Thursday, February 03, 2011

Terry Virgo on Baptism of the Holy Spirit

For those followers of Terry Virgo's blog, they will know that he has systematically been publishing short interviews on "Foundations" - being interviewed by his son Simon. These interviews are all worth listening to but this one particularly interested me.

Here's the video - "A church whose people are baptised in water and in the Holy Spirit, and brought into a genuine life in the Spirit" - and I typed up the transcript below;

Simon: Baptism can be controversial and another baptism that can be controversial would be baptism in the Holy Spirit. Your Christian experience was changed when you experienced baptism in the Holy Spirit. Would you say that's true?

Terry: Yes, very much so. I was saved on the back of a Billy Graham crusade to the UK and what was conventional in terms of responding to the gospel. A number of years later my own pastor preached through the life story of Peter and he denied the Lord to a little girl saying; "No I'm not with Him" - so obviously he lacked courage. Then obviously having been filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost he was transformed. He was bold and fearless in preaching the gospel. I knew where I stood. I was forever denying Christ. I never take opportunities to witness even when they are put on the plate! I felt very wretched about that and when I saw that Peter was transformed when the Spirit came upon him!

So I got very stirred up about that. I got confused when reading Dr Martyn Ll0yd-Jones who said that receiving the Spirit was different to conversion - and then I read Dr John Stott who said that baptism in the Spirit WAS conversion. I thought; well I honour both these men massively and if they disagree who am I to come up with the answer? So for a while I thought I just can't work this out - it's too complicated. Then to be honest I became very desperate about my lack of courage. I wanted to be a witness and Jesus said; "You will be witnesses". I thought; "I cannot witness".

Then I met a guy who was a friend of a common friend and he was a Pentecostal. But to be honest he was so out-going and if we ever had lunch together in London where we worked, he would always give someone a tract and speak to them. I thought; "Oh this guy is fearless and bold!". I said; "What is it?!". He said; "Oh I have been baptised in the Holy Spirit". That was back in 1962 when the Charismatic Movement was about to break out. I guess I was in at the beginning and I went to him and said; "I need what you've got - please". I recall it all came home for me when I was on Brighton sea-front hearing some old ladies with creaky old voices trying to preach and it was terrible! They were having things thrown at them and I thought; "God this is awful - why is this so awful?". And I felt God say to me;

"I called young men. Are you going to do it?".

And I thought; "Never, never can I do this". So I thought; "I have got to get this". The next Sunday I went to this friend's church and they laid hands on me and I received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues and came into a whole new dimension of the awareness of God's Presence and within a few weeks I had the privilege of laying hands on many of the young people at the Baptist church I used to attend with not only the permission but the encouragement of my Baptist pastor. And by the time that summer had finished I was on Brighton sea front standing on a box and I was preaching the gospel and I would never have thought that was possible for me.

No comments: