PBS: What do Baptists believe about the Holy Spirit?

March 20, 2008


Here are the notes from Wednesday’s study on the Holy Spirit:

#7 – What do Baptists believe about the Holy Spirit?

Many Christians know very little about the Holy Spirit. This is sad because throughout the Bible the Holy Spirit is identified as the divine agent behind many of the most important events in God’s dealings with humankind. The Spirit has a role in many aspects of our salvation. The Holy Spirit is a person, not an inanimate or depersonalized force. There are three aspects of the Holy Spirit that we believe:

“The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ.”

1. The Holy Spirit Inspired God’s Word – Through verbal plenary inspiration God used various people, their gifts, talents, and personalities to write Scripture. The human authors wrote exactly what they wanted to write and the Holy Spirit moved the authors to write exactly what He wanted them to write. The Holy Spirit works within believers to accomplish His sovereign purposes (unlike Islam’s dictation from Allah to Mohammed)

2. The Holy Spirit Ministers to People – The HS has many different purposes and responsibilities

“He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.”

a. He convicts of sin – We know what is right and wrong because the HS convicts. Question: Does the HS convict people who are not saved? Yes, somehow – Read John 16:5-11

“He calls men to the Savior,”

b. He calls unbelievers to salvation – The HS having convicted the sinner of sin, calls the sinner to Christ.

“…and effects regeneration.”

c. He brings regeneration – The HS effects regeneration, or a new birth, as He calls us to faith in Christ.

“At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ.”

d. He indwells believers – Peter said at Pentecost, “Repent … and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) Because we believe this we reject the Pentecostal and Charismatic doctrine of the second blessing which states that the baptism of the HS is separate from the gift of the Spirit at the moment of regeneration.

“He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption.”

e. He seals believers – You cannot lose your salvation. “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of god, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Eph. 4:30) Therefore, one is lost, saved, or grieving the HS. Question: How long can one grieve the HS?

“His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ.”

f. He illuminates truth – The HS illuminates believers’ spiritual discernment so that they understand truth. “We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, in order to know what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.” (1 Cor. 2:12-13). Criswell said that the HS takes the place of Jesus in the flesh. When we possess the HS we possess the HS

g. He teaches believers – The HS works within believers to produce and understanding of spiritual things. He opens our spiritual eyes. He is our constant teacher, opening our understanding to the things of God. “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.” (John 16:13)

h. He intercedes for believers – He intercedes with “groanings too deep for words.” (Rom. 8:26)

“He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church.”

3. The Holy Spirit Builds the Church
– The HS also works within the church.

a. He brings unity – Unity is one of the HS’s greatest gifts to the church. Paul instructed us to keep “the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope at your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” (Eph. 4:3-6)

b. He bestows spiritual gifts – Every believer is given at least one gift as God wills, but no one gift is given to all believers.

Next week is a week off for spring break and then the class will return in April as we discuss the doctrine of man.


One Response to “PBS: What do Baptists believe about the Holy Spirit?”

  1. Dear Sirs/Madam’s;
    I found this site doing a search for a good picture of the Holy Spirit.
    May I use this image for a bookmark for my church?
    If I need to pay for it, please let me know.
    If this image does not belong to you and you know the source, could you please take the time to let me know the site and name.

    Thank you very much for your help.
    God bless you richly,


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