Without a doubt there are major denominational differences on this topic. There are some denominations that line up almost identically until you get to the Holy Spirit. Obviously, pentecostal churches will regularly teach on the Holy Spirit and allow for the use of the associated gifts in their services. Some denominations just avoid it, don't teach on it or allow for associated gifts to be practiced in services, and just encourage it more on an individual level. Some however actually preach against it. I don't think anyone is actually against the Holy Spirit and His role, but some are certainly against being baptized in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. Some teach that it was only for that time... some would even teach that it's a bad thing.
Personally, I'm not sure how those things can be dismissed as they are pretty clearly found in Scripture. There are of course many doctrinal variations across the board... hence the existence of so many different denominations... but I've learned that arguing about the minimal differences doesn't do anyone any good. If we all focused on the majority of doctrine that we DO agree on, we could accomplish a lot more for the Kingdom!
I get what you are saying about not being sure how these things can be dismissed, as yes, it is very clear in scripture. Yet people do miss it, and I was one of them until I was baptised in the Holy Spirit. I have heard many people say that the gift of tongues was only for the apostles and those around at that time, but it makes me wonder about the source of that assumption as it says nothing about that in the Bible as far as I am aware.
I agree with you that nit picking about minor differences is pointless as no matter what denomination you belong to or how you were/are taught you walk your own unique journey with the Lord.
Whilst I was a member of a Methodist Church, we never waited on the Holy Spirit. We celebrated Aldersgate Sunday:
In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.
We liked the Fruits of the Spirit and as for the Gifts of the Spirit had a regular healing service. We always ignored the real impact of the Holy Spirit as told in John Wesley’s journal. In the entry dated 1 January 1739 he wrote:
Mr Hall, Kinchin, Ingham, Whitfield, Hutchins my brother Charles were present at our love feast in Fetter Lane with about sixty of our brethren. At 3 o’clock in the morning as we continued instant in prayer the power of God came mightily upon us, in so much that we cried out in exceeding joy and many fell to the ground. When we had recovered a little [Don’t you just love the English understatement there?!] at the awe and amazement at the presence of his majesty, we cried out with one voice “we praise thee O God, we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.”
I'm now a member of an Elim congregation, and the Gifts are expected if you're Spirit filled a follower of Jesus. I notice in the above quote that response to the being filled with the Holy Spirit is to praise God.
I've often heard my Methodists friends refer to the Wesleys having their hearts warmed which led them to writing all of the hymns we still sing today. I read somewhere that some of the signs of being filled with the Holy Spirit were that you became bold enough to say 'Lord' or similar when speaking to others (both Christian and non Christian) also that differences between denominations came to mean very little to you. Now, I don't if people would agree or disagree with that but I guess I can relate to it in my own circumstances.
Personally, I think the Holy Spirit is involved right from the beginning of our Christian journey: he* is involved in our initial call, in our response to that call, and in everything in the Christian life thereafter. This is true whether you emphasise gifts of the Spirit in your theology and practice or not (I'm middle-of-the-road on this...). So, consequently, the Spirit must be involved in our worship.. he's involved in everything else we do as Christians, so we'd have a hard time excluding him from worship.
*or she, depending on preference.
I agree, the Holy Spirit is present in our Christian life always. The gifts we have talked about eg the gift of tongues is only one of the many, many gifts He gives us whether we are conscious of His gifts or not. Lovely as it is to receive 'gifts' of/from the Spirit, I see Him as bringing us closer to God and helping us along our spiritual journey.
Thank you for posting : )
Aaah, Interesting question. ( sorry, I have not read every comment through, so may repeat what others say )
Not being a musician, or one that can play an instrument, (yet) , I personally feel that unless we
Worship the Lord, " IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH" JOHN 4 : 23 ( for the Father seeks such to worship Him)
we are not worshipping HIM at all.
v 24. GOD IS A SPIRIT, AND THEY THAT WORSHIP HIM, MUST WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH
How can anyone worship HIM that way, unless they KNOW HIM.
And , " THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH " Whom the world can not receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him, for He dwells with you, AND shall be in you. JOHN 14 : 17.
Many people worship, whom they believe to be "God". They will sing and dance and praise. They play music instruments, the glorify a " Deity" Believing they are in unison with the One True God.
How many people go to a church, and sing songs of praise, Hymns of adoration, and words of life.
BUT, they personally do not have the revelation of the True, Living, Loving GOD, and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Spiritually, they are dead.
True worship unto GOD, can only come from HIM, for us to give back unto HIM.
EPHESIANS 5 : 9 For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness and TRUTH.
Everything we receive from GOD, The Gifts, and the Fruit of the Spirit, comes from HIS Hand.
When we worship the Lord, all must be done in and by faith.
1CHRONICLES 29: 10 - 20
David knew his God, and he knew all he had came from the Hand of God.
Therefore the Israelites could give freely unto God, and worship Him, falling prostate before Him.
We, who have the Spirit of God, how much more must we be aware what we do and give back unto the Father,
Whom has given all unto us.
To continue along this line, when Jesus addressed Nicodemus (John 3:16-20 and following) we see that life itself, or new life, coming from being born again, comes about by God's Holy Spirit.
Occasionally I come across folks who seem to picture worshiping God in the Spirit as something additional, or hyper-worship, or high-octane worship - something that is detachable from ourselves as born-again believers in God (i.e., those who love Christ, who love the truth, who follow Jesus as the norm and sum of their lives).
All believers sin (screw around, forget God, misinterpret God's motives, etc.), so all are subject to "returning" or "re-centering" our worship - like in a classroom when the kids get unruly, the teacher says, "focus!"
True brother Greg.
Worshipping God in Spirit and Truth, is not an Add on to worship.
It is an openness to who the Holy Spirit is, and getting lost in the love and presence of God when we yield ourselves totally to Him.
Bringing Every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
And the obedience of the Lord, was the Death on the Cross.
Taking those thoughts about the rest of the day to come, the things that happened before, the distractions, ALL those has to be repented of, " Focusing" on the Lord .
Bring Christ and worshipping God the focal point of Worshipping Him.
Yea and amen!
We don't merely "worship", but we worship God; we worship the Lord - worship is not a random sort of feeling worshipful or mystical, but rather it is directing our whole being towards Christ.
Have a blessed day and week, filled with praises unto Him
Hi Ernst and Greg,
Wow, what wise and powerful words from you both. How I wish I had your word power so I couldn't express what I would actuallyl like to say!
Ernst, it's so interesting you not being a musician, it's almost like playing/leading music gets in the way of true worship and I think that maybe it does. Greg uses the word 'focus' and it is so difficult to focus and worship in Spirit and truth when caught up in the logistics of playing an instrument and leading worship. I think us musicians should step out of leading and arranging songs etc. every now and then and just WORSHIP our One True God whom deserves all praise and glory. Amen!