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1. The Holy Spirit inseparably continues the ministry of the Father and the Son.

He was despatched rather than the bodily presence of Jesus. The ministry of the apostles and the early church within the energy of the Spirit continued Jesuss ministry (Acts 1:12; 2:47; cf. John 16:1215). Once more, Paul displays on the Father sending the Son in his incarnation and so additionally the Spirit at Pentecost; not solely is the Spirit despatched by the Father, however he’s additionally known as the Spirit of [the Fathers] Son (Gal. 4:46). The Father additionally is claimed to ship the Spirit (John 14:26), whereas the Son additionally sends him, having obtained him from the Father (Acts 2:33). A lot within the New Testomony helps the Orthodox level that the Spirit is shipped by the Father and obtained by the Son, right here and at his baptism, with the Son then pouring him out on his church.

Robert Letham

This single-volume systematic theology seeks to offer a transparent and concise articulation of the Reformed religion, rooted in historic educating whereas addressing present challenges within the lifetime of the church.

2. Pentecost thus marks a brand new period within the historical past of redemption.

It fulfills Previous Testomony prophecy. The Spirit is now current in a heightened method. He was current within the Previous Testomony (he may hardly have been absent) however not within the foreground as within the New. How and in what methods was the Spirit lively within the Previous Testomony? Warfield, in contemplating the work of the Spirit within the cosmos, the dominion of God, and the person, concluded that he was at work in all of the methods by which he’s at work within the New Testomony.1 Nonetheless, there’s something new: first, the miraculous endowments of the apostles, along with the church buildings they based; second, the worldwide mission of the Spirit, promised within the Previous Testomony however solely now realized; and, third and principally, the truth that the Previous Testomony was preparatory for the New Testomony, the Spirit then preserving the folks of, whereas now he produces the fruitage and gathering of the harvest.2


The excellence just isn’t between his presence now in contrast with a putative absence within the Previous Testomony however slightly between the falling away of what was preparatory and short-term (the Previous Testomony) and the emergence of what’s last, binding and everlasting (the New). Galatians 4:46 is once more pertinent. Israel was Gods son within the Previous Testomony, nevertheless it was so in a method little in need of servant standing. It was a toddler in its minority, below the safety of a pedagogue, a slave entrusted with its care and upbringing (Gal. 3:24). With Christs coming and the Spirits sending at Pentecost, Gods folks have been adopted as mature sons. So important is the sending of the Spirit that Paul describes this transition in absolute phrases, as elsewhere does John (John 1:17; 4:24). Therefore, within the Previous Testomony the Spirit got here intermittently on the prophets, whereas now he’s poured out on all flesh (Acts 2:1621). Then his presence together with his folks was spasmodic (Ps. 51:11); now he’s given completely (John 14:17, 23).

The Previous Testomony describes him because the giver of life (Gen. 1:2; Pss. 33:9; 104:2930), the One who empowers for numerous types of service in Gods kingdom (Ex. 31:3; 35:3134; Num. 27:18; Judg. 3:10; 1 Sam. 16:13), because the protector of Gods folks (1 Sam. 19:20, 23; Isa. 63:1112; Hag. 2:5), indwelling them (Num. 27:18; Deut. 34:9; Ezek. 2:2; 3:24; Dan. 4:89, 18; 5:11; Mic. 3:8), and above all resting on and empowering the Messiah (Isa. 11:23; 42:1; 61:1).

Within the New Testomony the Spirit is introduced because the One who purifies and sanctifies (Matt. 3:11; Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:2223; 1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Pet. 1:2); reveals fact to the apostles and prophets, teaches and illumines all Gods folks (Luke 12:12; John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Cor. 12:10 ff.; 1 Tim. 4:1; 1 John 2:1927); directs the apostles, evangelists, prophets, and different church leaders (Acts 8:29; 10:1920; 13:2; 15:28; 20:2223); and grants assurance (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 3:24; 4:13) and unity (1 Cor. 12:721; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 2:1822; 4:36; Phil. 2:12). There may be continuity but additionally a extra lavish outpouring and a wider ministry within the New Testomony.

The Spirit unites folks to Christ by and thru his Phrase.

3. The church of Jesus Christ is a Pentecostal church.

The church was despatched to baptize, train, and disciple within the energy of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is the Phrase of the Spirit and due to this fact the target bearer of the Spirits energy, and thus it’s the Phrase of Christ. The Spirit unites folks to Christ by and thru his Phrase.

The actions of Ananias and Sapphira in deceptive the apostles are described as mendacity to the Holy Spirit, which introduced upon them swift and unmistakable self-discipline enforced not by the human leaders however by the Spirit himself (Acts 5:111). The Spirit disciplines the church. Administrative and judicial self-discipline and the thought of selections of the Council of Jerusalem are additionally the choices of the Spirit (Acts 15:28).

There’s a conjunction between the calling, ordaining, and sending of the church at Antioch and the actions of the Spirit (Acts 13:17). The Spirit set Saul and Barnabas aside for missionary labors and made this recognized to the church leaders, who in flip set the 2 aside by prayer and the imposition of arms and so despatched them away, a sending that was in the end by the Holy Spirit. Church motion and motion by the Spirit had been coordinate. Certainly, all through Acts the Spirit directs Pauls missionary labors (Acts 16:6 ff.). Pauls apostolic authority is the Spirits work. Though he has no directions from Jesus from his earthly ministry on a matter, but Pauls apostolic recommendation is of equal weight, since he has the Spirit of God to direct him as an apostle (1 Cor. 7:1012, 40).3

4. The Holy Spirit brings about our union with Christ in our life historical past, doing this by grace by way of religion.

Our religion and all that flows from it within the Christian life is as a result of Spirit, who renews us within the picture of God and transforms us into Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). Finally, when Christ returns in glory, we will likely be like him (1 John 3:12). This complete course of happens by way of religion. Religion is the principal work of the Holy Spirit, as Calvin mentioned.4 The Spirit unites us to Christ. As a home advantages from electrical energy when hooked as much as the grid, so we profit from the work of Christ when it turns into ours because the Spirit unites us to him.5

Notes:
1. B. B. Warfield, The Spirit of God within the Previous Testomony, in Biblical and Theological Research, ed. Samuel G. Craig (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1952), 154.
2. Warfield, Spirit of God, 15556.
3. H. B. Swete, The Holy Spirit within the Historical Church: A Research of Christian Educating within the Age of the Fathers (1912; repr., Eugene, OR: Wipf & Inventory), 80, cites Tertullian, who remarks on the ability of the Holy Spirit within the self-discipline of the church and on the novelty of the New Testomony.
4. Calvin, Institutes, 3.1.4
5. A picture utilized in Anthony N. S. Lane, Justification by Religion in Catholic-Protestant Dialogue: An Evangelical Evaluation (London: T&T Clark, 2002), 23.

This text is customized from Systematic Theology by Robert Letham.



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