Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Jesus Christ: Our Great Type and Role Model ... Or Uniquely Singular?

In my scope of reading through the great matters of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, a common question seems to reoccur as to whether the experience of our Lord Jesus Christ can be used as a type and model for us today. A common stereotype seems to be that those who argue that the baptism of the Spirit is one and the same with conversion-regeneration would say that Jesus Christ must stand alone in redemptive history and His experience was unique (James D G Dunn is an example of such and surprisingly Dr Ern Baxter would join him although Dr Baxter held firmly to the fact that the BHS was distinct from conversion and definately experiential). Those would would argue that the baptism or sealing with the Spirit is distinct from conversion would say that His life can be mirrored, copied and learnt from (Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a proponent of this as was the great Puritan Thomas Goodwin).

It seems to me that:

i) Events in the New Testament are commonly used as a model of the Christian life: - Ephesians 5:2, 2 Corinthians 4:10 and Mark 10:43-45.

ii) The humanity of Jesus and the centrality of faith and the Holy Spirit in His life is a model for us: Hebrews 2:13 - Jesus our "brother". Why should His experience of the Spirit be singled out as unique when He suffered "like as we yet without sin" for example?

iii) To allow salvation-history to swallow up the significance of Jesus' experience is the high road to denying significance to anything experiential at all.

iv) It is a definite enabling by the Spirit - no matter what significance is attached to it. A true man was receiving a supernatural encounter with a true Spirit. Period.

(Michael Eaton with some comments by me - Ref: "Baptism with the Spirit; the teaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones" - footnotes from chapter 4).

1 comment:

Myth said...

Wow!! Dan!! Surely you DON'T actually disagree with Ern Baxter on something!!??!?!?!!?