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The Doctrine of Pnematology

by Christopher Warrington


I BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit (HS) is a separate and individual being of the Trinity. Though there are many angelic type beings (Mk. 8:38, Lk. 7:21) there is only one HS (1 Cor. 12:13). He is not merely a force or the strength of God, but is a separate entity with power to do good work (Lk. 4:14; 1 Cor. 2:4). Though the HS does not have physical form (Lk. 1:35, Jn. 3:8) nor gender, Scripture states that he performs actions and has attributes similar to that of a person. Some of these attributes include a will (1 Cor. 12:11; Acts 16:6-11), intelligence (1 Cor. 2:10-11; Rom. 8:27) and emotions (Eph. 4:30; Rom. 15:30); and actions include teaching (Jn. 14:26), witnessing (Jn. 15:26), sending others/commanding or directing (Acts 13:4), guiding one’s steps (Rom. 8:14), leading one’s actions (Gal. 5:18), convicting (Jn. 16:7-8), restraining (Gen. 6:3), and interceding for believers (Rom. 8:27). Actions can also be taken against the HS; actions like being obeyed (Acts 10:19-21), lied to (Acts 5:3), grieved (Eph. 4:30) and blasphemed (Mt. 12:31).

I BELIEVE that the HS is divine in nature and essence and is of equal portion to the Trinity along with God the Father and Jesus Christ (Mt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14). The Bible makes it apparent that the HS is divine as he is associated with God the Father (Is. 6:1-13; Acts 28:25; Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 10:15-17), is the same as the Father (1 Co 2:10-11) and the same as Jesus (2 Co 3:17). He is divine in his interactions with the human race as these interactions are described as interacting with God (Acts 5:3-4; Mt. 12:31-32). He is also seen as being set apart as sacred through his ‘holiness’ (Ps. 51:11; Is. 63:10).

I BELIEVE that the primary work of the HS is to be the continued presence of God on earth and through the Church (Jn. 15:26). He was present at the time of creation (Gen. 1:2; Dt. 32:10-11; Is. 63:7-14) and is continually working through creation by giving and preserving life (Job. 33:4, 14-15, Ps. 104:30). He is present through the salvific work of God in that he restrains evil (Gen. 6:3; 20:6; Rom. 13:1-4; 2 Thess. 2:7), convicts of sin (Jn. 16:8-11), regenerates the hardened heart (Rom. 3:10-12), so that we can hear and respond to the gospel (Jn. 1:13; 3:3; Tit. 3:5; 1 Pet 1:23) and come to faith (Rom. 8:30; 1 Cor. 1:9; Gal. 1:15). And finally, he is active in the baptism (1 Cor. 12:13) and assurance of a believer’s ultimate redemption (Eph. 1:13-14).

I BELIEVE that after the redemption of a person, the HS is active in that believer’s live to help bring about their sanctification (Rom. 15:16; 2 Thess. 2:13). He assists in their sanctification in a few different ways. Firstly, he gives empowerment over sin (Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Thess. 5:19; Eph. 5:18) and empowerment for service (Num. 27:18; Mt. 12:28; Acts 1:2, 8; 1 Cor. 3:4; Phil. 1:19) by stimulating love (Col. 1:8), giving inner spiritual power (Eph. 3:16) and delegating spiritual gifts to be used to serve the Church body (1 Cor. 2:12; 1 Cor. 12:11). Secondly, he provides guidance (Mt. 4:1; Acts 8:29; Acts 16:6-7; Rom. 8:14) and promotes unity and fellowship among believers (Eph. 4:3, Phil. 2:1-2; Col. 2:5). As he guides, he also illuminates the scriptures (Eph. 1:17-19), which he inspired the authors of Scripture to write (Num. 24:2; 2 Pet. 2:21), and reveals its meaning to present day believers (1 Cor. 2:12; Jn. 14:16-17; 16:12, 1 Jn. 2:20, 27) by speaking to their souls (1 Cor. 2:12). Thirdly, he helps transform believers by prompting worship of God (Jn. 4:23). Lastly, he remains with believers as a helper and comforter (Jn. 14:16; Acts 13:52; Rom. 14:16) by producing joy (Acts 9:31; 1 Thess. 1:6), convincing them of their status as adopted children of God (Gal. 4:5-6), and giving them inner spiritual strength (Eph. 3:16).



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