Ever since I came into the world some _?_ years ago, I have been part of the Pentecostal movement.At age 10 I experienced the infilling of the Holy Spirit, at 15 began preaching the gospel. My biological parents raised me and my younger brother in Pentecost. When I began my pastoral experience I was part of a Pentecostal denomination and to this day still maintain those beliefs. My great-grand father, on my dad’s side was a Free-Will Baptist preacher. So, that is as close as I have been to any other denomination outside the Pentecostal ranks. I am grateful to God for my Pentecostal heritage and respect it still to this day. I am thankful to God for allowing me to be born within the arena of Pentecost.
The apostle Paul was Pentecostal. Yes, he was. After being slain by the power of God while on his way to the city of Damascus, and then being led to a street in that city called Straight, he received a visitor whose name was Ananias. Ananias himself, being filled with the Holy Spirit, laid hands on Saul (Paul’s former name) and he was filled with the Spirit of God. How do we know for certain Paul was? Later he would write to a church located in the city of Corinth and declare to them, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all” (1 Corinthians 14:18 KJV) Now, here is my dilemma. Why is it, if Paul was Pentecostal does he propagate a Baptist doctrine? Or is it really not a Baptist doctrine, but a Bible doctrine? What in the world am I referring to? Let me share.
Recently I reread a verse in the book of Romans I have quoted for years in sharing the message of salvation with those who had an interest. Many of you perhaps have done the same and can quote the verse my heart. Here is what Paul wrote. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift ofGod is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Romans 6:23 KJV) Here is my question? Do we really have “eternal” life or can we lose it from Sunday to Sunday as many in the ranks of which I was raised seem to not only believe, but preach? Hang on. I have not fallen and hit my head. I am not crazy. I’m not joining the ranks of the Baptist and turning my back on my Pentecostal heritage whatsoever. It’s just that the Holy Spirit is perhaps opening my eyes and my heart to the fact that when I became a child of God, nothing at all can take me out of His hand except me. That’s right. If we have “eternal” life, not life from Sunday to Sunday in which I need to run to the altar and repent over the same things I have repented over a dozen times, then there comes within me a peace that passed all understanding, and a security that is missing within the heart of many a believer’s heart. Does then having “eternal” life grant me the permission to go out and do as I please knowing that since I have asked Jesus into my heart I cannot be plucked from His hand? No! Not at all!! Having “eternal” life means to me that now I can live, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that overcoming life Jesus came to give me. It means that now when I do blow it I do not have to have condemnation hanging over my head. It means that, not someday am I going to obtain righteousness, I am righteous. It means to me that when the devil crawls on my shoulder, whispers in my ear when I have a bad thought cross my mind, now I have sinned beyond grace, I can talk back to him declaring that he is a liar as Jesus said that he was. It means that wrapped around me is a warm blanket on a cold blistering winter day that shelter’s me from the howling winds of hell that want to try and throw me off track in my walk with God.
There is a reprogramming process taking place inside my spirit man. If you think I am going crazy then you can pray for me, but I believe my spiritual eyes are being open. I’m not going out and act nuts because I believe I cannot be lost. I do believe that I am the only one who can take me out of God’s hands. I do have that power as a free moral individual. Do I want to? Never!! What I honestly sense inside my life is that God is bringing me into a place of such security that hell itself cannot make me doubt my salvation in Jesus Christ. I am walking in this evil world with a safety net under me that catches me if I do stumble and fall.
Let me close my blog today by giving you something from the red letter section of the New Testament. We Pentecostals read over this section quickly lest something think our theology is changing, but they are not my words, nor a disciple’s words, but the words of Jesus Himself. Here is what He said, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me: “And Igive unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand”. (John 10:27-28 KJV) By the way, that word “pluck” means “to seize, carryoff by force or snatch out or away”. From what I read we have eternal security! Oh my, God help us!!!!!!!!!(lol)
That is a very good post brother. I too feel the same and have had the same experiences. Often times I refer to myself as a bapticostal as a manner of being coy.
But in your posts there is an answer to those who you and I know struggle from Sunday to Sunday. We have seen them down at the altar week after week, weeping and begging Jesus to forgive them. I myself have seen pentecostal brothers to the point of suicide because they could not over come certain weaknesses in their life.
Knowing these things about the salvation that Jesus accomplished on the cross and at the mercy seat in the heavens.Now we can understand what the apostle Paul meant when he said. What the law of Moses could not do, Jesus did by taking our old nature and changing it into his nature. A nature where in there is no desire to sin but to serve Him.
Then because Jesus sanctified us and justified us with his righteousness and his blood, we can now receive his spirit which also Peter said, is a gift of God, that wonderful spirit of promise which gives us the power over the world and the devil, that gives us truth and leadership in all things even the deep things of the Lord.
Salvation is a gift given to us who should be saved back before the world began. The Holy Ghost is also a gift that Jesus would give to ensure that we would walk in the fullness of His power and grow in the knowledge of him in all things.