I truly believe that a charismatic could read this book, see that their theology is presented as it is, and see how Packer refutes the Pentecostal/Charismatic ideologies with well thought out and truthful arguments.
Here is some of the stuff I found helpful: Certainly God sometimes works wonders of sudden deliverance from this or that weakness at conversion, just as he sometimes does at other times; but every Christian's life is a constant fight against the pressures and pulls of the world, the flesh, and the devil; and his battle for christlikeness (that is , habits of wisdom, devotion, love, and righteousness) is as grueling as it is unending. Holiness is consecrated closeness to God. Holiness is in essence obeying God, living to God and for God, imitating God, keeping his law, taking his side against sin, doing righteousness, performing good works, following Christ's teaching and example, worshiping God in the Spirit, loving and serving God and men out of reverence for Christ. In relation to God, holiness takes the form of a single-minded passion to please by love and loyalty, devotion and praise. In relation to sin, it takes the form of a resistance movement, a discipline of not gratifying the desires of the flesh, but of putting to death the deeds of the body. The fruit of the Spirt itself is, from one standpoint, a series of habits of action and reaction: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control are all of them habitual dispositions, that is, accustomed ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Holiness by habit forming is not self-sanctification by self-effort, but is simply a matter of understanding the Spirit's method and then keeping in step with him.
Packer's insistence on centering all thoughts concerning the Spirit around the essence of His ministry (as displayed especially in chapters 14-16 of John's gospel) proved remarkably enlightening and served to tie together the various mental threads I had concerning the role of this third Person of the trinity in the New Testament era.
This is a great pity because there is an abundance of practical points to take away in the way of Christian living and godly expectations regarding God's work today - though the content is near flawless and well rounded I do feel that Packer could've spent more space unpacking the meaning for every day living, immediate application
While he doesn't buy into the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a second work of grace evidenced by speaking in tongues, he does find a way to include PCs within the Evangelical family and fellow laborers in the vineyard. For those who seek a thoroughly biblical, practically sensible and generously orthodox handling of the person and work of the Holy Spirit, this is a must read book.
Where Packer makes an assertion he backs it up with clean scriptural evidence.
But anyway he gives clues to answer the baptism of the Spirit understanding of charismatics.
For over 25 years Regent College students have been privileged to study under Dr. Packers clear and lucid teaching, and our faculty, staff and students celebrate the international recognition he rightly receives as a leading Christian thinker and teacher.