Packer on Spirit baptism

In Acts 1:5 we read that the Risen Jesus ordered his disciples ‘not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father which you heard from me; for John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’

I’ve just read a short essay on the Charismatic movement by the late JI Packer. It was written back in 1980 for Christianity Today and titled: ‘Charismatic Renewal: Pointing to a Person and a Power’. Reprinted in the lovely little book ‘Pointing to the Pasturelands’.  It’s filled with wisdom. Here’s one short excerpt:

“a better way to theologize what is called or miscalled Spirit-baptism is as an intensifying of the Spirit’s constant witness to our adoption and inheritance (Rom.8:15-17), a deepening of the communion with Father and Son of which Christ spoke (John 14:21-23), and increase of what Paul prayed the Ephesians might enjoy (Eph. 3:15-19), and a renewing of that unspeakable joy in Christ (1 Peter 1:8) of which the Puritan John Owen wrote: ‘There is no account to be given, but that the Spirit worketh it when and how he will; he secretly infuseth and distils it into the soul, filling it with gladness, exultations, and sometimes with unspeakable raptures of mind.’” 

Simon Manchester, who put me on to this little gem, has a review of the book here.

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