THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit to glorify Christ, to convict men of sin, to righteousness, to judge, and to empower the believer.

 

As we saw with the Trinity, God reveals the person of the Holy Spirit progressively throughout Scripture.  Wherever He appears, the Holy Spirit creates and inhabits the temple of God.  The temple is the place where God dwells and shows forth His glory.  The very first temple created was the universe, and so the Holy Spirit first appeared at creation.  When the Spirit hovered over the waters (Genesis 1:2), He was creating a natural revelation of the supernatural glory of heaven.  Heaven and earth were established as a holy place of the Creator King.  The Holy Spirit continues to appear throughout the Old Testament.  During the ministry of Moses, the people of God built the tabernacle and the Holy Spirit came and filled the tabernacle (Exodus 40: 34-35).  Illustrating that this was the place where God dwelled and showed forth His glory.  During the reign of Solomon, a stationary temple was built, and the Spirit of God came and filled the temple the same way (2 Chronicles 7:1-3).  When Israel was exiled for continually breaking God’s law, Solomon’s temple was destroyed.  The prophets told of a magnificent temple the Spirit would come to dwell in in an unprecedented way (Ezekiel 43;1-9). He would be poured into the hearts of all God’s people (Ezekiel 36:26-27, Joel 2:28-29).  When the exiles finally returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple, the Spirit did not inhabit it as it had before.

 

The incarnation brought the beginning of the fulfillment of the prophetic hope.  At the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit descended to the earth for the first time since before the exile, because Jesus was the greatest temple of God (Mark1:9-11).  The Gospel of John tells us that Jesus dwelled, or literally became the tabernacle among us and embodied the glory of God (John 1:14, John 2:19).  Jesus was the place where God dwelled and showed forth His glory to His people in a new way.  After His death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit upon His followers.  This fulfilled the promise of the prophets that God would pour out His Spirit in an unprecedented way upon His people (Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2:1-21).  Just as the Holy Spirit inhabited the temple of God in the Old Testament, He now inhabits the people of God.  He dwells in the people of God and shows forth His glory.  This is creation of the Church.  We, both individually and corporately, are the temple of God and the dwelling place of His Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

 

Since the Holy Spirit creates and inhabits the temple of God, and since we are that temple, the Spirit is the primary force throughout the process of our salvation.  The Holy Spirit regenerates believers so that we may turn from our sin, exercise faith in Christ, and receive the gift of salvation (John 3:3-5, Titus 3:5-7).  In order to do this, the Holy Spirit leads us into truth, illuminating our minds and hearts to understand God’s Word (John 14:26, 1John 2:20, 1 John2:27, Ephesians 1:17-18), and He produces obedience in us (1Peter 1:1-2).