Emotionalism is NOT the Moving of the Holy Spirit

a real move of the holy ghost

When the Spirit of God came in power at Pentecost, people did not go about acting like fools or emotional wrecks. They left the upper room boldly preaching the Gospel using miraculous languages none of them had ever learned. Those who mocked the Gospel message claimed these men were drunkards. Such a wild accusation was dismissed immediately by the Apostles! “These men are not drunk,” cried Peter.

The Spirit of God did not come into the world to send God’s people into fits! His holy mission as the Spirit of Truth is to testify of Christ in the preaching of the Gospel. It is the Spirit of God who grants us faith in Christ and repentance from dead works. It is the Spirit of God who continually points us back to Calvary, back to the cross, back to Christ!

Today, an average religious assembly would strain to recognize a true move of the Holy Spirit because no Gospel is ever preached in their assembly halls! Now, we’ll hear all the tall tales of gold dust falling from the ceiling of the church, Bibles bubbling up with olive oil, folks being “struck” with uncontrollable fits of laughter or shaking, others running around a church building, and the list of utter foolishness just goes on and on and on.

Theatrics and histrionics are not the moving of the Spirit of God. Blaming one’s (sometimes literally) drummed up emotional state (entered into during the 18th time a singer sings the same verse of an emotionally-charged song) on God having “zapped you” is not the moving of the Spirit who calls us to self control.

Beloved, the Spirit of God calls us to sobriety, discernment, and careful examination. And He moves in the faithful preaching of the Gospel of Christ Jesus, saving sinners, comforting the people of God, and always and everywhere pointing our attention and affections back to Christ.

When the Spirit does in fact move, you’ll know it by the souls that are saved, by the saints who are comforted, and by the magnified Christ faithfully presented in the preaching of the Gospel message.


Jason K. Boothe serves as Senior Pastor of Horizons Baptist Church of Piketon, Ohio. For more information concerning the ministries of the church, please visit www.horizonsbaptist.org

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