There is a blind spot in Baptist theology.  We say there is a holy Trinity, but we talk about one of the three (Jesus) most of the time, and about the Spirit almost not at all.   

I tend to think it’s because we’re afraid of what the Pentacostal and Charasmatic denominations have done with the person of the Spirit.  Their over-emphasis on spiritual gifts – and especially the show gifts of tongues and healing – have made us skittish about talking about the giver. 

The other thing we’ve done to the Spirit is talk about him as an it.  The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, not an inanimate or depersonalized force.  He is God, with all the attributes of God:  eternal, omnipotent, omnicient, omnipresent.

The Holy Spirit’s purpose is to inspire the Bible’s authors, to convict of sin and call to salvation, and to build the church.  The Holy Spirit works within belivers to accomplish His sovereign purposes.

1.  “The Holy Spirit illuminates truth.  He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures.”  Inspiration,  not dictation.    That inpiration role helps us as we read those scriptures understand the messages that are important for us to learn.  He opens our eyes to understand.

“When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.  For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears.  He will also declare to you what is to come.” John 16:13

2.  The Holy Spirit ministers to people by helping us see sin for what it is, and calls unbelievers to salvation.  Then the Holy Spirit brings regeneration – the new birth.  He seals believers with absolute assurance of the permanence of God’s salvation.And the Spirit intercedes for believers “with groanings too deep for words.”

3.  The Holy Spirit builds the church.  The Spirit brings unity, granting a peace that binds us (Eph 4:3).  And the Spirit grants spirital gifts ” for the building up of the church.”  If the use of the gift is not for the purpose of building up the church, edifying the members and creating unity, it is not a legitimate use of the gift, or is not a spiritual gift at all.

 (A talent is not a gift; a learned skill is not a gift.  A gift can accentuate a talent, and should be developed with skillful use, but the gift is always to do the Spirit’s work.)

next–> man



One Response to “Week 3 – God the Holy Spirit”

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