4. Holy Spirit
The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is one that is least understood of the Baptist Doctrines. It has been misused, abused, and least taught of our Baptist Doctrines. Yet this doctrine is the companion to the work of Jesus Christ, Messiah in Doctrine three.
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. (Also called Holy Ghost in KJV) In the O.T. His work was specific and focused. In the N.T., the Holy Spirit took on a new and special work. When Jesus ascended into heaven after His crucifixion, He assured his disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit to them. This became fact on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:4) This special work of the Holy Spirit was the indwelling of the believer.
In the O.T. the work of the Holy Spirit was specific and focused. He was involved in creation. He was the Spirit presence that would come into a prophet’s or leader’s life for a specific purpose and time. The Holy Spirit did not indwell a believer, prophet, or leader in the O.T. in the same way as in the N.T. The work of the Holy Spirit was for a specific purpose and for a limited time depending upon God’s purpose. Many of the writers and prophets of the O.T. were inspired by the Holy Spirit to set forth God’s prophecies and ordinances for the Israelites to follow.
The Holy Spirit would anoint specific individuals for a purpose or work. While under this anointing, the person would have a special communion with God to speak for God and set forth instructions for the tribe of Israel. Prophecy may or may not be part of the work that they were to do. The covering of the Holy Spirit was in most cases for a limited amount of time and seldom for a lifetime. As we progress with the covering of this doctrine, we will see the difference between the old and the new.
The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit:
Acts 2:4 relates for us the event that occurred on Pentecost. This Pentecost Event changed all that was known about the Holy Spirit and His work. The Holy Spirit had now become the indwelling Spirit of Christ that was given to believers at the moment that they confessed Jesus Christ as Lord. The work of the Holy Spirit in the believer was as comforter, teacher, healer, and guide. This was an unknown factor before Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to believers on Pentecost.
The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is simple. As believer’s go about their daily tasks, the Holy Spirit acted as guide. As believer’s read God’s Word, the Holy Spirit acts as teacher and instructor for the meaning that is within the scripture. When a believer is in prayer, the Holy Spirit is the instant communicator for the request or thought in the prayer to the Father and Jesus. In times of sorrow or loss, the Holy Spirit is the source of comfort from God. The Holy Spirit is also the source for the spiritual gifts given by our Heavenly Father. When a believer stumbles or errs, the Holy Spirit is the one that brings conviction of an incorrect decision or act. He is also the believer’s guardian in time of trouble.
A believer that does not understand the work of the Holy Spirit is in serious trouble. A believer must know the how and why of the Holy Spirit’s work and work with Him to be obedient to the Father and Jesus. Not to do this is to be a weak and ineffective Christian. Therefore, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit needs to be well understood and utilized in the believer’s everyday walk. Succeeding posts will give more about the work of the Holy Spirit.