Emerson Ave Church of Christ

Matthew 28:19, 20 (Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…..)

Great Bible Doctrines (No. 3)

February 2, 2014

Great Bible Doctrines (No. 3)

The sacred scriptures contain many great doctrines. They are central to our understanding of the Bible itself, and our part in God’s plan for humanity. Last week we discussed the great Bible doctrine of The Holy Spirit. Let us continue examining the Bible doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

Third, many people believe the Holy Spirit is not a person but some kind of mysterious influence. The scriptures teach otherwise. “The Holy Spirit said, ‘Separate Barnabas and, Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2) According to this passage, the Holy Spirit “said.” He can speak. The text also says the Holy Spirit “called Barnabas and Saul to the work.” He is an intelligent being who has purpose. In the days of the apostles, the Holy Spirit distributed spiritual gifts to believers to enhance their work of teaching the gospel and building up the body of believers. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) This teaches us the Holy Spirit is not merely an influence or force, but a person who wields an influence.

Fourth, the Holy Spirit is the one by whom God delivered his will through the prophets in the Old Testament and the apostles and prophets in the New Testament. It is written in Nehemiah 9:30, “Yet many years you were patient with them, and testified against them by your Spirit through your prophets … Zechariah 7: 12 speaks of the words “Yahweh of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets … ” David the king was also a prophet and he said, “The Spirit of Yahweh speaks by me and his word is on my tongue.” (2 Samuel 23:2) Peter said, “Men spoke from God, being carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21) Likewise, the New Testament ascribes the supernatural guidance of the apostles and prophets to the Holy Spirit. The gospel was “revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.” (Ephesians 3:5)

The Spirit is the person through whom God revealed his will to humanity.

Ron Daly

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Great Bible Doctrines (No. 2)

January 26, 2014

Great Bible Doctrines (No. 2)

The sacred scriptures contain many great doctrines. They are central to our understanding of the Bible itself, and our part in God’s plan for humanity. Last week we discussed the great Bible doctrine of salvation from sin. Let us explore another “Great Bible Doctrine.”

The Holy Spirit.

The teaching of scripture about the Holy Spirit is one of the most misunderstood in the religious world. Much of the misunderstanding is due to religious tradition. People get a certain concept in their heads and they cling to it regardless of what the Bible teaches.

The Holy Spirit is a person in the same way that God the Father and Christ the Son are persons.

A person is an individual as distinct from others, characterized as having personality, a being. Notice the following things the scriptures ascribe to the Holy Spirit.

First, the Holy Spirit is deity, that is, he has the same nature and essence as the Father and the Son. Genesis 1:2 says, “The Spirit of God was moving upon the face of the waters.” Jesus said he cast demons out by “the Spirit of God.” (Matthew 12:28) When Ananias tried to deceive the Holy Spirit, he lied to God. (Acts 5:3-4) The Godhead consists of three persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14) He is equal to the Father and Son in essence.

Second, since the Holy Spirit is deity, he is characterized by personality. He is capable of teaching. Jesus told the apostles, “he will teach you an things.” (John 14:26) He is capable of reminding. Jesus told the apostles he will “bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26) He also told them the Holy Spirit will “bear witness of me,” and “guide you into all the truth. (John 15:27; 16:13) The Holy Spirit can speak. Jesus told the apostles that when they stand in the presence of govenors and kings, they were not to worry about “how or what to speak: for it will be given to you in that hour what you shall speak. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who will speak through you.” (Matthew 10: 19-20) Paul said, “the Spirit speaks clearly. (1 Timothy 4:1)

more to follow–

Ron Daly

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The Gift of the Holy Spirit

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Gift of the Holy Spirit

Acts chapter 2 is a very important portion of the sacred word of the living God. Many things that we read in it are indispensable to the correct interpretation of other parts of the new testament. Some exegetes refer to Acts 2 as “the hub of the Bible.” I
believe such a designation is appropriate.

In it we learn about the descent of the Holy Spirit, the preaching of the apostles, the reign of Christ, the fulfillment of prophecy, the conditions necessary for the forgiveness of sins, the establishment of the assembly of Christ, the worship of God, and the unity among fellow believers.

Peter and the other apostles informed the Jews that they were guilty of murdering Jesus the Son of God. “Now when they heard this they were stricken with grief in the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men, brothers, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘You must change your minds, and be immersed every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.’ ” (Acts 2:37-39)

The question is, “What is the gift of the Holy Spirit” that Peter promises in v. 38? I am convinced that whatever “the gift of the Holy Spirit” is will have to be determined by the immediate context of Acts 2, and related information in the remote context
of the Book of Acts.

Some believe “the gift of the Holy Spirit” is salvation. It seems to me that such is not the case as salvation is implied in and understood by the phrase “so that your sins may be forgiven” in v. 38. Others say “the gift of the Holy Spirit” refers to the benefits and blessings that proceed from the Holy Spirit . There are blessings that proceed from the Holy Spirit just as they do from God the Father and from Christ Jesus, but such is not the likely meaning of the phrase “the gift of the Holy Spirit” in verse 38. And there are others who say it refers to the Holy Spirit himself, given
to dwell literally, bodily, and personally in believers. I see nothing in the context that supports such a view.

I believe there are at least two things (one in chapter 2 itself and the other in chapter 10) that are decisive in determining what the “gift of the Holy Spirit” refers to.

The people on Pentecost “all were amazed and perplexed (by what they were seeing and hearing), saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others mocking said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’ But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them…’this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; yes, and on my male slaves and female slaves in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy…” (verses 12-18)

I am persuaded that when he promised them the “gift of the Holy Spirit,” that he is reiterating what he has already stated in the immediate context, particularly in verses 17-18. In essence Peter is saying, “You will receive the miraculous outpouring of God’s
Spirit that Yahweh promised through the prophet Joel.” This is further strengthened by the fact that the only other time the phrase “the gift of the Holy Spirit” is mentioned is Acts 10:45, and there it is undeniably a miraculous manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

Someone might ask, “So, are you saying that part of Acts 2:38 is applicable today and part of it isn’t?” Yes. The same is true of Mark 16:16-18. Part of the text applies today, and the other part isn’t applicable because no signs accompany believers today.
No one casts out demons, (miraculously) speaks in new languages, picks up snakes (without being hurt if bitten), drinks deadly things without being hurt, or lays their hands on the sick that they may recover. Those things passed away when all other miracles
ceased. But, the command to “change your minds and be immersed so that your sins may be pardoned” is applicable. People still need to be saved from the guilt of their past sins.

Contextually speaking, Peter had informed them by quoting Joel’s prophecy, that the time for the “outpouring” of the Holy Spirit had arrived, and that this would be accompanied by miraculous manifestations. (verses 17-18) Therefore, when he mentioned “the gift of the Holy Spirit” in verse 38, they understood it to be what
he has already told them; the fulfillment of what God promised through Joel, “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,” and people would prophesy, see visions, dream dreams, etc.

We learn from other texts in the book of Acts, that the miraculous powers of the Holy Spirit were bestowed on those who were not apostles, through the laying on of the apostles’ hands. (cf. Acts 6:6; 8:14-18; 19:6; Rom. 1:11)


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