The Role of the Holy Spirit

Friday, December 29, 2006

The role that the Holy Spirit played in Acts of the Apostle is unique to the empowerment of believer for witness, unlike Paul's theology of the Holy Spirit which is mainly related to His intimate relation and work in the believers.

Luke give 20 references to the Holy Spirit in the Gospel (compared with just 6 in Mark and 12 in Matthew) and a further 60 in Acts. His role in Acts has to do with the Spirit of Prophecy, as shown by the quotation of Joel in Acts 2.

The Holy Spirit in Acts:
1. Driving force of "salvation history" and mission (1:8; 4:31; 9:17,31)
2. Initiator of mission (2:4; 8:29; 10:19,44; 11:12;13:2,4, etc)
3. Guide in significant decisions (16:6,7; 19:21; 20:22-23)
4. Legitimator of the whole endeavour (5:32; 8:17-18; 10:44-45,47; 11:15-18; 15:28)

~ Max Turner, "The Work of the Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts", Word and World 23.02, p.146-53

The Holy Spirit in the rest of Scripture:
1. Rest on Christ as a representation of his Messiahship and messianic activity (Luke 4:16ff)
2. Effects a radical reformation in the believers, giving freedom from the powers of sin and death (Rom 8)
3. Completes the new creation on the Day of Judgment (Rom 8:11)
4. Gives life (John 6:63)
5. Gives truth (John 16:13)
6. The Paraclete, Helper, who proceeds from the Father and bear witness to Jesus (John 15:26)
7. Gives freedom (2 Cor 3:17)
8. Given by God as evidence of his approval (1 Thess 4:8, Rom 5:5, 2 Cor 5:5)

~ Hans Hubner, "The Holy Spirit in Holy Scripture", Ecumenical Review 41.03, p.324-38

9. Comes with the gospel in power (1 Cor 2:4, 1 Thess 1:5-6) when one is redeemed (Gal 3:14, Titus 3:5) to prepare Christians for final redemption as sons (Rom 8:23, 26-27) by keeping them pure in sanctification (1 Cor 3:16, 2 Thess 2:13)
10. Seeks unity of the Church (1 Cor 12:13, Phil 2:1) by giving spiritual gifts that build up the Church and by producing fruit of ethical conduct that helps people maintain a proper attitude toward one another (1 Cor 12-14, Gal 5:16-25)
11. Operates through revelation and instruction to maintain the Church as God would have it (1 Cor 2:11-13, Eph 6:17)

~ Don Jackson, "Luke and Paul: A Theology of One Spirit from Two Perspectives", Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 32.03, p.335-43

The Holy Spirit among believers today:
1. The Cessationists argues that there are no miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit today. Gifts such as prophecy, tongues, and healing were confined to the first century, and were used at the time the apostles were establishing the churches and the New Testament was not complete
2. The Pentecostals and Charismatic hold that all the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the New Testament are intended for today. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is an empowering experience subsequent to conversion and should be sought by Christians today. When baptism in the Holy Spirit occurs, people will speak in tongues as a "sign" that they have received this experience.
3. The Third Wave people encourage the equipping of all believers to use New Testament spiritual gifts today and say that the proclamation of the gospel should ordinarily be accompanied by "signs, wonders, and miracles", according to the New Testament pattern. Baptism in the Holy Spirit happens to all Christians at conversion and that subsequent experiences are better called "fillings" or "empowerings" with the Holy Spirit.
4. There is another position, held by a vast number of evangelicals who think themselves as belonging to none of these groups. They have not been convinced by the cessationist arguments that relegate certain gifts to the first century, but they are not really convinced by the doctrine or practice of who emphasise such gifts today either.

~ Wayne A. Grudem, (ed.), Are Miraculous Gifts for Today? p.10-12

I think this should be the framework of my paper though I am not too sure how I can approach Section 3. I had found something I could use in Wikipedia but the site is down. And Section 2 needs to take a more systematic structure.

Also check out - Some Things We Didn't Know

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3 comment(s)

  1. Maeghan,

    Again, some more great stuff. I love all of the insight... that I just don't

    God Bless

  2. Maeghan,

    Great job in getting such an overview of your paper! I hope it comes together well.

  3. Thanks!

    Doug, I am sure you do :)I have learnt a lot from you.

    Julia, I certainly hope so and I am glad it is coming together.