“Whatever is true of the triune God is true of the holy spirit … a considered perusal of the sacred text yields an impression that the holy spirit is the mighty executive of the Godhead and by so much his relation to both father and son is a theme of great proportions.” (L. S. Chafer)
“Christlikeness is the primary manifestation of the filling of the Spirit.” (Charles C. Rynie)
“The holy spirit has graciously connected Himself with two things – truth and prayer.” (C. H. Spurgeon)
According to the Oxford Dictionary of English, “The branch of Christian theology concerned with the holy ghost and other spiritual concepts”.
What is the trinity? We have God the father, God the son, and God the holy spirit – the three in one. The age old examples are a hard boiled egg. We have the egg shell, egg yoke and egg white. We have ice, water and water vapour. Three in one. Gen. 1:2 tells us that the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Who is this spirit of God who existed before anything existed? In Gen. 2:7, God breathed into the breath of man. When God created man in his image, did man have life in him. No, the life came when God breathed his breath into man. In other words, man now has a spirit. God is Triune.
We can go deeper into this subject but there is no time. Eg what is the difference between soul and spirit.
Where does the holy spirit dwell in the life of a born again believer? The holy spirit dwells in the heart of a believer. The holy spirit is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.
How does the indwelling of the holy spirit change our lives? According to Acts 2:104, when the holy spirit came on the believers in the form of tongues of fire, it did not just stop with the gift of tongues. There seems to be a radical transformation in the personality of Peter as He boldly spoke to the crowds. The holy spirit, through him, convicted the crowds and many put their faith and trust in God. (see diagram over)
- How has the infilling of the holy spirit impacted your life?
- What is more important, baptism of the holy spirit or baptism of water?
- How do you think you can renew your relationship with the holy spirit? or how do think you can have a closer communion with the holy spirit?
One new perspective that I gained while studying the subject of pneumatology was that the Holy Spirit prepares us for ministry. After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, the holy spirit came on Jesus and Jesus, already anointed, was specifically anointed for the task ordained for Him. The question I now put forward is did Jesus commence His ministry as soon as He was empowered? Luke 4:1-12 tells us Jesus was led by the spirit of God to the desert where He was tempted by Satan. I would like to add that God tests us. God allows certain trying times in a person’s life .. but God never tempts us. If we take the story of Job, God allowed Job to go through a very horrendous experience but Job, because his faith in God was firm, was blessed beyond measure in his later life. Now, coming back to the former question, I believe God prepares us before ministry for the specific task or tasks appointed for us.
Take the life of Elisha. Elisha waited ten years for the double portion of anointing. Those ten years were the processing time and the preparation time for Elisha.
Why was apostle Paul two years in the desert before he went up to Jerusalem to meet the other apostles. Because it was his preparation time. It was his processing time.
How does the holy spirit prepare and process us? I believe He sometimes allows us to go through trying times. He sometimes allows us to see how weak we are so that we rely more on His strength and His wisdom. He sometimes allows loneliness in a person’s life which enables us to have a closer relationship with Him. He sometimes just gives us the green signal and tells us, you are ready, go for it. It is up to God to map our life and it is our duty as His children to walk in His way. But God never forces us; God never pushes His call down our throats. We can either choose to obey or disobey. The holy spirit is our comforter, our guide, our teacher, our healer, our best friend. It should be our duty as His children to say, “Holy spirit, have your way in me”.
Why do the Pentecostal churches attract the most amount of Christians? Is it because it is more fun? It is because of the move of the holy spirit. According to statistics taken from the book, The Holiness Pentecostal Tradition, by Vinson Synan, the global Pentecostal/charismatic membership was:
1901 – 40 members
1975 – 96 million
1995 – 460 million
2000 – 550 million
Praise God, the membership is still growing.
Duewel, Wesley, Revival Fire, Michigan, Zondervan, 1995
Synan, Vinson, The Holiness – Pentecostal Tradition, Michigan, Zondervan, 1971
Williams, J. Rodman, Renewal Theology, Michigan, Zondervan, 1990