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by George W. Knight III
One of the most important differences between the Reformed, and the Pentecostals and some charismatics, is the belief of the latter that the book of Acts is our guide for the special gifts and that the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as it appears in Acts, occurs as a special act subsequent to regeneration by the Spirit.
They cite Pentecost (Acts 2:1–41) and the events involving the Samaritans (Acts 8:14–25), Cornelius (Acts 10:1–11:18), and John’s disciples in Ephesus (Acts 19:1–7). They claim that in these passages people who are already regarded as disciples are then baptized by the Holy Spirit, and that this is the model for the Christian today. However, there was a unique reason for the timing of the baptism by the Holy Spirit in each case, and thus these passages do not provide a general model that we should try to emulate today. Read more
by Richard B. Gaffin, Jr.
What is spirituality, true spirituality? What is it that makes a person genuinely “spiritual”? How do you recognize such a person? How can you tell if you are spiritual?
Ours is a time very much preoccupied with questions like these. Oprah Winfrey’s great popularity is apparently explained in large part because she has convinced many that she has found true spirituality—by freeing herself, she believes, from her repressive Christian upbringing—and she is ready to share with you how you can find it for yourself. Read more
by David W. King
We speak of “charismatic gifts” because Paul, in 1 Corinthians 12, speaks of the charismata (the Greek plural of charisma, meaning “free and gracious gift”) given by the Holy Spirit. These are miraculous gifts, not possessed by any person apart from the Spirit’s giving them.
“Charismatic” Christians claim that they receive and use charismatic gifts. Other Christians believe that the Holy Spirit stopped giving miraculous gifts after the time of the apostles, and that modern-day “charismatics” are wrong. Obviously when Paul wrote to the Corinthians, the Spirit was giving these gifts. Is there any biblical reason to believe he stopped giving them and has not started doing so again? Read more
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