When one thinks of the phrase “quenching the Spirit” one does not immediately think of Pentecostals. After all they are the ones who usually are criticized for being too “Spirit” focused. I am also sure that most evangelicals would reject the notion that their churches too, often quench the Spirit. So, the question is, do they? I believe they do quench the Spirit more often than not, and it has to do with rightly understanding how He (the Spirit) works.
The job of the Spirit is to fill and comfort believers after Christ’s ascension. To spread the word and create the Church. He works from the command of Jesus and the Father. So, if we look at Scripture how do we see Him normally working? We see Him working through pretty ordinary means, although there are some significant exceptions, we never see the exceptions made into the rule nor do we see them lifted up as needed to be in future generations. I propose that the Spirit mainly works through ordinary means such as: Word and Sacrament, while in rare cases works through other means.
In contemporary Evangelicalism the Altar Call has become the Third Sacrament, and sometimes the only sacrament as it often replaces both baptism and communion (by making baptism and communion be only human responses and not heavenly blessings). The problem is: no where in Scripture are we given a command to have Altar Calls; they are a creation of man not God. I know this position will inflame many people, and upset others for it seems by stating such, I am attacking the heart of the Christian religion. After all, how can one preach the Gospel and expect it to save anyone unless they give an Altar Call right? In a word: wrong, scripture never has demonstrated nor commanded an Altar Call. Let us define our terms so that we are all on the same page.
When I speak of a Sacrament I am speaking of an ordinance in which God works to confirm heavenly realities, grace, and spiritual blessings. The only two taught us in Scripture (sorry my Catholic friends), are Baptism and Holy Communion. Baptism in the most basic of explanations, confers to us the New Covenant, by making us members, and all the spiritual blessings there-in. As a covenant sign like Circumcision in the Old Testament, baptism is to be given to our children, because they are in the covenant, and thus need the covenant sign applied to them. Now please note it doesn’t save, and it doesn’t confer regeneration, but non-the-less there are real spiritual benefits with-in baptism, and to reject it, is to reject God’s covenant (and thus Salvation). One’s baptism, as a believer, can be one of the greatest anchors in which to assure ourselves of our salvation, not because it demonstrates our commitment to God, but His commitment to us within the Covenant.