BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT INTRODUCTION
We believe the need for the Holy Spirit’s power and presence in a believer’s life is as critical today as it was in the day of the Apostles. We do not teach a dispensational view of the Holy Spirit’s power and the expression of gifts. Rather we hold the position, supported by Scripture, that the Holy Spirit’s presence and power are for every believer until Jesus returns.
We recognize that the families and members of Champions come from varied and diverse backgrounds. As such, we extend the opportunity for people to grow in their understanding of the person and power of the Holy Spirit as well as their understanding of His work in their lives. Everyone at Champions Church is encouraged to seek the power, presence and gifts of the Holy Spirit for themselves in a manner with which they are comfortable. No one will ever be forced to receive the Holy Spirit or any of His gifts, but all are taught the contemporary work of the Holy Spirit from Scripture and encouraged to grow in love and intimacy with God.
As we minister to individuals, we will use all the gifts available to us from God to see healing, deliverance and freedom developed in a person’s life. Public expressions of the gifts of the Spirit will be demonstrated in an orderly manner as directed by church leadership. Appropriate expression of a gift of the Holy Spirit in a corporate setting includes Elders present to oversee the expression of the gifts with dignity and order so that it can be received by all.
Jesus promised His Church that they would receive a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit after Jesus’ own death and resurrection. God desires every Christian to experience this same encounter with the Holy Spirit’s power. In Luke 11:13, Jesus explains that it is our heavenly Father’s pleasure to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. The Holy Spirit is God's promised guidance, help and comfort in our redeemed lives, and He is given from the Father.
ISSUES OF CONCERNS & PRACTICE
Through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, God extends His power and the blessing of His Spirit to all believers. Our role is to receive and be led by the Holy Spirit. This baptism is marked by an initial act of receiving and continues as a daily response of receiving direction regarding what God has made available for our service and relationship with Him. Through this process of being led by the Holy Spirit, we choose to accept His good gifts and all His provision for our lives (Romans 8:14-17).
The Elders of Champions Church are committed to teach biblical truth and uphold a biblical standard of order in our corporate worship while at the same time allowing and encouraging an atmosphere for the Holy Spirit’s work among us. At Champions Church, there are opportunities to experience the different ways that God manifests His power as we draw closer to Him. We encourage individuals to seek the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit that are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:4–11.
We believe a person receives the Holy Spirit when they receive Christ according to Ephesians 1:13. In addition, as demonstrated in numerous accounts throughout the New Testament, a believer must be led by the Holy Spirit in order for Him to be active in the believer's life. Many believers have been taught that the Holy Spirit’s role in our day and time is to function as the seal of the promise of salvation. This teaching is true and right according to Scriptures, but it is only one aspect of the Holy Spirit’s work in the believer’s life. Being led by the Holy Spirit after conversion is what equips the beliver to advance in the victory and power of God through Godly choices and actions.
MAJOR POINTS & SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES
The following scriptures refer specifically to the experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and are the basis from which we draw our position as stated below.
Ephesians 1:13 1 Corinthians 12:4–11 Luke 11:13
Matthew 7:7–11 John 1:32–33 Acts 2:1–4
HOW DO YOU RECEIVE THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT?
You receive the Holy Spirit by faith based on the truth of Scripture and the desire of your heart to accept the promise of God for yourself. The acceptance of the promise of God’s power is by faith—the same faith used to receive Christ as Savior. To receive the Holy Spirit, you simply approach God in an attitude of faith, because according to Luke 11:13, it is His good pleasure to give His Spirit to those who ask.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?
As demonstrated in Scripture, when a person is baptized, or immersed, in the Holy Spirit, there may be manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit associated with the encounter. Some express a gift of the Holy Spirit such as tongues, or prophesy. By the Holy Spirit's leading, the believer can expect insight regarding the Scripture and boldness to witness (John 14:26).
The gift of tongues has a dual purpose as outlined in the Scriptures. When coupled with the gift of interpretation, it provides encouragement, comfort and exhortation to the congregation of believers. When used in prayer, it also provides personal edification for the believer and heavenly unction for prayers that we lack words to adequately express (1 Corinthians 14).
WHAT ABOUT THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?
The Holy Spirit brings the experience of the life of Jesus into our lives. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are divided into three categories (1 Corinthians 12:7–11):
VOCAL GIFTS: tongues, prophecy and the interpretation of tongues
KNOWLEDGE GIFTS: word of knowledge, word of wisdom and the discerning of spirits
POWER GIFTS: healing, faith and miracles
The Apostle Paul encouraged us to earnestly desire spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 14:1. Although the gifts of the Holy Spirit are available to every person who receives the Holy Spirit, they are only activated by faith. If you do not want to demonstrate a gift, God will not make you.
God’s purpose is for every one of His children to be immersed in the same Holy Spirit that empowers Jesus’ own life. To receive, we simply go to our heavenly Father in faith and ask.
Jesus is the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11), and through immersion in the Holy Spirit, every believer is equipped with the same heavenly power that Jesus ministers in. Through experiencing the nine gifts and the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, we can effectively share the love and power of God to all people, and walk in the power to overcome every temptation, trial or test that we may face.