- Open: I stumbled upon the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches when I finally broke out from the mold of my own local/home church and decided to study about Christianity on my own.
- Impression: They are normal people. I will not consider them as cultic or even heretic.
- Research: Historically speaking like my previous church they are considered as protestants with a century old emphasis on two matters: 1) equating the baptism of the Spirit with glossolalia or speaking unknown languages and therefore believes it is a repeatable event and 2) the continuation of miraculous sign gifts that comes from the Holy Spirit
- Correction: Pentecostalism is essentially a church coming out from America tied with modern revivalism (modern here I mean past decade)
- Contrast: Charismatics come from a movement immersed in different kinds of churches worldwide (i.e., Roman, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodists, and even Reformed) which believe in the continuation of the extraordinary
- Conclude: So while originally most churches today did not come from Pentecostal churches in America, most evangelical churches today in the Philippines specifically mega churches planted in the past two decades have charismatic emphases.
- Organize: What is the Pentecost? What is the power that comes from the Holy Spirit? What is the purpose of the miraculous sign gifts of speaking in tongues? Can we truly believe they are repeatable or simply consider them as a past event?
- Order: We will examine Acts 2:1-4 where the disciples experienced the power of Holy Spirit in their preaching. Then in verses 5 to 13 we will learn the effects of such power in the event that took place in Pentecost. I will examine the first point this LD, and continue on to the next.
- Points: 1) Promise Fulfilled; 2) Salvation Guaranteed
- Pray: Lord God, help us to know your ways; teach us your paths. Lead us in your truth, and teach us, for you are the God of our salvation; for you we wait all day long. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
- Pentecost is a once and for all event with on-going effects and consequences in the lives of God’s people.
- Pentecost is a divine work of our Triune God shared specifically first to the apostles as prophets and then ordinary to the office bearers then generally to the rest of members of Christ’s church. This is the structure of God’s house, the church of Christ
- Cornerstone: Christ – divine
- This is the basis of saying Pentecost is unrepeatable. Father, Christ, and Spirit work is unique and therefore in singular and yet with ongoing effects
- Foundation: Apostles – inspired
- The basis for making a distinction between extraordinary and ordinary offices are their accompanying miraculous signs.
- Ordinary: Office bearers – illumination
- The gift of knowledge and understanding as given to those qualified by character and gifting
- General: Every Elect Believer – direction
- Growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. This means maturity.
- Cornerstone: Christ – divine
- The origin is spiritual meaning they are by the Word and Spirit. And the effects are inspiration, illumination, and direction
- Unbelievers: No conversion to faith and repentance means no work from the HS.
- Covenant children: Study God’s Word with the same rigor and passion as you will study any subject matter and practice
- Young Converts: Emotionalism is the problem with modern churches today and the truth from God’s Word is the cure. A darkened mind can never convert an unregenerate heart. Illumination comes from the Spirit and it first affects the mind which in turn inform our affections and then regulate our lives by his Word. This is what sound conversion means.
- Adult members: Boldness comes from the Spirit but our ministry comes with a handicap. For most, we hold to some unpopular opinion. In reaction, some in our circle mistake boldness with crassness. That since we preach an offensive message it given us a license to be rude. Boldness to preach Christ comes with gentleness and respect. False dichotomy does not work here. The Spirit informs and converts and we can called to teach a sound and seasoned message. Let us exhort each other to generate more light than heat.
- Applicatory to own situation, I know we live in a world which runs against our convictions. We may be living with an unbelieving spouse or parents. We may as well be surrounded by unbelieving relatives and loved ones. They are often times hostile and even persecuting. Spiritual maturity means coming out from a conviction molded by Scripture. It is a life motivated to the singular task of walking the path of godliness. Of course, we cannot convert them with our own speech and actions. All power comes from the sovereign work of the Spirit. And yet we know God does not convert without his Word and Spirit. Therefore, we are encouraged always to use the ordinary means of preaching and teaching God’s word, the sacraments and church discipline and of course, prayer. So what it comes down to is the whether or not we believe these ordinary means are enough. Is God’s Word enough?
- When I attended a retreat meant for students, and since most teachers and students are charismatics, we had a revival night of prayer, healing, and tongues. The music was moving, the lights were dimmed and of course, someone got slained and there was a lot of shouting and crying. But I noticed and looking back now there was also teaching and praying. And I believe it could have been enough. I remember a quote from Sproul commenting about the sufficiency of Scripture and I will paraphrase: if we teach anything outside God’s Word then let us stop and consider it unbiblical but we find something that is already in God’s Word then let us also stop and consider it redundant. God’s Word is enough. Ordinary does not mean void of the Spirit’s power. Common does not mean it is less important.
ZCRC (Imus), God is at work in our midst and it is by his Word and Spirit. Let us continue to depend on them for our faith and practice. May the Lord call his people to faith and repentance by these ordinary means of grace. Amen.
Rev. Lance Filio is a minister of the Word and Sacraments at Zion Cornerstone Reformed Church (Imus). He finished his Bachelor Degree in Electronics Engineering at Mapua Institute of Technology and He is currently taking his Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) at MINTS. He lives in Taguig City, Philippines with his wife and three children.