2009-01-04 - The Holy Spirit
Part 1 ~ Introduction
Back in the 70s, I was doing a pilot group for the burgeoning small group Bible study movement. The first group I led was made up of the pastor and future small group leaders. The second group was a bit more diverse, but was still made up of people who had been in the church a number of years. One of the studies was on basic doctrines, specifically teachings on the Holy Spirit. No one seemed to have a clear understanding about this subject. What really floored me was when one of the individuals, a board member, referred to the Holy Spirit as it and seemed to believe it was simply a manifestation of God the Fathers power. As one of the spiritual leaders of our Body, his understanding of both the Trinity and the Holy Spirit was sadly lacking. But then again, Im not sure this lack isnt endemic to the church at large.
Much of what will be covered is based on the work of Alan B. Stringfellow in volume 3 of the Through The Bible In One Year material.1 The study is certainly not intended to be comprehensive, but hopefully will encourage you to do some more study of this topic on your own. Finally, there are aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit which are debated by different wings of Christianity. Generally these disagreements are over secondary issues and therefore are not related to issues of salvation. This being the case, it is appropriate to agree to disagree, and not to behave as if those who hold views different from our own are either unbelievers or, at best, a sub-class of believers.
Comments or Questions?