In Chapter 16 titled “Demonstration of the Spirit and of the Power” of his book “Preaching and Preachers” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones makes some interesting comments regarding a “filling of the Holy Spirit” in a different sense than I have been taught. Below are some excerpts from the notes that I took. You can read my Kindle Highlights page here.
Just thought they were interesting. Hope they make sense:
ACTS AND THE ANOINTING
You would have thought these men (the apostles) therefore were now in a perfect position to go out to preach; but according to our Lord’s teaching they were not. They seem to have all the necessary knowledge, but that knowledge is not sufficient, something further is needed, is indeed essential.
The knowledge indeed is vital for you cannot be witnesses without it, but to be effective witnesses you need the power and the unction and the demonstration of the Spirit in addition.
This ‘accession of power’, or if you prefer it, this ‘effusion of power’ upon Christian preachers is not something ‘once for all’; it can be repeated, and repeated many, many times.
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is not regeneration—the apostles were already regenerate—and it is not given primarily to promote sanctification; it is a baptism of power, or a baptism of fire, a baptism to enable one to witness.
‘Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit?
There is no purpose in the use of this expression unless it means that he received a fresh accession of power.
(The deacons were) full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.’ This is not true of everybody, but it is true of some—’whom we may appoint over this business’.
They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost’. ‘But,’ you say, ‘were they not all filled with the Holy Ghost?’ Not in this sense. There is something special here, there is something peculiar, there is something additional; and they were told to look out for that. In every case it is exactly the same point.
Saul, (who is also called Paul), filled with the Holy Ghost,
This is again a special enduement of power, a special crisis, a special occasion, and he was given this special power for this special occasion.
I would go further and suggest that this always happened to the Apostles whenever they worked a miracle or whenever they had some very special situation to deal with.
There is a great difference between the miracles worked by the Apostles and the ‘miracles’ it is claimed certain men perform today. One big difference is this, that you never find the Apostles announcing beforehand that they are going to hold a Healing Service in a few days’ time. Why not? Because they never knew when it was going to happen. They did not decide, and it was not within their control: what invariably happened rather was this.
So the first difference between the so-called miracle workers today and the Apostles is that the Apostles could never predict or foretell or announce the working of miracles, and never did so.
There is a second difference also. The Apostles, you notice in the Book of Acts, never failed.