Though we can’t offer a comprehensive theology of God’s Spirit and his work in these few short paragraphs, it’s worth noting a few major points regarding our beliefs concerning this topic.
We believe that a new Christian receives the Holy Spirit at the moment of conversion. At Pentecost, the early Church experienced a unique event when the Holy Spirit came upon the believers in a very visible way to confirm what was taking place. But it’s clear that after this one-time event, the Holy Spirit was received at the moment of salvation (see Acts 2:38). As a result, there is no need to seek the gift of the Holy Spirit after conversion. If you’ve come to Christ in faith and repented from your sins, you have received his Spirit.
We believe that being ‘filled with the Spirit’ is about submitting more and more fully to the Spirit’s leading. Paul encourages the believers at Ephesus to “not get drunk with wine…but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18 NASB). Before and after this command, Paul tells the believers to live spiritual lives – lives submitted to the Spirit. God’s Spirit enables us and empowers us to submit to his leading. With this in mind, the primary outward marks of being ‘filled with the Spirit’ are an obedient, faith-filled, loving life.
We believe that the Spirit’s primary role is to teach us, empower us for service, and lead us into the presence of God. Before his death, Jesus told his disciples, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things” (John 14:26 NASB). God’s Spirit guided the writers of scripture and he also guides its readers – including you.
In 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Paul informs the congregation at Corinth that they have all been given spiritual gifts by the Spirit. These gifts are not for the person who has received them but have been given so that they can be given away in service.
Since the Holy Spirit is God, when he enters into our life, we experience God’s presence. In that presence, we receive assurance of our salvation, spiritual encouragement, and we are progressively transformed into his likeness.
We believe that the ‘gift of tongues’ spoken of in scripture refers to known human languages, as evidenced by Acts 2:7-8. As a result, we do not practice the speaking of ‘unknown tongues’ during worship.