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James Series: Patiently Enduring Trials and Injustice (5:7-12)

Patiently Enduring Trials and Injustice So be patient, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s return. Think of how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the ground and is patient for it until it receives the early and late rains. You also be patient and strengthen your hearts, for the Lord’s return is near. Do not grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be judged. See, the judge stands before the gates! As an example of suffering and patience, brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name. Think of how we regard as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job’s endurance and you have seen the Lord’s purpose, that the Lord is

Pneumatology Series: The Filling of the Spirit

The Filling of the Spirit What does it mean to be “filled with the Spirit?” In Ephesians 5:18-21, Paul says: And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for each other in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. This is a commonly misunderstood teaching; therefore, we will begin with what “being filled with the Spirit” does not mean. Common Misunderstandings 1. To be filled with the Spirit is not a crazy, ecstatic experience like falling on the floor

Pneumatology Series: Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual Gifts Another one of the Spirit’s ministries is giving spiritual gifts. What is a spiritual gift? Tony Evans succinctly described spiritual gifts this way: “A spiritual gift is a divinely bestowed ability given to every true believer in Jesus Christ in order to serve the church.”[1] Charles Ryrie defined it as a “God-given ability for service.”[2] The apostle Peter said spiritual gifts are channels by which God’s “grace” comes to the church.[3] In 1 Peter 4:10, he said: “Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of the varied grace of God.” The “one another” refers to believers in the church. When a person is using their spiritual gift, God’

Pneumatology Series: Baptism in the Spirit

Baptism in the Spirit Another ministry of the Holy Spirit is the baptism “in” or “with” the Spirit. The baptism in the Spirit is a very important and controversial doctrine in the church. Traditionally, Spirit baptism refers to when Christ, through the agency of God’s Spirit, places believers into the body of Christ. In it, we become part of the body of believers, and Christ becomes our head. Tony Evans described the baptism this way: Jesus is the One doing the baptizing. He is the baptizer, not the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the means by which this baptism takes place, the means by which believers enter into this new realm or environment called the body of Christ or the family of God.[1] Ho

Pneumatology Series: The Holy Spirit's Sealing, Deposit, and Restraining Ministries

Sealing Another ministry of the Holy Spirit is his being the seal of our salvation. In Ephesians 1:13, it says, “And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.” Likewise, 2 Corinthians 1:22 (NIV) says God “set his seal of ownership on us.” What does the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit refer to? 1. As a seal, the Holy Spirit represents authenticity—he proves that a believer’s salvation is genuine. John MacArthur said this: The sealing of which Paul speaks here refers to an official mark of identification that was placed on a letter, contract, or other important document. The seal us

Pneumatology Series: Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Indwelling For believers, the Holy Spirit indwells us at conversion. It is from this ministry that many of his other ministries flow. Jesus mentioned the Spirit’s indwelling to his disciples before his death and resurrection. In John 14:17, Christ said this, “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you.” From Christ’s words, it is clear the Spirit was already with the disciples but would be with them in a different way after his death, resurrection, and ascension. Likewise, in John 16:7, Christ said, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I

Pneumatology Series: Inspiration, Illumination, Conviction, Intercession

Inspiration of Scripture Though Scripture has human authors, they were all inspired by the Holy Spirit—guided by him in the exact words they used and kept from error. Consider what Peter said in Acts 1:16 about the Spirit speaking through David’s writing of a Psalm: “Brothers, the scripture had to be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit foretold through David concerning Judas—who became the guide for those who arrested Jesus.” In addition, in 2 Peter 1:20-21, Peter said this about Scripture: Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy

Pneumatology Series: The Holy Spirit's Deity

The Holy Spirit’s Deity The Bible also teaches that the Holy Spirit is God. He is the third person of the Trinity and, therefore, equal in every way to the Son and the Father. What are scriptural evidences for the Holy Spirit’s deity? The Holy Spirit Is Called God The Bible calls the Holy Spirit, “God,” in many passages. For example, in Acts 5:3-4, when Peter confronted Ananias about lying to God, he called the Holy Spirit, “God.” The text says: But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the proceeds from the sale of the land? Before it was sold, did it not belong to you? And when it was sold, was the money not at yo

Pneumatology Series: The Holy Spirit's Personhood

Introduction to Pneumatology There is great confusion and controversy over the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Who is he and what does he do? Is he some type of force? Is he an energy or a thing? Likewise, topics like spiritual gifts, the baptism in the Spirit, and being filled with the Spirit tend to incite differing views and discord, even amongst the sincerest and most devoted Christians. Because of all this, some have hesitated to study or teach on the Holy Spirit. This is unfortunate since the Holy Spirit makes possible both the redemption (John 6:8-9, Rom 8:11) and sanctification (1 Pet 1:2) of believers.[1] In addition, the Holy Spirit, in a unique way, makes the truth, power, and presen

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© 2020 by Gregory Brown