become more popular since his death in 1981.
However, some things need to be borne in mind. Firstly, the events in Acts (e.g. Pentecost (ch1), the Samaritan believers (ch8), the Ephesus dozen (ch19)) were special events in the history of the church. Therefore, they are not necessarily the pattern for today. Also, there does not appear to be any instruction in the New Testament for a Christian to seek a further experience of baptism of the Spirit after their conversion. Is it not also possible, that there is a danger of division amongst Christians if we agree that Spirit baptism is a secondary experience? Christians may end up being divided into two categories: ordinary believers and Spirit-baptised believers.
These are some points to be aware of before you read this book. However, on the plus side it is very readable and easy to follow. The Doctor clearly indicates the experiential and continuing work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian. The book also encourages Christians to seek a higher standard of Christian living. This was arguably the Doctor's greatest concern at the time he preached these messages. So the book is worth a read, but I also recommend wider reading on this subject.