by Dennis Pollock . The natural man is blind, deaf and dumb to spiritual things, and this includes faith. Luke was one of the followers of the apostles and was closed to Paul. Pentecost, oil on canvas by El Greco, c. 1600; in the Prado, Madrid. 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. 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." The phrases "I believe in the holy catholic church" and "I believe in the communion of saints" in the Apostles Creed profess what Christians believe about the Holy Spirit and his work in the Church. 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. Baptism of the Holy Spirit The Apostles were already indwelt with the Holy Spirit before Pentecost. Here Paul declares that the word which he spoke, taught by the Spirit of God, was the very word of God. 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. Never has there been, never will there be another. There is nothing in the Bible more inspired than the tabernacle, and if the Destructive Critics would study it more, they would give up their ingenious but untenable theories as to the composite structure of the Pentateuch. xii.4, 8-11, 28, 29, R. V., "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.... For to one is given through the Spirit wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit; and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits: to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each severally even as He will.... And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, divers kinds of tongues. The presence of the Holy Spirit leads to holy forgetfulness. Our heavenly Father, in great grace, has revealed this truth to us His children through His servants, the apostles and the prophets. In the Bible we have the record of what he taught as an Apostle. Christians talk about the Holy Spirit, but rarely know how to recognize the Spirit's presence and activity in the world. Even those people who never heard of God’s inspired Revelation of Himself believe in a supreme, overruling Being. In spite of all that God the Holy Spirit has done for them, and is still striving to do in them, how weak, often, is our faith, how lethargic is our spiritual life; how slothful we are in doing the Spirit’s work. Indeed, many of them are going on concurrently. The Holy Spirit: How He Works – Question 16 The Bible lists three instances in which the Holy Spirit spoke to the apostles. We read in Eph. 8:14). No doubt there are incalculable treasures of gold hidden in the recesses of the earth. There is much reasoning in these days about inspiration that appears at first sight very learned, but that will not bear much rigid scrutiny or candid comparison with the exact statements of the Word of God. 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. The Holy Spirit has Himself anticipated all the modern ingenious and wholly unbiblical and false theories regarding His own work in the Apostles. 7. And a faint and faltering vision of the good things offered him. How Did the Holy Spirit Speak to the Apostles? 5. Have all gifts of healings? 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. This is the reason we confess, as the Third Article teaches us, “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord, or come to Him.” This is not a flattering confession. 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. 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. 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. 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. He imparts to apostles and prophets an especial gift for an especial purpose. The capacity for faith is in every human soul, but it is not self-generated or developed, as are the faculties of the mind. 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. that in extent, or efficacy, it needs to be supplemented? 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. John 16:12-13a: “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. To the superficial student, the doctrine of verbal inspiration may appear questionable or even absurd; any regenerated and Spirit-taught man, who ponders the words of the Scripture day after day and year after year, will become convinced that the wisdom of God is in the very words, as well as in the thought which the words endeavour to convey. Since my earliest days in Christ I have been fascinated by the Holy Spirit. In Jesus the world was privileged to see the glory of God’s grace as well as His truth. 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. 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. xii.29). Are we anxious to have Him? 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. The accuracy, precision and inerrancy of the exact words used is amazing. It considers his personhood, noting that the Holy Spirit is a true person and not simply a divine force. The Holy Spirit as “Helper” did the work of revelation, making known to … Do we yield to His gracious solicitations? 4. And some of these heathen people called their god, the Great Spirit. It was His word that was upon the prophet's tongue. It was the Word of God done into wood, gold, silver, brass, cloth, skin, etc. We read again in Acts xxviii.25, R. V., "And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken the word, 'Well spake the Holy Ghost by Isaiah the prophet unto your fathers saying, etc.' 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. The work of the Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity in the plan of salvation. Without this work no one can be saved. Today, then, we will continue this line of thought. The Acts of the Apostles has sometimes been called the "Book of the Holy Spirit" or the "Acts of the Holy Spirit". The Gospel call, though always accompanied by the Holy Spirit with all His converting power, is not irresistible. This is the only way to growth in grace. The Work of the Holy Spirit in Prophets and Apostles. 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. The necessity of this work, and the steps in its progress are the points under which our thoughts will be grouped. It is true he says in 1 Thess. It was the Holy Spirit who spoke in the prophetic utterances. Very often the solution of an apparent difficulty is found in studying the exact words used. And was a subject of inquiry to their own mind as to its meaning. The work of the Holy Spirit is to give spiritual gifts for the church’s edification. And in one way or another, it was always percolating out to the farthest confines of the races of men. Over and over again in these passages we are told that it was the Holy Spirit who was the speaker in the prophetic utterances and that it was His word, not theirs, that was upon the prophet's tongue. 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. Love Divine!Let Thy light within me shine;All my guilty fears remove;Fill me with Thy heav’nly love. Nothing more is needed. It was not their own thought, but His. The prophet was simply the mouth by which the Holy Spirit spoke. xii.4-6) and that "not all are prophets" and "not all are apostles" (1 Cor. Text taken from John 14:26. Jesus sends His disciples into the world to witness under the influence of the Holy Spirit. 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. 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. " Still again we read in 2 Sam. There is not one of the most distinctive and precious doctrines taught in the Bible that men have ever discovered apart from the Bible. 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. And Bezaleel needed as much special inspiration to reveal the truth in wood, gold, silver, brass, etc., as the apostle or prophet needs it to reveal the Word of God with pen and ink on parchment. 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. and to walk on the ragged edge of the precipice where lurk the deadly perils? the 50th day after the feast of Passover – was one of the three major Old Testament feasts. The teaching that the “ Spirit of the Lord God coming upon ” those who preach the gospel is the same as the “ Baptism of the Spirit ” the Apostles experienced during their ministry. The fact that the Bible does contain truth that man never had discovered we know not merely because it is so stated in the Scriptures, but we know it also as a matter of fact. As we will see later in this lesson, only God can have the power of the Most High. This moment has traditionally been called the birthday of the Church. And after each new accession, the plaintive announcement went forth, “and yet there is room.” And that there might be no shadow of doubt as to the inclusiveness of His invitation, He says: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”. When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth. 1. Salvation full and free has been prepared by Christ, is found in Him, and received with Him. We read in Mark vii.13, "Making the word of God of none effect, through your tradition, which ye have delivered; and many such like things do ye." \, “Let me never from Thee stray;Keep me in the narrow way;Fill my soul with joy divine;Keep me, Lord, forever Thine.”. 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." 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. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things….” (John 14:26). 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. 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. To request a printable copy [PDF] send an email to: email@example.com with the title of this post. xxv.9, 40) and that therefore it was itself a prophecy and an exposition of the truth of God. In distinctively spiritual things we have no will to chose that which is good. Faith is not plucked by a little human exertion, as a flower, from the garden of the heavenly graces. This lesson talks about the Holy Spirit's divinity, his full membership in the Godhead. This is the reason Jesus says: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God (St. John 3:3, 5). This is a work that was promised by Jesus. xxiii.2, we read, "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue." Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit. There is much more which an intelligent confession of this part of our Creed should embrace than it was possible to set forth in that one address. And man has now no power of begetting it again. Of the seventy or so occurrences of the … SUBJECT: Godhead TITLE: The Work of the Holy Ghost in the Primitive Church PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will study the role of the Holy Spirit in the early church. This is particularly true with that step which we call enlightenment. The apostles by the help of the Holy Spirit completed their task. We will take as our subject. In man’s original state of integrity he unquestionably lived in the sphere of faith, his whole life was a life of faith, of receptive dependence on God; but when sin came faith died. How difficult it is to win them to the paths which are sane and safe. The work of the Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity in the plan of salvation. In this sense we speak of the absolute necessity of the Spirit’s work to our salvation. The child that has just laboriously learned to read a few sentences in its primer has not gone very far in comparison with a Shakspeare or a Goethe; but these men began in this way, and without it they could not have reached their later estate. This passage clearly teaches that the words, as well as the thought, were chosen and taught by the Holy Spirit. 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. 3:28). Do all speak with tongues? 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 was not mere architecture. 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. Faith is not only the means whereby man passes through the portal into the kingdom of grace, faith is itself a gift of grace. By God's grace, each week LutheranLibrary.org will present a new message on the basics of the Evangelical Christian Faith. 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. He kept constantly urging his servants to renewed exertions in their efforts to find other guests. In what way can we speak of an absolute necessity of the Spirit’s work? 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. Stephen Unthank. The Bible contains truth that men had never discovered before the Bible stated it. There is an episode where He spoke to the church at Antioch to separate Saul and Barnabas for the ministry. But this call is never wholly in vain. Especially does this apply to the work of the Holy Spirit. We believe also that the Holy Spirit is an equal partner in all the great and multiplied activities whereby the universe was produced, and is controlled. And it explores the work that the Holy Spirit did in the past, and that he continues to do today. 2. 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." Men always have the power of resistance. “Gracious Spirit! 2. As a result, there is soon a separation of elements. But it is the truth of all Scripture, and of enlightened experience as well. 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. 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. x.15, 16, "Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that He had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord. 12:3. There were times when it was sent directly to others. We read in 1 Cor. The work of the Spirit in the world may surprise you. The Pentecost – i.e. Are we vitally interested in them? A change of a word, or letter, or a tense, or case, or number, in many instances would land us into contradiction or untruth, but taking the words exactly as written, difficulties disappear and truth shines forth. Do we use the Word through which He operates, and thus give Him a chance to answer our prayers? When we read these words, we are listening not to the voice of man, but to the voice of God. 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. Jesus is the world’s only Saviour. I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.". Let’s be as clear as possible: Peter had … In the parable of the wedding feast He shows how deeply grieved He is at the empty seats. It contains truth that men never could have discovered if left to themselves. But some one may ask, "If the Holy Spirit is the author of the words of Scripture, how do we account for variations in style and diction? xxiii.2, R. V., "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was upon my tongue." 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. Not in the least. 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