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Mullins ReligionCh08

Mullins ReligionCh08

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Published by: truthwarrior007 on Feb 25, 2013
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Chapter 8. — The Holy Spirit And The Trinity
1. The Holy Spirit
 T
HE
biblical doctrine of the Spirit of God exhibits many marks of progress inthe revelation from the earliest to the latest stages. The Hebrew word for spiritoriginally meant “breath.” From this it came to mean “wind,” and gradually itpassed into the meaning “spirit.” Originally the Spirit of God meant his energyor power in contrast with the weakness of the flesh. (Isa. 31: 3.)
1.
In the Old Testament the following are the leading points in the teaching asto the Spirit of God:
(1)
The Spirit of God was God in action accomplishing an end. TheSpirit was sometimes distinguished from God in the Old Testament, butnot in the later Trinitarian sense. (Gen. 1: 2;6: 3;Psa. 51:11.)
(2)
The Spirit was the energizing power in the primeval chaos, bringingout beauty and order. (Gen. 1: 2; Psa. 104:28-30; Job. 26: 3.)
(3)
Life is imparted to man through God’s Spirit. (Gen. 2: 7.)
(4)
Many powers were conferred on men through the Spirit, as onSamson and others. ( Jud. 14: 6;11:29.)
(5)
Wisdom and skill were conferred by the Spirit, as in the case of Bezaleel. (Exo. 31: 2-5; 35:31; 28: 3.)
(6)
The Spirit endowed the prophets with wisdom and revealed divinetruth to them. (Eze. 2: 2;8: 3; 11: 1, 24.) In the earlier stages theprophetic gift took the form of enthusiasm or ecstasy. (1 Samuel 10.)Later the prophets were especially chosen as messengers to conveytruth from Jehovah.
(7)
Moral and spiritual character is traced to the Holy Spirit also. Theethical quality of the Spirit’s work becomes quite manifest. (Psa. 51:11;Isa. 63:10.) The expression “Holy” came to be applied as the specialdesignation of the Spirit.
(8)
The Messiah is to be anointed by the Holy Spirit for his work, andpredictions of a future outpouring of the Spirit appear in the later Old Testament teachings. (Isa. 11: 1-5; 42: 1 ff.; 61: 1; so also,Isa. 44: 3; 59:21;Joe. 2:28-32.)
 
2.
In the New Testament the work of the Spirit of God appears in great fulness.
(1)
Observe his work in relation to Jesus. He is present at the birth of Jesus. Heanoints him at his baptism. (Mar. 1:10; Luk. 3:22.)Through the Spirit Jesus endured temptation (Mat. 4: 1); Jesus taught, and healed, and cast out demonsthrough the Holy Spirit. (Luk. 4:14-21;Mat. 12:18,31;Mar. 3:28,29.) Jesus offers himself upon the cross by the “eternal Spirit.” (Heb. 9:14.)He wasraised from the dead according to the Spirit of Holiness. (Rom. 1: 4.)It is hewho baptizes with the Holy Spirit. (Mat. 3:11; Mar. 1: 8; Luk. 3:16;  Joh. 20:22; Act. 1: 5.)
(2)
Pentecost is the fulfilment of the prophecies concerning the outpouring of the Spirit, and marks the turning-point in the activities of the first generation of Christians. This is the baptism of the Spirit referred to above. (Acts ch. 2.)
(3)
As the result of the pentecostal outpouring there were many charismaticgifts or enduements of power bestowed by the Holy Spirit upon earlyChristians, such as speaking with tongues, power to work miracles, and others.
(4)
The Spirit of God convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. This was to be a special feature of his mission to the world. ( Joh. 16: 9ff.)
(5)
Chiefly, however, the work of the Spirit in regenerating sinners and inimparting power for holy living receives increasing emphasis. In the later New Testament writings especially the ethical results of the Spirit’s action are madeprominent. Paul’s entire conception of the Christian life involves at every pointthe presence and fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Believers “walk in the Spirit.” They are commanded to grieve not the Spirit,to be filled with the Spirit.Pauls own preaching was in demonstration of the Spirit.”
(6)
In the New Testament the attributes of personality are ascribed to the HolySpirit, and the teachings on which the doctrine of the Trinity is founded comeinto clear expression. Jesus describes the Spirit as “another Comforter,” whomhe will send from the Father. Masculine pronouns are applied to the Spirit: “Heshall teach you,” “He shall bring to your remembrance,” “He shall testify of me.” The Spirit “comes,” is sent,” “teaches,” may be “grieved,” or “resisted.”All these expressions indicate the growing sense of the special and distinctivework of the Spirit and the personal qualities manifest in his action. Anothergroup of passages especially emphasize the Trinitarian aspect of the teachingas to the Spirit of God. The commission commands baptism in the name of theFather, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Mat. 28:19.)In2Co. 13:14Paul clearly distinguishes Father, Son, and Spirit. So also in1Co. 12: 4-6 Paul mentions thethree as sources of spiritual blessings for believers. (SeeEph. 2:18;3: 2-5, 14,17; 4: 4-6; 5:18-20.)
 
3.
From the preceding outline of Scripture teaching the following points areclear:
(1)
The teaching as to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament is theculmination of the Old Testament teaching on the subject;
(2)
in the New Testament the Holy Spirit is revealed as personal in hisaction upon men;
(3)
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are grouped together and regardedas belonging to the same class;
(4)
on the basis of these facts the Christian doctrine of the Trinityarises. The word Trinity does not occur anywhere in the Bible, but thethought expressed by the word is clearly taught therein.
2. The Trinity1.
Before proceeding to the chief question in regard to the Trinity severalpreliminary statements are necessary. The first that the Christian conception of the Trinity does not imperil the conception of the unity of God. The Old Testament gave us monotheism. New Testament writers, mostly Jews, give usthe Trinitarian teaching with no sense of conflict or inconsistency. The unity of God is clearly held in the New Testament. Sometimes the Trinitarian doctrinehas been stated in theological works in a manner which makes it difficult todistinguish it from tritheism. This is a fundamental error, and should becarefully avoided.In the second place, it is to be noted that when we employ the terms “person”and “personal” in connection with the Trinity, we do not mean precisely whatwe have in mind when we apply the terms to men. With men a person is aseparate and distinct individual, having no essential connection with otherindividuals. In reference to the Trinity we mean by personalities innerdistinctions in the Godhead. These distinctions, however, are qualified by themost intimate relations of unity. They express the meaning of a single divinelife, not of three separate and externally related divine lives. There are notthree Gods, but one. A divine person is not less than a human person, butmore. The divine life is richer and more complete than the human.In the third place, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is not the result of aneffort to solve an abstract metaphysical problem. It arises out of the revelationin and through Jesus Christ and out of our experience of the grace of God inhim. That is to say, God has spoken to us in Christ, and our experience of Godin Christ is accompanied by a need which the Trinitarian truth alone supplies.

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