The Holy Spirit Isn’t Just for Charismatics

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/book-review-rediscovering-the-holy-spirit

Who is the Holy Spirit?

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~ Sam Storms:

From Sam’s contribution to The New City Catechism:

Rarely does a Christian struggle to think of God as Father. And to envision God as Son is not a problem for many. These personal names come easily to us because our lives and relationships are inescapably intertwined with fathers and sons here on earth. But God as Holy Spirit is often a different matter. Gordon Fee tells of one of his students who remarked, “God the Father makes perfectly good sense to me, and God the Son I can quite understand; but the Holy Spirit is a gray, oblong blur.”

How different this is from what we actually read in Scripture. There we see that the Spirit is not third in rank in the Godhead but is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and Son, sharing with them all the glory and honor due unto our Triune God. The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal power or an ethereal, abstract energy. The Spirit is personal in every sense of the term. He has a mind and thinks (Isa. 11:2; Rom. 8:27). He is capable of experiencing deep affections and feelings (Rom. 8:26; 15:30). The Spirit has a will and makes choices (Acts 16:7; 1 Cor. 2:11) regarding what is best for God’s people and what will most glorify the Son.

We see even more of the Spirit’s personality when he is described as being grieved when we sin (Eph. 4:30). The Spirit, no less so than the Father and the Son, enters into a vibrant and intimate relationship with all whom he indwells (2 Cor. 13:14). The Spirit talks (Mark 13:11; Rev. 2:7), testifies (John 15:26; 16:13), encourages (Acts 9:31), strengthens (Eph. 3:16), and teaches us, especially in times of spiritual emergency (Luke 12:12). That the Spirit is personal is seen in that he can be lied to (Acts 5:3), insulted (Heb. 10:29), and even blasphemed (Matt. 12:31-32).

Above all else, though, the Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:9). His primary role in us, as the temple of God in whom he dwells (Eph. 2:21-22), is other-directed or other-oriented as he ministers to direct our attention to the person of Christ and to awaken in us heartfelt affection for and devotion to the Savior (John 14:26; 16:12-15). The Holy Spirit delights above all else in serving as a spotlight, standing behind us (although certainly dwelling within us) to focus our thoughts and meditation on the beauty of Christ and all that God is for us in and through him.

As we prayerfully meditate on the person and work of the Spirit and give thanks for his powerful presence in our lives, we would do well to consider the words of Thomas Torrance who reminds us that “the Spirit is not just something divine or something akin to God emanating from him, not some sort of action at a distance or some kind of gift detachable from himself, for in the Holy Spirit God acts directly upon us himself, and in giving us his Holy Spirit God gives us nothing less than himself” (Thomas F. Torrance, The Trinitarian Faith, T & T Clark, 191).

4 Ways We Go Wrong in Thinking about the Holy Spirit

This sponsored post was prepared by Michael Horton, author of over thirty books, including the just-released Rediscovering the Holy Spirit.

Many of us still remember the “Holy Ghost” from the old King James Version. For most modern people, a ghost is associated more with All Hallows’ Eve (a.k.a. Halloween) than with Pentecost Sunday. Especially in our age, the Holy Spirit is regarded (when taken seriously at all) as the “spooky” member of the Trinity. If you’re into that sort of thing—the paranormal and sensational—then the Holy Spirit is for you.

Who exactly is the mysterious third person of the Trinity? Why does he seem to possess less reality than the Father and the Son? Perhaps we think of the Holy Spirit as a divine force or energy that we can “plug into” for spiritual power. Or as the kinder and gentler—more intimate—side of God. But a person—in fact, a distinct person of the Godhead?

I want to challenge this association of the Spirit merely with the extraordinary.

This is unfortunate all around, because it distinguishes his work too sharply from that of the Father and the Son and also because it distracts us from the vast range of his activity in our world and in our lives. On both sides of the Pentecostal divide, we too easily treat the Holy Spirit as a placeholder for the “extra” things in Christianity. Sure, we have the Father and the Son, but we also need the Holy Spirit. You may be redeemed, but have you been baptized in the Spirit? The Word is vital, but we must not forget the Spirit. Doctrine is important, but there is also experience.

Consequently, the Spirit becomes typecast into predictable roles—mostly cameo appearances, especially from the book of Acts—that provoke debates over whether we should expect the same signs and wonders today. We think of him when we are talking about regeneration and sanctification and when we are arguing about his more controversial gifts. Otherwise, he is out of sight and out of mind.

The Holy Spirit is the easiest person of the Godhead to depersonalize—and not only because of cultural forces. One might even say that, for the Spirit, being somewhat forgotten is an occupational hazard. Some of our confusion about the Holy Spirit arises from a distortion of genuinely biblical truths.  Here are four ways in which we can go wrong.

First, we must remember that God is an incomprehensible mystery.

Read more: https://www.challies.com/sponsored/4-ways-we-go-wrong-in-thinking-about-the-holy-spirit

A. W. Tozer – How to Cultivate the Holy Spirit’s Companionship

The Holy Spirit’s Intercession – Charles Spurgeon Sermon

Pentecost – podcast by Sproul

http://renewingyourmind.org/2017/06/11/pentecost#play

What If I Can’t Feel the Holy Spirit: A Thought for Pentecost

http://kuyperian.com/cant-feel-holy-spirit-thought-pentecost/