The marginalized the work of the Spirit


St. Peter Preaching at Pentecost

St. Peter Preaching at Pentecost

In his work, The Word and the World, Emil Brunner said,

The Bible without Spirit is orthodoxy; Spirit without the Bible is mysticism or rationalism.  Scripture and the Holy Spirit as one – this was the conception of true revelation which was held by the reformers (90).

As a product of modernism and Christian traditions formed in it, I marginalize the work of the Holy Spirit.  Intellectually, I know all the responsibilities of the Holy Spirit, but a sense of discomfort begins to creep in when people talk about the Spirit leading them and they don’t connect it to scripture.  The Scriptures clearly states the Holy Spirit is our indwelling guide, us leading us to truth (Jn 14:17, 26; 2 Tim 1:14). Still my baggage of a modernistic Christianity tradition had effectively killed the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit as sure as liberalism.  Maybe in an overreaction to the indulgences of the charismatic’s seeming abuse of the Holy Spirit’s work, I was guilty of marginalization of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit involved Himself in the writing of Scripture and indwells believers at their confession of Christ, but effectively [for me] was out of the picture after confession.  In my heart, phrases like “the spirit led me…” was met with internal skepticism.  My faith tradition would not allow me to trust the God-ness of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity; He is an equal in authority, power, essence.  Therefore my trust should be unwavering in His past work carrying along the writers on Scripture and His ongoing work in Christ followers and superintending the church.  The Holy Spirit speaking to those He indwells will never contradict  His superintended work of Scriptures or his guidance of Christ’s church.  It is in the concert of the Holy spirit’s work in the Scriptures (1 Pt. 1:21), the individual believer (2 Tim 1:14), and the church (Eph 2:22), that we see God beautiful sovereign work in his creation.  Therefore His work is not in the past, but in the ongoing present, true revelation, for which I am thankful.

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2 Comments

Filed under Current Church Trends, Spirituality

2 responses to “The marginalized the work of the Spirit

  1. That is a pretty powerful thought. Holding to the Holy Spirit as part of the Godhead and equally authoritative can be one thing intellectually, but very different practically.

    Thanks for the thought.

    • It is just some thoughts I have been working through, especially in light of the work of the Spirit in speaking a particular community, bring unity, etc.