Friday, August 17, 2007

Theology 101 Notes: Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

These are notes from week 6 of Theology 101. We also covered the Doctrine of the Church during week 6. I will post those notes next week.


The Holy Spirit
The nine fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) are the by-product of a Spirit-filled life and evidence of spiritual maturity. The nine gifts of the Spirit are different manifestations of the Spirit to build up the body (I Cor. 12:1-11). We are instructed to diligently seek the gifts (I Cor. 12:31, 14:1), but they must be exercised in an orderly way (I Cor. 14:26-33) in the context of love (I Cor. 13:1-13).
- From National Community Church Statement of Beliefs

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

Pneumatology: A study of who the Holy Spirit is, what He does, and the gifts He gives. (Horton, Systematic Theology)

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He comes from the Father and is sent by the Son. Symbols of the Holy Spirit include wind and breath (Genesis 1:2, John 3:8, John 20:22, Acts 2:2), water (John 4:10, 15, John 7:37-39), fire (Matthew 3:11, Luke 3:16, Acts 2:3), oil/anointing (Exodus 29:7, Acts 10:38, 1 John 2:20, 27), a seal (Ephesians 1:13-14, Ephesians 4:30, 2 Corinthians 1:22), and the dove (Luke 3:22). Each of these symbols gives us a window into the personality and work of the Spirit.

Work of the Spirit
  • Creation
    • Genesis 1:2, “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”
    • Genesis 2:7, “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” The Hebrew word used here for breath is ruach, meaning “Spirit.” Thus, the Spirit brings physical life.
    • Ezekiel 37:14. “I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it," declares the LORD.” Thus, the Spirit brings spiritual life.
  • Conviction and Calling
    • The Holy Spirit works in the conversion process as the agent who fosters conviction of sin. In addition to convicting people of sin, the Spirit is at work in conversion as the agent of God’s call directed towards sinful humans. (Grenz, Theology for the Community of God)
    • John 16:8, “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”
    • John 15:26, “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me.”
  • Adoption
    • Adoption is the act whereby the Spirit makes us members of God’s family.
    • John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name”
    • Romans 8:14-17 “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
    • Ephesians 1:4-5, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will”
    • John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church, explained his Christian conversion this way: “I exchanged the faith of a servant for the faith of a son.”
  • Sanctification (Spiritual Growth)
    • In sanctification, the Spirit of God works to make us more and more like Christ. “It is our cooperation with the Spirit in living out in daily life the regeneration, justification, freedom, and power which is ours through conversion, so that we grow into Christlikeness and service to God.” (Grenz, Theology for the Community of God)
    • The work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and we are enabled more and more to die unto sin and live unto righteousness. (Westminster Catechism)
    • Fruit of the Spirit- Galatians 5:22-23, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
    • He helps us in prayer (Romans 8:26-27) and illuminates Scripture (John 16:13, 1 Corinthians 2:10) for us
  • Empowerment
    • “When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and thereafter, He gave power than enabled the ministry of Christ to be carried forward. It was not power in a general sense, that is, an increment of supernatural strength that could have many uses, but power for ministry that flowed from the Father through the Son.” (Williams, Renewal Theology)
    • Acts 1:4, 8, “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now...but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’"
    • Romans 15:18-19, “For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum. I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”
Gifts of the Spirit

A spiritual gift is any ability that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in any ministry of the church. (Gudem, Bible Doctrine)

Gifts of the Spirit are list in the following passages:
  • 1 Corinthians 12:8-10
  • 1 Corinthians 12:28
  • Ephesians 4:11
  • Romans 12:6-8
  • 1 Corinthians 7:7
  • 1 Peter 4:11
The “charismatic gifts” are referenced in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10:

“For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.”

At NCC, we believe that the Holy Spirit continues to grant all gifts to the church. We believe the spiritual gifts…
  • Are designed to build up the body
    • 1 Corinthians 12:7, “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
    • 1 Corinthians 14:26. “What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”
  • Should be actively sought
    • 1 Corinthians 12:31, “But earnestly desire the greater gifts.”
    • 1 Corinthians 14:1, “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”
  • Should be exercised in an orderly way
    • 1 Corinthians 14:26-33. Verse 33, “for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”
  • Should be exercised in a context of love
    • 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”

Spiritual gifts are given for the following purposes:
  • To authenticate the Gospel message throughout the church age
  • To help those in need, thereby demonstrating God’s mercy and love
  • To equip people for ministry
  • To glorify God (Grudem, Bible Doctrine)
Two views on the charismatic gifts include cessationism and continuationism. They are defined as follows:
  • Cessationsism: the charismatic gifts were intended to cease after the New Testament
  • Continuationism: the charismatic gifts were intended to continue throughout history. Therefore, contemporary believers should be open to them and seek them.

For additional reading on this topic, see Across the Spectrum, Chapter 15, The Charismatic Gifts Debate.

At National Community Church, we boldly assert that all gifts of the Spirit are still present and active in the church today and should be aggressively sought by followers of Christ.

Being Filled With the Holy Spirit
“We have an old gas boiler in our house. The pilot light is on all the time. But the boiler is not always giving out heat and power. Some have only got the pilot light of the Holy Spirit in their lives, whereas when people are filled with the Holy Spirit, they begin to fire on all cylinders )if you will forgive me for mixing metaphors!). When you look at these people, you can almost see and feel the difference.” (Nicky Gumbel, Questions of Life)

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon particular people at particular times for particular tasks (Bezalel- Exodus 31:3-5, Gideon- Judges 6:34, Samson- Judges 15:14, Isaiah- Isaiah 61:1-2)

Now, the Holy Spirit is no longer reserved for particular people at particular times for particular tasks. Rather, he is poured out on all who follow Christ.

Joel 2:28-29
“It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

Examples of the Holy Spirit being poured out on believers in the early church:
  • Disciples- John 20:21-23 and Acts 2
  • Samaritans- Acts 8:14-18
  • Ephesus- Acts 19:1-7


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