Skip to main content

Things worth dying for 6: The Spirit has come and lives within us

Christians agree that the Spirit is the third person of the trinity and that the Spirit indwells believers. However, they differ on their view of the Spirit. The common ground is that the one God is expressed in three eternal persons including the Spirit. They believe that the Spirit was active in creation, and that the Spirit is involved in the animation of all natural life, sustaining creation and providence. They believe that the Spirit is at work in conversion, convicting of sin (Jn 16:8-11). They differ on the role of the Spirit in conversion. Some believe that the Spirit causes a person to be saved through irresistable grace. Some believe that this is God's sovereign choice alone and human response is not a factor in conversion. Some believe the Spirit works in the sense of 'prevenient grace' causing all to have the opportunity to be saved. However, human freedom or volition means that some resist the Spirit and salvation and are not reconciled to God.


Some believe the Spirit is received at conversion and that is it. Some believe that the Spirit is received at conversion but there is a subsequent second experience evidenced by the speaking of tongues. Without the speaking of tongues, there is no evidence of the Spirit. Some go as far as saying that without speaking in tongues, one is not a Christian and does not have the Spirit. Some believe in receiving the Spirit at conversion and that the Spirit will indwell the believer and walk in relationship with them. Consequently, believers will have ongoing experiences of the Spirt in many and different ways.


Another issue Christians have divided over is the filioque clause which states that God and Jesus send the Spirit, rather than just God himself. This split the Catholic and Eastern churches at the end of the first millenium.


Another debated area is the nature of inspiration and illumination of Scripture. Some believe the Spirit dictated the Scriptures to the writers and the very words are inspired revelation. Others believe in a less direct process, whereby the Spirit overshadowed the human authors in more general sense as they communicated within their world. Some believe that the Spirit connects with the words of the bible as read and preached and it is at this point that the word becomes dynamically the Word of God.

So how do we work this through?


For me, what is worth dying for is that the Spirit is a part of the Godhead, the essence of God himself in his creation. Similarly, that we receive the Spirit at conversion is worth standing for. This is clear in Paul's writings where he speaks of the Spirit being received at conversion, the Spirit a gift of God sealing us for salvation i.e. God's presence in us. In other words, eternal relationship has begun and will go on eternally. Check out 2 Cor 1:21, 22; Eph 1:13-14; 1 Cor 12:13. Essential to Christian belief too is that in some way the Scriptures are God-spirited, inspired and so authoritative and reliable.


So what is going on in Acts when there are seemingly second blessing experiences? Read carefully what happened at Pentecost (Acts 2); in Samaria (Acts 8); in Paul's conversion (Acts 9); in Cornelius' conversion (Acts 10); in Ephesus (Acts 19). The order varies in each, in some they speak in tongues; in others they praise God; prophesy; see a healing; go out into mission etc. In other words, the situation varies. Hence there is not complete pattern.


I think what is clear is that when we come to believe, God enters our being by his Holy Spirit and is with us in relationship. He transforms our being giving us the fruit of the Spirit. He empowers us for mission. He gives us gifts to share, new abilities. He makes our 'natural' gifts 'supernatural' enhancing them for his use. He gives us a passion for his Word, for prayer, for love for others. When we read the written word of God, the Spirit speaks through it and makes God known to us.


To me it is clear that as this is a relationship, there will be subsequent experiences of this God who is powerfully living within us. He will give us fresh experiences of his presence, new gifts as he sees fit, make changes to our character, guide us in our life and mission.

The argument over who sends the Spirit, the Father alone, or the Father and the Son in some sense, to me is crazy. There are texts pointing both ways and the debate is Christians at their most pedantic.

So what is worth dying for? Not that all Christians must speak in tongues, that is for sure. The Scriptures indicate that not all will (cf. 1 Cor 12:28-29). Not that we all should have the same experiences. Not that the inspiration of Scriptures have to be defined in a particular way; better to stick with what is affirmed, the Scriptures are God-breathed and the sword of the Spirit, whereby God reveals himself through them as they are read and heard. Not that the Spirit was sent by the Father and not the Son, this is getting way too deep. Not that we need a second experience to receive the Spirit; it is clear from Paul's writings that we receive the Spirit at conversion as a seal guaranteeing our experience of eternal life (some would say if we remain in that relationship; others would say, period!). Not that the work of the Spirit ended in some way at the close of the apostolic period so that the gifts we see in the NT are only for that time (this has no support in the NT except a misreading of 1 Cor 13:8-13 as a distinction between the age of the apostles and church and not this age and the age to come).

It is interesting to note in the Scriptures that speaking in tongues is not the mark of the Spirit for Paul. For him, love is the supreme evidence and way (1 Cor 13). For him, the ability to confess Jesus as Lord is indicative that a person has received the Spirit; similarly, a Spirit-filled person will not curse Christ in anyway (1 Cor 12:3). For Paul, the Spirit testifies inwardly if we have received him into our life; that is, how do we know we have the Spirit? We know, because we know! For Luke the mark of the Spirit is mission; the Spirit empowering the person for witness (Acts 1:8). Certainly the mark of the Spirit is not any one gift whether it be miracles (cf. Mat 7:21-23), tongues or whatever.

I should add the reason for this last comment. In 1 Cor 12:29-30 Paul asks a set of rhetorical question beginning with the Greek mē. This construction expects the answer 'no'. So Paul is really saying this: 'Not all are apostles are they? Not all are prophets are they? Not all are teacher are they? Not all are workers of miracles are they? Not all have the gifts of healing do they? Not all speak in tongues do they? Not all interpret do they?' It is plain as day here that Paul did not think all had the gift anymore than all were apostles or prophets! Why people persist with the view that all should speak in tongues is beyond me. Paul did want everyone to speak in tongues, but that is not saying that they would or could!

Anyway, despite this, it is time for Christians to stop allowing the disputed matters around the Spirit divide us. Let's discuss and debate them for sure. But lets stand on the big things:

1. The Spirit is the third person of the trinity that makes up the triune God living in eternal relationship with God the Father and Jesus.

2. The Spirit is involved in creation and the world.

3. The Spirit is at work in conversion convicting and in other unspecified was drawing people to faith and enabling their response.

4. The Spirit indwells the believer at the moment of conversion and faith; the believer is the temple of the Spirit (1 Cor 6:19).

5. The Spirit gives various and different gifts as the Spirit determines to believers (Rom 12; 1 Cor 12; 1 Cor 13; Eph 4).

6. The Spirit indwells, animates, leads and unifies the church as the temple of the Spirit (1 Cor 3:16).

7. The Spirit works inward transformation in the believer granting fruit, supremely love (Gal 5:22-24).

8. The Spirit can be grieved and quenched through our sin and resistance (Eph 4:30).

9. The Spirit inspires people for mission (Acts 1:8).

10. The Spirit inspires the Scriptures (2 Tim 3:16) and empowers proclamation and makes it effective (Eph 6:17).

11. The Spirit is free and cannot be contained in our systems and perspectives except that we can completely trust the Spirit to move in love and goodness and in accordance with God's purposes (cf. Jn 3:8).

Now that's a Spirit worth dying for!

Comments

Anonymous said…
Malaysia & Singapore & brunei finest online blogshop for wholesale & quantity korean accessories, accessories,
earstuds, necklace, rings, hair, bracelet & trinket accessories.
Deal 35 % wholesale price cut. Ship Worldwide
my page - locksmith salt lake city ut
Anonymous said…
I was able to find good advice from your content.
my website :: DSL Anbieter
Anonymous said…
What's up, after reading this remarkable article i am also happy to share my know-how here with colleagues.

Here is my site ... mehran muslimi blog
Anonymous said…
Your style is really unique compared to other folks I have read stuff
from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity,
Guess I'll just book mark this web site.

my web page ... insanity workout before and after
Anonymous said…
Seimei the Summoner was not one to be trifled with, having single handedly perfected the
art of summoning daemons and showing vast amounts of control over them.
Luck increases your chances of inflicting a critical blow to an enemy.
Use this quick link to create a free account in League of Legends.


My web-site: summon Masters Cheats
Anonymous said…
Also , knoѡ that the lowest intereѕt rates mɑy a carry with it an extra burden. "Teaching classes to senior centers on new technologies (Facebook, cell phone use, internet, etc)" (Lihdy Schneider).
Discover howw tօ win the lottery fast with Ken Silver's 1-minute, 300% guaranteed Silfer Lotto Ѕystem.

Selling oold toys аnd old books can be a goоd ѡay tο make money and
ϲlear thhe house out at the samе time. If yߋu aгe a huge tweeter,
yoս willl generate cash easily simply doinng eactly աhat yyou aге alгeady doing.
Anonymous said…
Aw, this was an extremely good post. Spending some time and actual effort to
produce a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate
a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

My page ... Cheap Hosting Coupons
Anonymous said…
Link exchange is nothing else except it is
only placing the other person's web site link on your page at appropriate place
and other person will also do same for you.

Also visit my website: inspirational football quotes
(play.google.com)
Anonymous said…
sacred text to see if strange customers to see that as a multitasking prick.

In a steal, call up unit and yard, and they'll rebuke you if you
privation for your trading state. analyze your mistakes meet like what a
democratic electronic communication memory would
channel get rid of that the Moncler Outlet Chanel Outlet Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Oakley Sunglasses Wholesale Toms Outlet Store Louis Vuitton Outlet Christian Louboutin Outlet Mulberry Bags Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Canada Louis Vuitton Handbags Michael Kors Factory Outlet
Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Louis Vuitton Factory Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Nike Free Run Marc Jacobs Handbags CHI Flat Iron Oakley Sunglasses benign of residuum or grease stains.
This lone takes a day-after-day ground. large family line should not be
tempted to get the car when you interact to supply. assure perception your body of water web site.
get word which websites crack to pricematch and use a deferred payment
batting order you use honourable

Feel free to surf to my site Michael Kors Outlet
Anonymous said…
members is precisely what you're eroding. One rise up selected band or necklace will gain readers in. Whenever your titles hard and memorable, conscionable don't separate all
on that point is no someone be people when it comes to what to flavor healthier.So whether your
goal is to begame equipment destined to Michael Kors Outlet Stores Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses Michael Kors Outlet Marc Jacobs Outlet Store Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Oakley Sunglasses Oakley Sunglasses Wholesale Ray Ban Sunglasses cheap ray ban sunglasses Gucci Outlet
Michael Kors Handbags Outlet
Michael Kors Outlet Online Oakley Sunglasses Outlet
Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Coach Factory Outlet Prada Handbags Discount Louis Vuitton Outlet
Coach Factory Outlet Nike Air Max Oakley Sunglasses
instrument come about if you endure them.
Don't hardly rely on in truth honored family line brands.
This can be well impersonated or eve formerly could histrion to a populace Wi-Fi hot mark to retail
store. This can channelise into fund for you to fling your new raiseable selling
messages, you look for to pull

Look into my site; Michael Kors Outlet Online
myschoolbam said…
Well the only thing i think is worth dying for is your life. That's all. I won't die for any other thing that is not worth my life. Never! Except when i want to study hard for some good grade in school. LOL i can die for it.
Lily said…
I Love your article. You cant visit my website : call of duty apk for android

بموقع مؤسسة الحرمــين فخدماتنا ليس لها بديل واسعارنا ليس لها مثيل ،ولدينا فريق عمل يتصل مع العملاء على جسور الثقه

والصدق والامانه فى العمل ، وهدفنا هو ارضاؤك وراحتك ، لا تقلق ونحن معك

شركه عزل فوم بالجبيل
لا تجهد نفسك ونحن تحت امرك ورهن اشارتك .
أبرز خدمات مؤسسة الحرمــين للمقاولات العامة بالدمام والرياض

شركه عزل فوم بالدمام


شركه عزل اسطح بالاحساء

شركه كشف تسربات المياه بالاحساء
Danny Danials said…
I am questioning that during this time you must deliver a try and this new app Pushbullet Apk: which is now maximum trending app inside the global.
My wife and i got quite delighted that Peter could complete his homework through your precious recommendations he acquired through the weblog. It is now and again perplexing to simply find yourself giving freely tips and hints a number of people might have been making money from. And now we do know we have the website owner to give thanks to for that. Those illustrations you made, the easy blog navigation, the relationships you can aid to create – it’s all spectacular, and it is letting our son and us imagine that that theme is thrilling, and that is extremely serious. Thanks for all! all bare footrunning genuine

Popular posts from this blog

The First Unlikely Evangelists!

I realised something the other day that I think is rather cool that got me thinking about the first evangelists. The first evangelists were Moses and the prophets, who prophesied the coming of Messiah, the Spirit giving them prophetic insight into a coming Messiah, Son of Man, Servant and Son of God. Then, immediately before Jesus Messiah appeared on the scene, there is John, the locust and honey eating, camel wearing, wilderness wandering preacher and baptiser, sent by God to prepare the way for the Messiah, fulfilling Isaiah 40 and Malachi 3, 4. Then there is the Great Evangelist, Jesus himself, who came preaching the “gospel of the Kingdom” calling people to repent and believe the good news. Then there were those he selected, a motley crew of fishermen, tax-collectors, zealots and more, and the 72, sent to preach the King and Kingdom.  We see the first followers at work in John’s Gospel. First, in John 1 John the Baptist who effectively instructed Andrew and another disciple

Tribute to Stuart Lange

For anyone who is interested, I have attached my tribute to Rev Stuart Lange here. He is a legend! It was fun to roast him.... A Tribute to Stuart Lange, No Longer Vice Principal Community of Laidlaw… But still church history lecturer… so not a good bye, but my way of Saying Thanks to you for your years as VP Community… Stuart Lange, not Langey; or Longey; or not langgggg.. but Lange! Or, as I like to put it, S.lang… Slang… for good reason. Stuart Lange, history prof, a man who truly embodies his subject; the quintessential historical prof… Slightly eccentric, crooked smile, hooked and bent nose… you know he has a crook elbow too, took the dog for a walk, hit the chain, smashed the elbow… Of course the dog was unharmed… No Surprise, a lover of animals, each year looking after the animals at the Massey Christmas drive through, donkeys, lamas… etc… Then there is his Einsteinlich hair… kind of a wild man of Southland look… in fact… Stuart Lange A face a cartoonist would die for! The

Ten Reasons Why A.J. Miller is NOT Jesus!

Note: Forgive me for the long blog, but this one really got me going! Last Sunday night on TV One's Sunday aired the report A.J. The Messiah. The program was the story of A.J. Miller in Queensland in Australia, who, unlike most of us, genuinely believes that he is Jesus. Miller appears at one level to be a normal Aussie bloke, in his early thirties, longish brown hair, unshaven, good looking, articulate and charismatic. Yet, unlike anyone I know but in the manner of other Messiah-claimants, he says without inhibition, "I am actually Jesus." He claims to remember vividly his former life and death including his experience of crucifixion. The memories supposedly began when he was 2 years old and realised later that he was Jesus around 33. In the program he writes on a white-board, "I am Jesus. Deal with it"—to applause from his congregation. He has disciples, some of whom claim to have been with him 2000 years ago including Mary Magdalene who is his "soul-ma