Friday, August 12, 2016

Prayer in the Holy Spirit: Part Six

We are weary, give us rest,
ignorant, make us wise unto salvation,
helpless, let thy strength be made perfect in our weakness,
poor and needy, bless us with Christ’s unsearchable riches,
perplexed and tempted, let us travel on unchecked,
knowing that thou hast said,
‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee’.
(“God All-Sufficient”, The Valley of Vision.)

Today, I am continuing with a study I started last Wednesday. It is regarding “baptism in (or with) the Holy Spirit” and prayer in the Spirit. I am using Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem as secondary authority and God’s word, the scriptures, as primary authority on the matter. (Side note: This investigation is to answer questions I have regarding my faith. I encourage all who may read this to research this themselves, also, in the scriptures. The answers you seek, and the understanding, might be different from my own.) To catch the other parts of the study, click below:

Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four
Part five

Grudem states, “In conclusion, the disciples certainly did experience ‘a baptism in the Holy Spirit’ after conversion on the Day of Pentecost, but this happened because they were living at a unique point in history, and this event in their lives is therefore not a pattern that we are to seek to imitate.

‘What shall we say about the phrase ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit’? It is a phrase that the New Testament authors use to speak of coming into the new covenant power of the Holy Spirit. It happened at Pentecost for the disciples, but it happened at conversion for the Corinthians and for us.” (Systematic Theology, p. 773.) For a more detailed, in depth study of “baptism in the Holy Spirit” please check out chapter 39 of Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem. I was only barely scratching the surface, here.

Alright, so far this study covered:

1. “The Holy Spirit will bestow or withdraw blessing according to whether or not he is pleased by the situation he sees.” (Systematic Theology, p. 647).

2. What does God’s word say about “baptism in (or with) the Holy Spirit”?

Now we are on to:

3. Prayer in the Holy Spirit
My heart’s desire is to “pray better”. I am not sure how else to put it. It is not unusual for me to be in a prayer group with a phenomenal prayer warrior! And, feeling the Spirit move within the group is absolutely amazing! That might sound a little weird or kooky to some but…

I usually feel my words in prayer are so inadequate! Hence the reason I never pray out loud in a group. Most of the time when I am in prayer, it is like one that would take place between me and another person. It is a conversation. No, I am not talking to myself, I am trying to convey the desires of my heart out loud, in speech. That in and of itself is a big challenge.

So, what does God’s word say about prayer?
5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:5. ESV.)
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6. ESV.)

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Romans 3:23-26. ESV.)

26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. (Hebrews 7:26-27. ESV.)

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,… 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-20, 22. ESV.)
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9. ESV.)

24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. (Hebrews 9:24. ESV.)

Whew, this study is very meaty! I am only touching on each of these points. The depth of the information in Systematic Theology by Grudem goes on for pages! I highly recommend this book! Well, my brain is burnt out so I’ll continue, tomorrow.

(Sources: Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. 1994, 2000. Grand Rapids, MI.

Bennett, Arthur. The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. 1975, 1977, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007. The Banner of Truth Trust. Edinburgh, UK, Carlisle, PA.)
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