Denver: What does it look like when someone is filled with the Holy Spirit at work, at home and in the community? In the 11 second overtime period of the NFL Wild Card Game in Denver we may have seen how a Christ follower adjusts to adverse conditions and celebrates and gives credit for victory. Triology is the answer and Tim Tebow is under the influence of Biblical Theology in what he thinks; Systematic Theology on how he approaches strategies, and Evangelical Theology on how he walks the talk and shines as an example. In a series on how people in your city can get all three and integrate them into one I am at the point where I write about The Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit : Pneumatology
We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
The Holy Spirit is the third person that makes up the God-Head of the Trinity. (Matt.28:19.) The Spirit is active in the creation of the world in Genesis 1:2. He hovers over the creation of animals, of man and is the agent of God in a moral areas, historic events, and ethical relationships. The Spirit is known throughout the Old Testament as an indwelling for special purposes through the lives of the Patriarchs of our faith , the inspiration of women such as Esther (“for such a time as this”) and as an inspiration of the prophets. The Psalmist declares the Holy Spirit as the very presence of God Himself throughout the World. (Psalm 139:7).
In the New Testament the Holy Spirit hovered over Jesus as the new creation of man. He is with Jesus in the quiet times when Jesus took time to pray and is upon Him and the people in key times of ministry and healing. The idea is that when Jesus sought time to pray about upcoming events, he sought the will and the power and authority of God the Father and The Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:15-5:31) I cannot finish my summary without the mention of Pentecost in Acts 2. The Old Testament and the New Testament converge as a bold Peter filled with the Holy Spirit declares what just happened. The fusion of the Word is Peter quoting from the Old Testament prophet Joel 2:28-32. The purpose and mission of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the people is declared that God will “pour out” His “Spirit on all people,” for use in prophesying, visions, and dreams before Christ will come again. We are a people who seek God’s motive from His Word, follow the approach of Jesus Christ, the Son and are powered and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is similar between the Old Testament and New Testament in that it is the “power supply” God uses people to accomplish His mission. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testament allows for God to use people to accomplish the mission He has and anoint them in that work and the best thing is that the Holy Spirit is what enables us to accomplish God’s work in our communities and mission fields.
The question to why The Holy Spirit came and why did Jesus send “another,” is answered best by stating that The Holy Spirit was with us and with God from the very beginning and the Holy Spirit that Jesus tells the apostles to wait for at Pentecost is the one and the same as The Holy Spirit that we are introduced to in Genesis at the Creation. “For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:7)
Convicting the World
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is essential in the “world” because he convicts us and corrects us, challenges us and powers us to change. The convergence of the Holy Spirit allows us to see our sin in a different way. He listens as we confess and he challenges us to live differently and he compels us to change.
The word “regeneration” means to see your birth through new eyes and in terms of our spiritual status this means being “reborn.” When in the systematic theological concept of salvation does regeneration occur? The song “Amazing Grace,” claims “The hour I first believed.” The moment that a person accepts Christ as his or her personal savior they are a “new creation.” Regeneration is an act of God through the Holy Spirit (Col 2:13) beginning a new dimension of morality, resurrection to new life in Christ. God is present at regeneration, Christ is present at regeneration and the Holy Spirit is present during regeneration, the hour “I first believed.”
The teaching about the baptism of the Holy Spirit from 1 Cor 12:13 is an illustration of the Holy Spirit’s ministry. The differences between baptism, indwelling, filling and walking are illustrated in what the Holy Spirit’s power is through us.
The Holy Spirit oversees our baptism in both water and Spirit. Christ makes spiritual baptism synonymous with his redemptive death and resurrection. Through Spiritual Baptism we are connected to the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit indwells believers (1 Cor 6:19); fills and refills us with Christ living within. (Romans 8: 9-10 and Romans 12), and then we walk in the Holy Spirit in prayer and what we do and it is demonstrated by the fruits of the Spirit in our lives. (1 Cor. 12: 1-11). “By their fruits you will know them.” This is also emphasized in Galations 5: 16-26. What does it mean that you are in “union with Christ?” The very nature of the Holy Spirit is that that Christ dwells in us. “In union” is in unity of faith that binds us together with Christ. We are adopted by God through this union with Christ and that adoption means that we become “Sons and daughters of God.” The significance is that we have come full circle from being alienated from God and then through Jesus who dwells in us, we are now adopted by God the Father as Children of God. That chasm of sin and death has been silted over and the distance between God and Humanity is covered by Jesus Christ.
The biblical evidences of the work of the Holy Spirit can be found in Paul’s letter to the 1 Corinthians 12. They are the “message of wisdom; the message of knowledge; another faith; and healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, a discernment of spirits, speaking in tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.” The role of the gifts of the Spirit plays the same role as they did in the body of Christ throughout time and were useful in apostolic times.
What are you good at?
The gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit are both similar and different. The fruits of the Spirit are more of a result of the gifts of the Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit are contrasted with the sins of the flesh. But the fruit of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5: 22-23)
In my own life the result is not always as “fruitful” as I would like. When I am in the Word, in worship and in my walk with God I can see the fruits in my household, in my work and in my community. And that is what it takes for us to be successful, the process of renewing our minds and hearts on a daily basis (Romans 12:1), and the process of being in the word, in worship and in a constant walk with God.