Saturday, October 2, 2010

On the Holy Spirit: An Overview

With the second (and possibly final) part of Ryan Rice's On the Holy Spirit series completed, I (Sean Rice - no relation) thought that this would be a good chance to summarize what we have learned so far through Ryan's writing. This summary isn't meant to replace the original posts, so if what you read sounds interesting then you should go check out the original articles.

The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (Part 1)

The Role of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. In the the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit hovers over the face of the waters before the creation of the Earth (Genesis 1.2). After this, He

  • Dwelt within those individuals who had belonged to the people of Yahweh.
  • Equipped people to carry out the work that God set before them to do.
  • And many other things besides these. Check the original article for references.

The Role of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. In the New Testament, there is a paradigm shift - a change in the way that the Holy Spirit relates to His people.

  • The shift starts in Ezekiel 36.26-28: "I will give you a new heart."
  • In Acts, the Holy Spirit descends and gives the Apostles the gift of tongues.
  • In Romans 8, the Spirit intercedes for us, helping us in our weakness to pray.
  • In Ephesians 1.13-14, having the Holy Spirit is our assurance that we belong to the Father.

Conclusion. "So in conclusion to part one, we see that the Holy Spirit is in the Godhead, is in the process of Creation, rests with God’s people Israel, promises a new covenant in which the Spirit is written on the hearts of God’s people, and ultimately is the down payment for our eternal inheritance in Christ Jesus." - Ryan.

The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (Part 2)
There are many different views of the Holy Spirit because we all come to see Him with our own denominational biases. We need to see beyond these lenses that we have.

TEXT #1: You will receive power... (Acts 1.8)

  • There is a power that the disciples will be clothed with from on high (Luke 24.49).
  • To say that tongues is the main evidence for a person's baptism in the Spirit is not true.
  • It just, flat out, is not a requirement for a Christian to have to speak in tongues

TEXT #2: Walk by the Spirit... (Galatians 5.16-18)

  • To walk in the Spirit is to make war against our sinful nature.
  • To walk in the Spirit is to communicate with God constantly.
  • This does not mean that we can become perfect: holiness theology is flat-out wrong.

TEXT #3: Do not get drunk with wine... be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5.18)

  • A Spirit-filled church is one that needs to be humble.
  • The second way that we are Spirit-filled is that we are thankful.
  • Getting "drunk with the Spirit" is a bad interpretation. See Ephesians 5.19-21 for context.

Conclusion. "I've always been a huge fan of worship music; I always have been. Even this morning as we were singing praises to our King at church, I felt the warm, loving touch of the Spirit in my heart as I sang. I cried, felt humbled, felt like dancing, and felt reverent fear all in the time frame of about thirty minutes. The Spirit can move as He wishes (John 3:8) and it is my deepest desire to have more of Him, to sing more about Him, and to worship Him. I feel honored that He called me and chose me to be His Son before time began. In short, we need to understand who God is, what He's done for us, and what our response should be towards His great love for us. I am amazed at the fact that we have such a Savior who would send us a Comforter, and that is exactly what the Spirit is by the way, that we would never be without Him, ever. My mind still has trouble with that simple truth. Above all, I want the Spirit more in my life, my ministry, my marriage, my parenting, all of it. I want more. I think in the end that is the right response to what we see in Scripture, and in the lives of the saints that have gone before us." -Ryan.

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