The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
|February 8, 2016||Posted by Pastor Viju Mathai under Bible Study, Holy Spirit||
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Acts 5:3-4 “Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.”
It is essential that believers recognize the importance of the Holy Spirit in God’s redemptive purpose. Many Christians have no idea what difference it would make if there were no Holy Spirit in this world. Without the Holy Spirit there would be no creation, no universe, no human race (Ge 1:2; Job 33:4). Without the Holy Spirit there would be no Bible (2Pe 1:21), no New Testament (Jn 14:26; 15:26-27; 1Co 2:10~14), no power to proclaim the gospel (Ac 1:8). Without the Holy Spirit there would be no faith, no new birth, no holiness no Christians at all in the world. This chapter explores some of the basic teachings about the Holy Spirit.
THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Throughout Scripture the Spirit is revealed as a person with an individuality all his own (2Co 3:17-18; Heb 9:14; 1Pe 1:2). He is a divine person like the Father and the Son. Thus we may never think of the Holy Spirit as a mere influence or power. He has personal characteristics for he thinks (Ro 8:27), feels (Ro 15:30), wills (1Co 12:11), and has the capacity to love and to enjoy fellowship. He was sent by the Father to bring believers into the intimate presence and fellowship of Jesus (Jn 14:16-18,26). In the light of these truths we should treat him as a person and regard him as the infinite living God within our hearts, worthy of our worship, love and surrender.
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
- Revelation about the Holy Spirit in the OT. We have already analyzed the work of the Holy Spirit in the chapter “THE SPIRIT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT”.
- Revelation about the Holy Spirit in the NT.
- The Holy Spirit is the agent of salvation, convicting us of guilt (Jn 16:7-8), revealing to us the truth about Jesus (Jn 14:16,26), giving us new birth (Jn 3:3-6) and incorporating us into the body of Christ (1Co 12:13). At conversion we receive the Spirit (Jn 3:3-6; 20:22) and become participants in the divine nature (2Pe 1:4).
- The Holy Spirit is the agent of sanctification. At conversion believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and come under his sanctifying influence (Ro 8:9; 1Co 6:19). Notice some of the things the Spirit does as he lives in us. He sanctifies us, i.e. cleanses, leads and motivates us into holy lives, delivering us from sin’s bondage (Ro 8:2-4; Gal 5:16-17; 2Th 2:13). He tells us that we are children of God (Ro 8:16), helps us in our worship of God (Ac 10:46) and in our prayer lives, and intercedes for us as we cry out to God (Ro 8:26-27). He produces Christ like graces of character that glorify Christ (Gal 5:22-23; 1Pe 1:2). He is our divine teacher, guiding us into all truth (Jn 16:13; 14:26; 1Co 2:9-16), disclosing Jesus to us and guiding us into close fellowship and oneness with Jesus (Jn 14:16-18; 16:14). He continually imparts God’s love to us (Ro 5:5) and gives us joy, comfort and help (Jn 14:16; 1Th 1:6).
- The Holy Spirit is the agent of service, empowering believers for service and witness. This work of the Holy Spirit is related to the baptism in the Spirit or the fullness of the Spirit (see chapter on BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT). When we are baptized in the Spirit, we receive power to witness for Christ and work effectively within the church and before the world (Ac 1:8). We receive the same divine anointing that descended on Christ (Jn 1:32-33) and on the disciples (Ac 2:4; see 1:5), enabling us to proclaim God’s Word (Ac 1:8; 4:31) and work miracles (Ac 2:43; 3:2-8; 5:15; 6:8; 10:38). It is God’s intended purpose that all Christians experience the baptism in the Holy Spirit throughout this age (Ac 2:39). In the area of service, the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to individual members of the church to edify or strengthen the church (1Co 12-14). These gifts are a manifestation of the Spirit through individuals by which Christ’s presence, love, truth and righteous standards are made real to the fellowship of believers for the common good (1Col2: 7-ll).
- The Holy Spirit is the agent who incorporates believers into the one body of Christ (1Co 12:13), lives in the church (1Co 3:16), builds the church (Eph 2:22), inspires her worship (Php 3:3), directs her mission (Act 13:2,4), anoints her workers (Act 20:28), gives gifts to the church (1Co12: l-11), anoints her preachers (Ac 2:4; 1Cor 2:4), guards the gospel (2Ti 1:14) and promotes her righteousness (Jn 16:8; 1Co 3:16; 6:18-20).
- The various activities of the Spirit are complimentary and not contradictory. At the same time, these facets of the Holy Spirit’s work are interlocked and cannot be fully separated. We cannot experience (a) the fullness of new life in Christ, (b) righteousness as a way of living, (c) the power to witness for our Lord or (d) fellowship in his body without becoming involved in all four. For example, baptism in the Holy Spirit cannot be maintained independently of the Spirit’s work of producing righteousness within us and leading us into the knowledge of and commitment to Biblical truth.