There has been a good deal of confusion about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. [B36] The Apostles' Creed: Life Everlasting, [B34] The Apostles' Creed: The Resurrection of the Body, [B33] The Apostles' Creed: The Forgiveness of Sins, [B32] The Apostles' Creed: The Communion of Saints. Even those people who never heard of God’s inspired Revelation of Himself believe in a supreme, overruling Being. Another Person than themselves was thinking and speaking and they were seeking to comprehend what He said. With its roots in the 19th century, the Baltimore Catechism uses the term Holy Ghost to refer to the Holy Spirit. No doubt there are incalculable treasures of gold hidden in the recesses of the earth. Some are always won for God’s Kingdom. Volume 90% There is an episode where He spoke to the church at Antioch to separate Saul and Barnabas for the ministry. The Church of God has been commissioned to continue the work. It may have come with the thunders of Sinai, but the heart of it was always the message of mercy. Our guide is the Small Catechism, as expounded by Traditional Pastor Robert Golladay. "These nine days of prayer, reported in Acts 1:14 and 2:3-4, were the first Novena on which all later Novenas have been based. No one, without the help of the Holy Spirit, can say that Jesus is the Christ; but with his help all can say it, and He wants to help every one to say it. John 16:12-13a: “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. The utterances of the Apostles and the prophets were the Word of God. Sometimes there is a certain reaction; a certain operation of God’s Spirit on our spirit produces a result, and that result opens the way for still larger results. The work of the Spirit in the world may surprise you. It was the Holy Spirit who spoke in the prophetic utterances. The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity. In distinctively spiritual things we have no will to chose that which is good. When Jesus came He was Himself the clearest call God had ever given the children of men to come to Him. the 50th day after the feast of Passover – was one of the three major Old Testament feasts. Just as the Holy Spirit raised Christ from the dead, the Holy Spirit will give eternal life to believers in Christ. It must be created, begotten, by God. In comparison with the unutterable darkness which prevailed before it would not be without justification; but it is enlightenment only as the mastery of the alphabet opens the way to the great field of literature. It was not mere architecture. The Divine origin of nature shines forth more clearly in the use of a microscope as we see the perfection of form and adaptation of means to end of the minutest particles of matter. But these variations are easily accounted for. Very often the solution of an apparent difficulty is found in studying the exact words used. The Holy Spirit as “Helper” did the work of revelation, making known to … 1. The steps in the progress of the Holy Spirit’s work in bringing men into sonship and heirship in the Kingdom of God is the next point to which we will give our attention. This helps us see that Jesus’ action of breathing on them on Resurrection Day was an initiation into the Holy Spirit, not the fullness they were meant to have. Indeed, it is a mark of the Divine wisdom of this Book that the same truth is expressed with absolute accuracy in such widely variant forms of expression. What good does the heaven and earth filling riches of Christ do those who are ignorant of His true value, or dead to all power of appropriation? The presence of the Holy Spirit leads to holy forgetfulness. Christians talk about the Holy Spirit, but rarely know how to recognize the Spirit's presence and activity in the world. A very scholarly and brilliant preacher seeking to minimize the difference between the work of the Holy Spirit in apostles and prophets and His work in other men calls attention to the fact that the Bible says that Bezaleel was to be "filled with the Spirit of God" to devise the work of the tabernacle (Ex. No prophet's utterance was of the prophet's own will, but he spoke from God, and the prophet was carried along in his utterance by the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit in apostles and prophets is an entirely distinctive work. 8:7). Jesus had repeatedly told the disciples that He was going to die and be raised from the dead, but th… It overlooks the fact so clearly stated and carefully elucidated that while there is "the same Spirit" there are "diversities of gifts" "diversities of administrations" "diversities of workings" (1 Cor. This may have been due to their slowness to believe all that the prophets had spoken, especially the truths related to Messiah’s suffering (Luke 24:25-26). 6. It is evident from the passage just cited that this doctrine is thoroughly unscriptural and untrue. We read in Eph. There were times when it was sent directly to others. Luke is the most illuminating gospel writer on the topic of the Holy Spirit. Hereby indicating something of their conception of the nature and the character of the operations, of their god. And to preclude all thought of the worth of anything we can do, so far as meriting salvation is concerned, as well as the thought of the possible existence of some other method of appropriating the benefits of Christ, it is written: “Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Rom. “And ye would not” is the lament which even wounded omnipotence must often make. And with the Holy Spirit’s teaching there comes the power to accept what is taught. The dying thief on the cross, who in penitence and faith, clung to Christ in his extremity, received that which not only healed the wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores of his moral and spiritual life; but gave him that adornment of the inner life without which no one can stand approved before the throne of God. iii.3-5, R. V., "By revelation was made known unto me the mystery, as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ; which in other generations was not made known unto the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed unto His holy Apostles and prophets in the Spirit." Jane Williams. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; …” The Lord knew that the disciples were not ready at that point to bear all that He could teach them. Some see the Spirit as some sort of vague force that inspires people to certain heights of artistic expression or particular giftedness. What was the work of the witness? 3. Indeed, many of them are going on concurrently. Faith is not plucked by a little human exertion, as a flower, from the garden of the heavenly graces. It was the Holy spirit that enabled the Apostles to carry out their work on earth without fear. These who are only embittered and hardened withdraw, or appear only to oppose; those who are attracted, who begin to recognize in what God offers in His message that which fits to the needs of their souls, come out more and more decidedly on God’s side. If Jesus Christ is the only Saviour of mankind; if what He has done, without any possible addition from any possible source, is sufficient for man’s salvation; if all that is needed for the appropriation of Christ, and all His blessings, is simply to take it by faith; then the question may recur, with renewed intensity, — what necessity can there be in the plan of salvation for the presence and work of the Holy Spirit? Nothing more is needed. Jesus Himself tells us that it was largely His mission, on going back to heaven, to send the Holy Spirit to teach us all things, to lead us into all truth; that is, of course, all truth needful for our salvation. The work the Holy Spirit as Helper would do for the apostles makes this clear. “The carnal,” that is, the natural, fleshly, “mind is emnity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. Where the Spirit of the Lord operates there alone comes liberty, the power of spiritual choice (2 Cor. " Still again we read in 2 Sam. If this laying hold of Christ is real it will suffice to save, for it is not the strength of the grasp, but the object grasped, which saves. Men always have the power of resistance. Of this we shall have more to say later, but let us remember that it is written that those, and those only, who “are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God (Rom. To request a printable copy [PDF] send an email to: editor@lutheranlibrary.org with the title of this post. Just as fully God as the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is unseen, yet very active, empowering individual believers and the Church alike. The result of their work, the New Testament, is our complete rule of faith and practice, and provides all the guidance we need to please God and go to heaven. We do well therefore to carefully distinguish what Paul may have thought as a man and what he actually did teach as an Apostle. But it is the truth of all Scripture, and of enlightened experience as well. The first step is a call to the spiritually dead. And in one way or another, it was always percolating out to the farthest confines of the races of men. and to walk on the ragged edge of the precipice where lurk the deadly perils? This is a work that was promised by Jesus. We believe that He is the third person of the holy Trinity, that He is co-equal with the Father and the Son in all that makes each of these persons God. And this work He does in the person of the Holy Spirit. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things….” (John 14:26). What would it profit a helplessly paralyzed man if there was a mountain of purest gold only three feet from him, if the condition was that he had personally to appropriate it, and carry it away. To whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto you, did they minister these things, which now have been announced unto you through them that preached the Gospel unto you by the Holy Ghost sent forth from heaven; which things angels desire to look into." We read in 1 Peter i.10, 11, 12, R. V., "Concerning which salvation the prophets sought and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what time or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did point unto, when it (He) testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that should follow them. The work of the Holy Spirit is to give spiritual gifts for the church’s edification. The Seventy Disciples and Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ are those Whom our Saviour chose in addition to the Twelve and sent forth unto the work of preaching. 3:17), — for, as we have seen, no one can say, believingly that Jesus is the Christ but by the Holy Ghost. And man has now no power of begetting it again. Without this work no one can be saved. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. The priests and prophets of Israel were constantly delivering the message the heart of which was always God’s call. But that there is only one way of coming into possession of Christ, and all that He has wrought for our salvation, is also clearly revealed. It is sometimes said that Paul taught in his early ministry that the Lord would return during his lifetime, and that in this he was, of course, mistaken. It considers his personhood, noting that the Holy Spirit is a true person and not simply a divine force. Never has there been, never will there be another. I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.". Christ’s last commission was, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” This duty still rests on the Church, on the Church as a whole, and on each member of it. In what way can we speak of an absolute necessity of the Spirit’s work? It is true he says in 1 Thess. Faith is not a natural attribute of the present inner-life, lying dormant, to be awakened by the proper environment, as are the emotions of anger and human love. But this is not to assert that he would remain alive until the Lord came. He gives this as a proof that the inspiration of the prophet does not differ from the inspiration of the artist or architect, but in doing this, he loses sight of the fact that the tabernacle was to be built after the "pattern shown to Moses in the Mount" (Ex. xxxi.1-11). If we could not account at all for this fact, it would have but little weight against the explicit statement of God's Word with any one who is humble enough and wise enough to recognize that there are a great many things which he cannot account for at all which could be easily accounted for if he knew more. So, by alluding to this verse as an example of the Holy Spirit's work, the Apostles' Creed affirms the Spirit's full divinity. It was made to them by the Spirit of Christ which was in them. This is popularly written and has 39 short chapters. Do all interpret?" What good does it do us while we are ignorant of its existence? In Jesus the world was privileged to see the glory of God’s grace as well as His truth. He kept constantly urging his servants to renewed exertions in their efforts to find other guests. We read in 2 Peter i.21, R. V., "For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Ghost." Baptism of the Holy Spirit The Apostles were already indwelt with the Holy Spirit before Pentecost. No man can say that Jesus is the Lord; but by the Holy Ghost. a. All, let it be constantly borne in mind, the result of the operation of the Spirit of God, brought to bear on the minds and hearts of men through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, and the administration of the Divinely ordained sacraments. The first faint, flickering consciousness of sin; the first dimly seen vision of Jesus as a Saviour; the first faint heartbeat of a desire to be rid of the darkness and to live in the light; this is the beginning of enlightenment. This is particularly true with that step which we call enlightenment. iv.17, "Then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord." It is written by Luke as a sequel to the gospel of Luke, picking up exactly where Luke left off. The Holy Spirit in the Apostle taught not only the thought (or "concept") but the words in which the thought was to he expressed. This work of calling the children of men into God’s kingdom is still going on. Take the parallels of Luke and Acts and discern the work of the Holy Spirit through the apostles and the relationship of Jesus Christ's work. These words make it plain that a Person in the prophets, and independent of the prophets, and that Person the Holy Spirit, revealed truth which was independent of their own thinking, which they did not altogether understand themselves, and regarding which it was necessary that they make diligent search and study. Mar 22, 2019. To give us the eyes to see, the heart to appreciate, and the hand of faith to grasp the riches in Christ Jesus, this is the work of the Holy Spirit. With the passage of time, others were added to their number by the Holy Apostles, who, with the accompaniment and assistance of the Seventy, were preaching the Gospel of Christ in various lands. There are those who think that in 1 Cor. We read in 1 Cor. They are truths which have to do with the genesis of the Christian life, but they are not only for our Christian childhood, but vital yet for the ripest Christian manhood and womanhood. We further believe that the Holy Spirit, as is the case with the other members of the family of the Deity, has a particular work to perform, especially with respect to the carrying out of the plan whereby the children of men are to be saved. The Holy Spirit: How He Works – Question 16 The Bible lists three instances in which the Holy Spirit spoke to the apostles. Holy Spirit works in the lives of believers to renew, sanctify, and make us holy. Do all speak with tongues? Nothing could be plainer than Paul's statement "in words which the Spirit teacheth." 8:14). Acts of the Apostles, part 7: The Acts of the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts is called Acts of the Apostles but more aptly it is the work of the Holy Spirit working through the apostles. We read in 1 Cor. Thus, the work of the Holy Spirit as the Helper or Comforter has been completed. The revelation made to the prophets was independent of their own thinking. Pentecost, oil on canvas by El Greco, c. 1600; in the Prado, Madrid. The Saviour was constantly emphasizing the fact that His call was for all, that all were welcome, were really wanted. ii.13, "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe." Everything everywhere in human life substantiates the Scripture teaching that man is by nature spiritually dead, that a new life must be begotten in him. Our heavenly Father, in great grace, has revealed this truth to us His children through His servants, the apostles and the prophets. As he was still living when he wrote the words, he naturally and properly did not include himself with those who had already fallen asleep in speaking of the Lord's return. And was a subject of inquiry to their own mind as to its meaning. Not a jot or tittle needs to be added to what He has done in order to make it effective. Everywhere throughout the Gospel reverberates the cry, “repent and believe the Gospel.” Everywhere, in one or another form, stands written the promise: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Are all apostles? In all ages, from the time our first parents banished themselves from God’s garden, God has been having this call proclaimed. If our consciousness differs from the statements of this Book, which is so plainly God's Book, it is not yet fully Christian and the thing to do is not to try to pull God's revelation down to the level of our consciousness but to tone our consciousness up to the level of God's Word. For example, there can be little doubt that Paul had many mistaken notions about many things but when he taught as an Apostle in the Spirit's power, he was infallible -- or rather the Spirit, who taught through him was infallible and the consequent teaching was infallible -- as infallible as God Himself. 1 Cor. And a faint and faltering vision of the good things offered him. Let’s be as clear as possible: Peter had … Jesus Christ Himself is the one perfect manifestation in history of the complete work of the Holy Spirit in man. And to this end He sends forth His call. by Dennis Pollock . This is the unmistakable teaching of God’s Word. Text taken from John 14:26. In a similar manner, the Divine origin of the Bible shines forth more clearly under the microscope as we notice the perfection with which the turn of a word reveals the absolute thought of God. Today on Groundwork, let's discuss the meaning packed into these two simple lines and exactly what we're professing belief in when we recite them. Some will not make it. As a man, that is except as the Spirit taught him and used him, the prophet might be as fallible as other men are but when the Spirit was upon him and he was taken up and borne along by the Holy Spirit, he was infallible in his teachings; for his teachings in that case were not his own, but the teachings of the Holy Spirit. Stephen Unthank. This lesson talks about the Holy Spirit's divinity, his full membership in the Godhead. In a similar way God says in 1 Thess. This is also a necessary inference from the fact that thought is conveyed from mind to mind by words and it is the words which express the thought, and if the words were imperfect, the thought expressed in these words would necessarily be imperfect and to that extent be untrue. May this series bless and inspire you. Wherever God’s Word is preached forces are set into operation, forces of attraction or repulsion. Even among the really sober minded, who have caught visions of the light of heavenly truth, who have heartily chosen the better part, how great the still inherent weakness, how frequent the failures. How do we explain for instance that Paul always used Pauline language and John Johannean language, etc.?" At first he sees spiritual things much after the fashion of the blind man who, after Christ’s first application, saw men as trees walking. He has at least a vague impression of the awfulness of his sinful condition. There are many who tell us to-day that we should test the statements of Scripture by the conclusions of human reasoning or by the "Christian consciousness." The Holy Spirit kept him from this as from all other errors in his teachings. The Apostles' Creed: The Holy Spirit 14 Days This reading plan talks about the Holy Spirit's divinity, his full membership in the Godhead. The natural man is blind, deaf and dumb to spiritual things, and this includes faith. Some in the church see the Spirit as the dispenser of spectacular gifts. Truth hidden from man for ages and which they had not discovered and could not discover by the unaided processes of human reasoning has been revealed to apostles and prophets in the Spirit. Only the fool says in his heart, there is no God. We will take as our subject. After Jesus ascended to Heaven His Apostles, together with Mary and other members of the original Christian Church, continued to pray together until the feast of Pentecost when, in accordance with Jesus' promise, "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Do we yield to His gracious solicitations? Without this nothing would be accomplished by all the preaching that could be done, for “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. The first step in the process of bringing the spiritually dead to life and the aliens to membership in God’s kingdom is the proclamation of God’s desire that it should be done, and that He has made all provisions by which it may be done. 11:6). The doctrine is becoming very common and very popular in our day that the work of the Holy Spirit in preachers and teachers and in ordinary believers, illuminating them and guiding them into the truth and opening their minds to understand the Word of God is the same in kind and differs only in degree from the work of the Holy Spirit in prophets and apostles. Are we anxious to have Him? It was His word that was upon the prophet's tongue. “Gracious Spirit! And some of these heathen people called their god, the Great Spirit. It was the Word of God done into wood, gold, silver, brass, cloth, skin, etc. And as He went about on earth He was constantly inviting, urging men to come to Him that He might enrich them by the bestowal of His blessings. Especially does this apply to the work of the Holy Spirit. In this sense we speak of the absolute necessity of the Spirit’s work to our salvation. We have no right to expect a new Pentecost, that was a miraculous gift for a special purpose; but every needed measure of the Holy Spirit God is anxious to bestow. xxv.9, 40) and that therefore it was itself a prophecy and an exposition of the truth of God. The Gospel call, though always accompanied by the Holy Spirit with all His converting power, is not irresistible. We Christians believe that there is a God one of the persons of which Being is properly called the Holy Spirit. xxiii.2, we read, "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue." Of the seventy or so occurrences of the … This is the reason Jesus says, through the Apostle, “No man can say, say believingly, with an appropriating faith, “that Jesus is the Lord, but by the holy Ghost.” The perfect salvation in Christ Jesus awaits us, but the organ of appropriation is wanting. It was not their own thought, but His. The necessity of this work, and the steps in its progress are the points under which our thoughts will be grouped. 2:14). The Holy Spirit plays a key role in the Acts of the Apostles, leading to the use of the titles "Book of the Holy Spirit" or the "Acts of the Holy Spirit" for that book of the New Testament. The result of this life of ever growing faith and knowledge will be a life brought more and more into conformity to the pattern Christ has set before us in word and example. By God's grace, each week LutheranLibrary.org will present a new message on the basics of the Evangelical Christian Faith. If this be the true interpretation of the passage (which is more than doubtful) we see how careful Paul was when he was not sure to note the fact and this gives us additional certainty in all other passages. Yet, this initial step should be followed by successive steps continuing while life lasts; the result of which is an ever growing appreciation of the preciousness of the Gospel, the fulness of God’s love, the perfection of Christ’s righteousness, and the blessedness of the life hid with Christ in God. It is evident from these verses that the work of the Holy Spirit in apostles and prophets is of a distinctive character. And we are not faithful to our Lord, not faithful to the Church of God, not faithful to our own profession, not faithful toward those who need our help, when we refuse, or neglect, to help discharge this duty. The Work of Apostles This is the great commission given to us by Christ, spread the Good News to all nations, and Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The Bible contains truth that men had never discovered before the Bible stated it. The capacity for faith is in every human soul, but it is not self-generated or developed, as are the faculties of the mind. that in extent, or efficacy, it needs to be supplemented? When He said, “I am the bread of life, he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst,” it was the strongest kind of an invitation to men to come and find in Him all their souls needed. So that with the Lord’s invitation there goes, hand in hand, a constant gathering of souls as recruits for the Lord’s army. With this call there always goes what is often called a prevenient grace; the deadness, the inertness, the positive attitude of repulsion is, for the time being at least, removed. 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