PNEUMATOLOGY

Personhood and Deity of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is a member of the monotheistic Trinity, and is Himself God (Matt. 28:19, Acts 5:3-4, 1 Cor. 3:16-17). He is a person rather than an impersonal force, and performs works, exhibits behaviors, and has emotions which would qualify Him as a person (John 14:26 cf. 1 John 2:1, Eph. 4:30).

 

Work of the Holy Spirit

 The Holy Spirit regenerates believers (miraculously transforming and implanting them with spiritual energy), enabling them to enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5-8, Tit. 3:5) and indwelling them (John 14:16-17). This indwelling is the seal, guarantee, and proof that a believer has been regenerated (Acts 2:33, Rom. 8:9, Gal. 5:22-25). The Holy Spirit is the agent of illumination of God’s revelation for believers (Dan. 5:14, John 16:13-14, Eph. 1:17-19). The Holy Spirit dispenses and blesses believers with spiritual gifts (see next section). The Holy Spirit continues working today (Phil. 1:6). He was responsible for the virgin birth of Jesus Christ and subsequently filled, directed, and empowered Jesus during His earthly ministry (Lk. 1:35, Matt. 1:20, Matt. 3:16, Mk. 1:12, Lk. 4:1, Lk. 4:14). He began indwelling and working within believers in a unique way on the day of Pentecost which was distinct from His workings in people prior to that day, and continues to indwell believers in a similar although not identical fashion to the events described that day (Acts 2).

 

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the dispenser and administrator of spiritual gifts (Rom. 12:6-8, 1 Cor. 12:4-11, Eph. 4:11, 1 Pet. 4:11). These sets of gifts are sometimes confused with roles and offices (Eph. 4:11) in the church body, and care should be given to wise interpretation of these passages (although certain gifts can predispose individuals to be better suited for certain roles). The aforementioned Scriptures aren’t necessarily comprehensive or exhaustive lists of gifts the Spirit may sovereignly choose to distribute to believers. Presence or absence of any one particular gift is not indicative of whether or not an individual has been regenerated by God, although the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within that believer is (Acts 2:33, Rom. 8:9, Gal. 5:22-25). The distribution of gifts is for the benefit of the church body and glory of God, and exercise of them for other purposes is unwise and destructive to the unity God desires for His church (Eph. 4:12-13). Exercise of gifts can and will generate highly subjective phenomena, and any intuitive/experiential phenomena must fall into submission to biblical authority (see Scriptural authority).

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