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Adolph Reinhold

Adolph Reinhold

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Published by: cyrendolf3116 on Jan 24, 2011
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The Nature of the Holy Spirit
 A. The Spirit's Equality with the Trinity 
The Holy Spirit is equal in His divine nature to the Father and the Son. In His GreatCommission, Jesus calls on His disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and HolySpirit (Matthew 28:19), thereby putting the Spirit on the same level as the Father and Sonwithin the Trinity. When in the Upper Room Discourse Jesus promises the disciples to send “another” helper (John 14:16-17), He is speaking of someone of the same essence as He,thus affirming the equality of the Spirit with himself.The New Testament writers assume the Holy Spirit is divine. In Acts 28:25-27, Paul quotesIsaiah 6:9, stating that it was the Holy Spirit who spoke to Isaiah. When we refer to theoriginal text of Isaiah, however, we see that Isaiah attributes these words to Yahweh.Therefore, Paul clearly sees the Holy Spirit to be the same as Yahweh himself. The writer of Hebrews does the same in Hebrews 10:15ff, when quoting Jeremiah 31:31-34.While He is equal, the Spirit, in His humility, does nothing of His own initiative (John 16:13).He does not move on His own, but is sent from the Father at the request of the Son (John15:26). Furthermore, the Spirit does not seek to glorify Himself, but only to glorify the Son(John 16:14).
B. The Spirit as the Executive of the Trinity 
Equality, however, does not mean that the Holy Spirit has the same roles. Indeed, the HolySpirit's role within the Trinity is to be the “mover and shaker” of the Trinity. He is the powerand executing force within the Godhead. Charles Hodge states:
The Spirit is the executive of the Godhead. Whatever God does, He does by the Spirit.
This is seen in the Holy Spirit's was involvement in creation (Genesis 1:2, Psalm 104:30).The Spirit was also involved in the immaculate conception of Christ in Mary (Matthew 1:18).
C. The Spirit's Ministry to Christ 
The Spirit's role as executive is most tangibly seen in the Spirit's ministry to Christ. Jesusentire ministry is conducted in the power of the Spirit and in response to the leading of theHoly Spirit. Jesus' earthly ministry does not take place until His baptism, at which the Spiritdescends upon Him like a dove (Luke 3:16). Immediately following His baptism, Jesus, fullof the Holy Spirit, is led by the Spirit into the wilderness to face temptation (Luke 4:1).Jesus teaching and healing ministry throughout Galilee was done in the power of the Spirit(Luke 4:14). Jesus also affirms that his ability to cast out demons comes not from the devil,but through the power of the Spirit (Matthew 12:28).
III. The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
 A. The Spirit's Proclaiming Ministry 
One of the Spirit's primary ministries is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Spirit isthe one who testifies about Christ (1 John 5:6-8), for it is the role of the Spirit to glorify theSon (John 16:14).However, the Spirit accomplishes this ministry by moving and directing humans. Jesusalludes to this ministry when quoting a Psalm of David to the Pharisees in Matthew 24:43,stating that David was “in the Spirit” when he wrote the Psalm. Peter indicates the Spiritwas the one who revealed to the prophets the things of Christ in the Old Testament (1 Peter1:10-12), and that this was accomplished by the initiative of the Holy Spirit as he “moved” men (2 Peter 1:21).Jesus tells the disciples that they can expect the Spirit to “move” them as they testify andproclaim Him. Jesus tells his disciples that they will stand before earthly authorities and thatthe Holy spirit will teach them “on-the-fly” what to say (Luke 12:11-12). Furthermore, afterHe is gone, the Holy Spirit will remind the disciples of all He said to them (John 14:26) asHe guides them into all truth (John 16:13).In addition, the Spirit's testimony will come through gifts given to humans, either as signsand wonders or through prophecy (Hebrews 2:4).
B. The Spirit's Convicting Ministry 
As the Spirit proclaims the gospel of Christ to the world, part of that message results inconviction of sin. The Spirit's message convicts the world regarding sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8-11). This message to the world is not readily accepted, as the naturalman does not accept the things of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 1:14).When the world rejects the proclaiming and convicting ministry of the Spirit, it insults theHoly Spirit (Hebrews 10:29). The Holy Spirit guides us into the truth. Those who reject thisministry of the Holy Spirit are rejecting the truth and are said to blaspheme the Spirit (Luke12:10). Those who blaspheme the Spirit are condemned for committing the oneunforgivable sin.
C. The Indwelling (Baptism) of the Spirit 
1. Indwelling of the Spirit Pre-Pentecost
Throughout the Old Testament we see that the Spirit comes upon only certain people for theaccomplishment of certain tasks. Most of the judges (Judges 3:10, 15:14, 16:20), theprophets and even some of the kings of Israel (1 Samuel 10:6, 16:13) receive the Spirit atleast for a time. The power that came to those who were indwelled is a stark contrast tothose who lost the Spirit or never had the Spirit in the first place.However, the Spirit would also be removed from people when their ministry was completedor when they were removed from ministry for cause. King Saul had been anointed by theSpirit, but due to His sin, the Spirit departed (1 Samuel 16:14). For that reason as well,after David was caught in the sin of adultery with Bathsheba, David pleads with the Lord notto take the Holy Spirit from him (Psalm 51:11).
In his gospel, Luke records other examples of the indwelling of the Spirit prior to Pentecost.John the Baptist receives the Holy Spirit will still in his mother's womb (Luke 1:15, 41).John's father, Zecharias, receives the Spirit and begins to prophesy (Luke 1:67). When Maryand Joseph bring Jesus to the temple as an infant, Simeon, full of the Holy Spirit, proclaimsthat this baby is the Messiah.
2. Indwelling of the Spirit Post-Pentecost
Luke's record of the indwelling of these individuals is a foreshadowing of events leading upto the climax in Acts 2. Luke records that John the Baptist predicted that Jesus wouldbaptize his followers not with water, but with the Spirit (Luke 3:16). After His resurrection,Jesus had told his disciples that they would be baptized by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5). Heeven illustrated this by breathing on His disciples (John 20:22).This baptism takes place initially in Acts 2:4, where forty days after His ascension, duringthe feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descends upon the disciples. This baptism is madeevident through their supernatural ability to speak in foreign languages.After Pentecost, the reception of the Holy Spirit follows no consistent pattern in the book of Acts. Peter proclaims that people who believe and are baptized will receive the Holy Spirit(Acts 2:38). Sometimes the Spirit comes when an apostle lays hands upon a believer (Acts8:17). Other times, the Holy Spirit comes upon individuals as soon as they believe butbefore they are baptized and without the laying on of hands by an apostle (Acts 10:44-47).Acts does not provide us with a normative pattern from which we can ascertain the timingof the filling of the Holy Spirit. Belief is the only constant between these examples.Nonetheless, the reception of the Holy Spirit is normally accompanied by a demonstration of power, often the ability to speak in other languages.
3. The Indwelling of the Spirit as a Guarantee of Salvation
While Acts does not give us a normative pattern, Jesus makes it clear that one must havethe Spirit in order to be saved. In John 3:5-8, Jesus states that one must be born of theSpirit in order to enter the kingdom of God. Paul reiterates this, stating that if one does nothave the Spirit in order to be in Christ (Romans 8:9).In fact, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is our assurance that we are indeed in Christ andthat we have been saved (1 John 3:24, 4:13). It is the Spirit who testifies that we arechildren of God and that one day our salvation will be completed in our glorification(Romans 8:16). The Holy Spirit serves as the “first fruitsof our coming glorification(Romans 8:23), and serves as the down payment or guarantee of our future glory(Ephesians 1:13-14). The Spirit's indwelling is God's seal that nothing will happen to thebeliever until finally we receive the fullness of our salvation (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
C. The Spirit's Ministry to Believers
1. The Nature of the Spirit's Ministry
The believer's indwelling of the Spirit is the mechanism by which the Spirit activelyministers to the believer. The Holy Spirit is actively involved in the sanctification of the

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