What the Spirit Does

Part Nine - The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
Chapter 39 - The Holy Spirit

The Person of the Spirit
He is God, an object of worship no less than the Father and the Son.  Scripture attributes to Him the writing of Scripture.  He has divine attributes of eternity, wisdom, omniscience, etc.  He does what God does: create, judge, give life, save.
He is a Person, not a force.  He is God's wisdom, and referred to as He often, not it.

The Work of the Spirit
He brings God's power on people, like Samson (Judges 13:25).
He equips the prophets, Jesus and the apostles to speak with authority.
He is God's presence on earth.

The Spirit's work in the believer
He applies the work of Christ to us, giving us all "we need in our life with God" (925).  He makes us alive, helps us pray and preach, sanctifies us, gives us unity, teaches the Church, etc.
The baptism of the Spirit is our regeneration, and every true believer has it.
The filling of the Spirit is something we can pursue or neglect (Eph. 5:18).
The fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) shows His work to be a slow process of growth as well as an equipping in any given moment.
Gifts of the Spirit are not listed exhaustively in the Bible.  Any ability that edifies the church is a gift.

Miracles come through the Spirit, but are quite rare in the Bible.  They are given mainly to prove a prophet (Moses, Elijah, Elisha and Jesus are the main ones) is from God.  So we should NOT expect such miracles as a matter of course today.

Prophecy - there are no prophets today, as there were in the Bible.  We may loosely call as prophecy things like preaching, or a dream or sense of some impending trouble that turns out to be true.  But authoritative words from the Lord are only found in Scripture.

Tongues - 1 Corinthians 14 shows that the church had the gift of speaking in unknown (angelic) languages.  Interpretation was required, making it like prophecy.  Thus, since we have a completed canon of Scripture, tongues are unneeded.  Tongues in private may still be active and of some value (1 Cor. 14:2), but the gifts are meant to edify the body, and not just for private enjoyment.

Healing - like with miracles, the apostles and prophets had a special ability in this to attest their divine message, though the gift of healing was not at their complete disposal.  So we shouldn't expect to see this gift active regularly.  But God does heal miraculously and may give the gift to people - "we just don't know the purposes of God well enough to make such a generalization" (931).  Our calling is to pray for healing (James 5:14-15) in faith, yet remembering even Paul was denied it.

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