Monthly Archives: April 2014

Spiritual Gifts – General Considerations – Part 1

I began considering the work of the Holy Spirit here by saying: “Over the next couple months I’ll consider the work of the Holy Spirit, reporting on my family’s after-breakfast reading from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1994). We plan to read these chapters on the Holy Spirit from it:
– Chapter 30: The Work of the Holy Spirit
– Chapter 39: Baptism and Filling with the Holy Spirit
– Chapter 52: Gifts of the Holy Spirit (1): General Questions
– Chapter 53: Gifts of the Holy Spirit (2): Specific Gifts”

We read Chapter 30. However in my personal rereading of Chapter 39, I realized how much of it is devoted to arguing against the traditional Pentecostal understanding of baptism with the Holy Spirit and so instead of reading it we read about the baptism in the Holy Spirit in William W. Menzies and Stanley M. Horton’s Bible Doctrines: A Pentecostal Perspective (Springfield, Missouri: Logion Press, 1993). We’re now reading Chapters 52 and 53.

In preparation for our reading the two chapters, I read several articles and book chapters on spiritual gifts. Two books that I found helpful regarding both general considerations and specific gifts were J. Rodman Williams’ Renewal Theology (Grand Rapids. Michigan: Zondervan, 1996; Chapters 13, “The Gifts of the Holy Spirit,” and 14, “The Ninefold Manifestation”) and Anthony D. Palma’s The Holy Spirit: A Pentecostal Perspective (Springield Missouri: Logion Press, 2001; Part 3, “Spiritual Gifts”). However, although I plan to consult both of them and the comments on 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 in my commentaries (especially those by Gordon D. Fee and David E. Garland) as we read Chapters 52 and 53, I haven’t been sharing from them in our family reading and won’t likely share from them here.

Grudem defines a spiritual gift as “any ability that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in any ministry of the church” (page 1016). He notes that the definition includes both gifts that are related to natural ability, such as teaching, and gifts that seem to be more miraculous, such as prophecy. Besides the list in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, which Grudem focuses on in Chapter 53, lists of spiritual gifts are given in Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:28; and Ephesians 4:11.

Although in the Old Testament spiritual gifts were manifest only occasionally, it looked forward to a time when they would be more common:

And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female servants
in those days I will pour our my Spirit.
(Joel 2:28-29, ESV; all Biblical quotations are from the ESV)

In the New Testament not only was the power of the Holy Spirit manifested in the ministry of Jesus, but also on the Day of Pentecost Peter told those who gathered that what had happened was what had been prophesied by Joel (Acts 2:17-18). The book of Acts records further manifestations of the spiritual gifts in the ministry of the early church (see for example 5:12-16), and the epistles (see especially 1 Corinthians 12-14) indicate how widespread they were exercised. 1 Corinthians 1:7, “You are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,” suggests that they will continue to be manifested in the church until Jesus returns.

Grudem identifies two purposes of spiritual gifts in the New Testament age: to equip it for ministry and to give it a foretaste of the age to come. The former is indicated by Paul’s encouraging the Corinthian believers to use the spiritual gifts “to excel in building up the church” (1 Corinthians 14:12). The latter is indicated by his telling them, “We know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away” (2 Corinthians 13:9-10).

Baptism in the Holy Spirit – Speaking in Tongues

My family and I are currently reading about the baptism of the Holy Spirit from William W. Menzies and Stanley M. Horton’s Bible Doctrines: A Pentecostal Perspective (Springfield, Missouri: Logion Press, 1993) in our after-breakfast family Bible reading. We’ve just finished reading Chapter 8, “The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost.” In my last post I reported on our reading about the signs of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and in this post I’ll report on our reading about tongues.

As I’ve already observed, the book of Acts indicates that speaking in tongues is the initial physical sign or evidence of receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit. However it has at least two other important functions, using the gift of tongues included among the spiritual gifts listed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 and praying in tongues in one’s private devotions. Paul seems to be referring to the latter when he tells the Corinthians, “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you,” his going on to say, “Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue” (1 Corinthians 14:18-19, ESV; all Biblical quotations are from the ESV). My next few posts will be on the spiritual gifts.

Menzies and Horton end the chapter by considering some questions that have arisen about speaking in tongues. Here I’ll give just their conclusions. If you’d like to know the reasoning that they use to reach a conclusion, ask in a comment on this post and I’ll give it in a reply to your comment.

1. Doctrine can be based on substantial implied truth as well as on declarative statements.

2. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that speaking in tongues would cease at the end of the apostolic period or when the New Testament canon was complete.

3. Although Paul’s rhetorical question “Do all speak with tongues?” (1 Corinthians 12:30) requires a negative answer, he is referring to the gift of tongues rather than to speaking in tongues in general.

4. There were periods in church history when no speaking in tongues occurred because any doctrine can suffer from neglect.

5. Although there is a danger that people will seek for tongues rather than for the actual baptism in the Holy Spirit, that doesn’t invalidate the doctrine.

6. When people truly understand the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it will result in humility rather than in pride.

7. Although dedicated believers who haven’t spoken in tongues have accomplished great things for God, we should accept this provision which God has made available to all believers.

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit – The Initial Evidence

My family and I are currently reading about the baptism of the Holy Spirit from William W. Menzies and Stanley M. Horton’s Bible Doctrines: A Pentecostal Perspective (Springfield, Missouri: Logion Press, 1993) in our after-breakfast family Bible reading. A couple days ago we began reading Chapter 8, “The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost.” In its first section Menzies and Horton examine the five occasions in which baptism in the Holy Spirit occurred in the book of Acts, beginning with the three which refer to the speaking in tongues or other languages (on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2; in the house of Cornelius, Acts 10; and in Ephesus, Acts 19) and going on to the two which don’t refer to it (in Samaria, Acts 8, and by Paul, Acts 9).

However here, instead of summarizing what my family and I read from Bible Doctrines: A Pentecostal Perspective, I’m going to share what I wrote about the Biblical evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit in a history paper that I wrote for California State University some thirty years ago.

—–

Although Luke seems to have considered that Jesus experienced a permanent filling with the Holy Spirit at his baptism (Luke 2:21-22; 4:1,14-), because of his unique God-man character I shall limit my study to those instances in Acts which seem to portray a baptism with, or an initial coming upon by or filling with, the Holy Spirit. The first of these, the filling of the believers gathered together on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) is treated by Luke as the fulfillment of the promise made by Jesus before his ascension to baptize with the eleven with the Holy Spirit (1:5), enduing them with power (1:8; also, Luke 24:49). However, he goes on to describe Peter as extending that promise to all who would repent and be baptized (2:38-40), and he refers to four subsequent occasions on which the promised gift was given–to the Samaritan believers (8:14-17), to Paul (9:17-18), to the Gentiles gathered in the house of Cornelius (10:44-46), and to the Ephesian disciples (19:1-6). For each of these five occurrences of the baptism in the Holy Spirit narrated by Luke, I shall consider the chronological relationship of baptism in the Holy Spirit to salvation and to water baptism and noteworthy characteristics of the event.

RECIPIENTS AND REFERENCE RELATIONSHIP TO SALVATION AND WATER BAPTISM NOTEWORTHY CHARACTERISTICS OF THE EVENT
the believers gathered together on the Day of Pentecost (2:1-4) after salvation; after, or without, baptism preceded by a wind-like sound that filled the house and by “tongues of fire” that rested on each; accompanied by speaking in other tongues “the wonderful works of God” (2:11)
the Samaritan believers (8:14-17) after salvation; after baptism preceded by Peter and John’s prayer for and laying of hands upon them; seen to be received, by Simon the sorcerer, suggesting some unusual manifestation of the Spirit’s presence
Paul (9:17-18) after salvation; apparently before or simultaneous with baptism preceded by Ananias’ putting his hands on Paul; accompanied by, or immediately following, the restoration of Paul’s sight
the Gentiles gathered in the house of Cornelius (10:44-46) apparently simultaneous with salvation; before baptism marked by their speaking in tongues and magnifying God; served as evidence to Peter and the Jews that God had given salvation to the Gentiles (11:18) and that they could be baptized
the Ephesian disciples (19:1-6) after salvation; after baptism preceded by Paul’s laying his hands upon them; accompanied by their speaking in tongues and prophesying

Examination of the above reveals that, although the two can occur simultaneously, baptism in the Holy Spirit normally follows salvation. However, no chronological relationship is evident, from a comparison of the five events, between baptism in the Holy Spirit and water baptism. It would seem that, although the outpouring of the Spirit on the Jews on the day of Pentecost and on the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius show that God is not limited in how He gives the gift of His Spirit, the Church early recognized the laying on of hands as an act preparatory for baptism in the Holy Spirit. It also appears … that baptism in the Holy Spirit is usually, perhaps always, evidenced by prophesying in other tongues or languages.

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit – Receiving It

My family and I are currently reading about the baptism of the Holy Spirit from William W. Menzies and Stanley M. Horton’s Bible Doctrines: A Pentecostal Perspective (Springfield, Missouri: Logion Press, 1993) in our after-breakfast family Bible reading. In my last post I shared from what we read in its Chapter 7 about the promise and the purpose of baptism in the Holy Spirit. The chapter also contains a short exposition on receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Along with our reading it, I read to the family what Anthony D. Palma says about receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit in his The Holy Spirit: A Pentecostal Perspective (Springfield, Missouri: Logion Press, 2001, pages 171-174). I also read for my own benefit what J. Rodman Williams says about receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit in his Renewal Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, volume 2: pages 271-306).

After noting that the Bible doesn’t give a formula for receiving baptism in the Holy Spirit, Palma presents several helpful considerations. Here I’ll devote a paragraph to each of them.

The experience is for all believers.
– “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh” (Joel 2:28, ESV; quoted in Acts 2:17; all Biblical quotations are from the ESV).
– “The promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (Acts 2:39).

Spirit baptism is a gift. Thus it is not given on the basis of merit. The only requirement is faith. Williams demonstrates the essentiality of faith in Jesus Christ to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit and illustrates from the book of Acts that “there is a certain moment in faith, whether at the outset or somewhere along the way, when the Holy Spirit may be received” (page 273; he devotes pages 271-78 to showing how faith is the basis of receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit).

The Spirit already indwells. As I observed in my last post, all Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit when they are saved. Palma notes that some refer to baptism in the Holy Spirit as a “release” of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life (page 172).

Openness and expectancy facilitate reception. Palma says that this is especially true with regard to the speaking in tongues aspect of baptism in the Holy Spirit, noting that on the Day of Pentecost the 120 spoke in tongues “as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4; Palma, page 172).

Prayer and praise lead naturally into the experience.
– “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:13).
– “[The disciples] were continually in the temple blessing God” (Luke 24:53; this is referring to the period between Jesus’ ascension and the Day of Pentecost).

The laying on of hands is not necessary. Three of the five accounts in Acts of people being baptized in the Holy Spirit record the laying on of hands–the Samaritans (chapter 8), Saul (chapter 9), and the Ephesians (chapter 19). However it clearly didn’t occur on the Day of Pentecost (chapter 2) or in the house of Cornelius (chapter 10). Williams also demonstrates that water baptism is not necessary to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He devotes pages 278-91 to considering the baptism in the Holy Spirit in relation to water baptism and the laying on of hands.

God is sovereign. A gift (see above), the baptism in the Holy Spirit cannot be worked for or bought.
– “Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?” (Galatians 3:2).
– “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!” (Acts 8:20; Peter to Simon the magician).
Thus Palma cautions that “the timing of the giving is in the hands of the Giver…. Consequently, a person who wishes to be baptized in the Spirit must not get under self-condemnation if the experience does not take place when expected” (page 174).

Happy Easter!

easter-cross-lilies-1

The cross is used everywhere as a symbol for both Easter and for Christianity itself. The poem on a card which I carry in my wallet opens in this way:

I carry a cross in my pocket
A simple reminder to me
Of the fact that I am a Christian
No matter where I may be.

The great apostle Paul would certainly agree with the cross’s being a suitable symbol for Christianity, his describing the “word of the cross” as “the power of God” in 1 Corinthians 1:18.

However, recently I read somewhere (I can’t remember where) that an even better symbol for both Easter and Christianity would be the empty tomb. The cross is a reminder of Jesus’ death; the empty tomb is a reminder of his resurrection. The former brought grief to Jesus’ disciples; the latter brought them joy. Jesus himself referred to this while talking with his disciples on the way from the upper room (where he’d instituted the Lord’s Supper) to the Garden of Gethsemane (where he would agonize in prayer to his Father before being arrested, tried, and crucified), saying, “You have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22, ESV; all Biblical quotations are from the ESV).

Paul certainly seems to have believed that the Christian life should be marked by joy. Throughout his letter to the Christians in Philippi, which he wrote while a prisoner waiting for a trial which could result in his being condemned to death, he talked about joy and rejoicing. An example is, “I will continue to rejoice” (Philippians 1:18). What made him rejoice despite his bad situation? He went on to say, “For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance” (1:19). Ah, that explains it–Paul rejoiced because he expected to be freed from his imprisonment.

However he continued, “It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death” (1:20). Oh, oh. Paul didn’t know whether he’d be released or executed. Then why his rejoicing? Maybe he was just so tired of being a prisoner that all he wanted was deliverance from his imprisonment and he didn’t care whether it was by being released or by being executed. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” What did Paul mean? He went on to explain: if he lived, he’d be able to continue his ministry for Christ; if he died, he’d go to be with Christ.

Clearly Paul could continue to rejoice, whatever his circumstances, because his life was so wrapped up in Christ that his joy came from his joy came from his relationship with Christ rather than with the things which we ordinarily think of as sources of happiness. However, he didn’t think of himself as unique in this regard, for he exhorted the Christians in Philippi to have the same joy, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” (4:4). And I’m sure that if we were alive this Easter, he’d encourage us to think of the empty tomb as well as of the cross and to rejoice in the Lord.

The preceding is adapted from the opening to my “Rejoice in the Miracle of Easter!” article in our Easter, 1996 Hunter Family Holiday Newsletter. Some further thoughts on the cross as a symbol of Christianity follow.

Currently I’m rereading my books on the Christian life in preparation for the study of prayer which the Life group Leonora and I attend plans to do. One of those books, William G. Morrice’s Joy in the New Testament (Exeter: The Paternoster Press, 1984), brought out to me that the Greek word rendered “boast” in Paul’s “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14) actually means “joyfully boast” (pages 54, 113). I’m sure that Paul would be pleased with the hymn with which I close this post, Isaac Watts’ “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” (1707).

Not only do we praise the cross in our hymns, but also we decorate our churches, cemeteries, and even ourselves with crosses. Why do we so reverence something that was regarded with repugnance and horror in the first century? “The only things comparable in our day,” Richard N. Longenecker observes, “would be venerating an electric chair or wearing a hangman’s noose around our necks as a symbol of our religious devotion” (Galatians, Dallas, Texas: Word Books, 1990, page 294).

R. C. H. Lenski answers: “It is the cross of ‘the blood theology,’ on which the Son of God died for our advantage, the cross of expiation, substitution, ransom, and atonement, the cross which brought the resurrection of the crucified body and its exaltation at God’s right hand of majesty and power and the future resurrection and exaltation of our mortal bodies” (The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Galatians to the Ephesians and to the Philippians, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Augsburg Publishing House, 1937 [original copyright], page 318). In other words, the cross symbolizes all of our redemption, including the empty tomb.

When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then am I dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit – Its Promise and Purpose

All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire, according to the command of the Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church. With it comes the enduement of power for life and service (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4,8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31). This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Acts 8:12-17; 10:44-46; 11:14-16; 15:7-9). With the Baptism of the Holy Spirit come such experiences as an overflowing fullness of the Spirit (John 7:37-39; Acts 4:8); a deepened reverence for God (Acts 2:43; Hebrews 12:28); intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work (Acts 2:42); and a more active love for Christ, His Word, and the lost (Mark 16:20).

I began considering the work of the Holy Spirit here by saying: “Over the next couple months I’ll consider the work of the Holy Spirit, reporting on my family’s after-breakfast reading from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1994). We plan to read these chapters on the Holy Spirit from it:
– Chapter 30: The Work of the Holy Spirit
– Chapter 39: Baptism and Filling with the Holy Spirit
– Chapter 52: Gifts of the Holy Spirit (1): General Questions
– Chapter 53: Gifts of the Holy Spirit (2): Specific Gifts”

However in my rereading of Chapter 39 in preparation for my family’s considering baptism with the Holy Spirit, I realized how much of the chapter is devoted to arguing against the traditional Pentecostal understanding of baptism with the Holy Spirit expressed in the quotation from the “Statement of Fundamental and Essential Truths” of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Newfoundland and Labrador with which I opened this post. Thus I decided for us to read about baptism in the Holy Spirit from William W. Menzies and Stanley M. Horton’s Bible Doctrines: A Pentecostal Perspective (Springfield, Missouri: Logion Press, 1993) instead of from Grudem’s Systematic Theology. We have finished reading Chapter 7, “The Baptism in the Holy Ghost,” and are about to read Chapter 8, “The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost.” This post is based on what we read in Chapter 7 about the promise and the purpose of baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The Promise of Baptism in the Holy Spirit

During the last recorded appearance of Jesus to his disciples in Jerusalem, he told them, “Behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49, ESV; all Biblical quotations are from the ESV). He went on to say about the promise of the Father, “[which] you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence” (Acts 1:4-5). Then after leading them out to the Mount of Olives from which he was about to ascend into Heaven, he told them, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Jesus said these things to disciples whom he had earlier told “Your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20) and “You are clean” (John 15:3). Thus they were already regenerated when Jesus told them that they would soon be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Menzies and Horton conclude, “One may be regenerated, may be a saint, and yet not enjoy the baptism in the Spirit and its anointing for service, which Jesus promised believers” (page 124).

The Purpose of Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Acts 1:8, quoted above, associates baptism in the Spirit with power for witnessing. Baptism in the Holy Spirit also opens the door for the activities of the Holy Spirit that are commonly called spiritual gifts. We’ll consider them after we complete our study of baptism in the Holy Spirit.

After pointing out this, Menzies and Horton explain why Paul’s epistles don’t say much about baptism in the Spirit, comment on Ephesians 1:13 and 1 Corinthians 12:13, and warn about the importance of living in the Spirit. They suggest that Paul’s epistles don’t say much about baptism in the Holy Spirit because it was the normal experience of first-century believers. They identify the sealing of Ephesians 1:13, “In him [Christ] you also, when you believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,” with baptism in the Holy Spirit and the baptism of 1 Corinthians 12:13, “In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and were made to drink of one Spirit” with salvation. Their warning includes a reference to Ephesians 4:30, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

I agree with their suggestion that Paul’s epistles don’t say much about baptism in the Holy Spirit because it was the normal experience of first-century believers. And I agree with their identifying the baptism of 1 Corinthians 12:13 with salvation rather than with baptism in the Holy Spirit. As they point out, “The preposition ‘by’ (Gk. en) clearly means ‘by’ in all the other verses where it is linked with the Holy Spirit in this chapter. John the Baptist declared that Jesus is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11…). Paul makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is the One who baptizes us into Christ, that is, into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13…). The two baptisms are clearly distinct” (page 129). The Holy Spirit baptizes us into the body of Christ when we are saved, and then Jesus baptizes us in the Holy Spirit.

However I identify the sealing of Ephesians 1:13 with salvation rather than with baptism in the Holy Spirit. Thus I think that the warning of Ephesians 4:30 applies to all Christians, who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and made part of the Church when they are saved, rather than just to Christians who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Accordingly, we are all to “be imitators of God, as beloved children, [and to] walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

The Work of the Holy Spirit – Part 2

For over a week my family and I have been considering the work of the Holy Spirit in our family Bible reading time, guided by Wayne Grudem’s discussion of it in Chapter 30, “The Work of the Holy Spirit,” of his Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1994). In my last post I considered how the Holy Spirit empowers and purifies, and in this post I’ll consider how He reveals and unifies. However before doing so I’ll note, as I did in my last post, that Grudem’s chapter on the work of the Holy Spirit is as good a survey of that topic as I’ve read anywhere and recommend it to anyone wanting to know what the Holy Spirit does.

The Holy Spirit Reveals

The Holy Spirit revealed God’s words to the Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles:
– “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16; verse 15 identifies the “Scripture” spoken of in verse 16 as being the Hebrew Bible or our Old Testament).
– “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come” (John 16:13; Jesus was speaking to the Twelve).

The Holy Spirit often made Himself known in ways that indicated His presence, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament:
– “The LORD … took some of the Spirit that was on him [Moses] and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied” (Numbers 11:25).
– “They [the 120 in the upper room] were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4; see also verses 2-3).

The Bible gives many examples of the Holy Spirit’s giving direct guidance to people, sometimes even transporting them from one place to another:
– “While Peter was pondering on the vision [of the sheet bearing animals], the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold three men are looking for you. Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them” (Acts 10:19-20).
– “And when they [Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch whom he’d baptized] came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more … But Philip found himself at Azotus” (Acts 8:39-40).

The Bible also talks about a daily being led by or walking according to the Holy Spirit:
– “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:14).
– “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

The Holy Spirit gives us assurance that we are God’s children and that He abides in us and we in Him:
– “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16).
– “By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit” (1 John 4:13).

The Holy Spirit also reveals things to His people and enables them to understand things:
– “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26; Jesus was speaking to the Twelve; see also John 16:13 quoted above).
– “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12).

The Holy Spirit Unifies

The early Spirit-filled church displayed an amazing unity (Acts 2:44-47), and Paul indicates that the Holy Spirit can enable us to enjoy the same unity:
– “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).
– “If there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in one accord and of one mind” (Philippians 2:1).

Grudem closes his discussion of the work of the Holy Spirit by demonstrating that the Holy Spirit gives stronger or weaker evidence of the presence and blessing of God to us according to our response to Him and encouraging us to, in the words of Paul, “set the mind on the Spirit” and be “led by the Spirit of God” (Romans 8:6, 14). The result will be “life and peace” and as “sons of God” becoming “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:6, 14-17).