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You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:9-11
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Gary W.’s recent comment about the Holy Spirit got me thinking:
You say to Brian that he is “given the same Holy Spirit anointing if you are a believer.” Now, I don’t want to get into speculating on who does and does not have what Holy Spirit anointing, but I do believe it is significant that conservative/fundamentalist evangelicals largely discount the empowering presence and work of Holy Spirit in believers’ lives. For example if you look at what T4G says they affirm and deny (http://tinyurl.com/md3xodt), their only mention of Holy Spirit is that He is a member of the trinity. They appear to leave Holy Spirit out of the salvic process when they say that they deny “that the truth of the Gospel can be expressed or grounded in anything less than total confidence in the veracity of the Bible, the historicity of biblical events, and the ability of language to convey understandable truth in sentence form.” The whole emphasis is on right thinking, to the point of looking like salvation depends upon it.
I haven’t thought it all through, but it really does seem to me that, in conservative/fundamentalist evangelicalism, Holy Spirit has been replaced by Theologians.
Jesus said, “When the Theologians come, they will guide you into all the truth.” NOT!!
I said an audible, “YES!!!” when reading Gary’s comment.
In thinking back to my first week at BGBC, I felt something was off. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I now know that this was the Holy Spirit warning me. In many of today’s high-controlling churches, regular church members may be squelched from the Holy Spirit’s guidance. If you feel the Holy Spirit’s guidance and tell church leaders, it seems it must pass their litmus test first for validation. Church leaders have become the test proctors of whether or not you actually heard from the Holy Spirit. Who gave them this authority? Does anyone put them through the same litmus test? Essentially, pastors or church leaders served as our Holy Spirits.
I’m curious about those who have been involved in high-controlling or abusive churches?
Where was the Holy Spirit? Were regular members allowed to share how the Holy Spirit was working in their lives? Was there any discussion about the Holy Spirit? Did the church leaders express how the Holy Spirit was leading them?
How does the Holy Spirit work in the lives of believers these days? I tried to look up popular church leaders to see if they had online comments about the Holy Spirit.
John MacArthur had this to say about the Holy Spirit:
What a privilege it is that God in His grace plants His very essence in us! We have a supernatural Helper, not just with but in every one of us who believes. (Source)
In his book, The Church, Mark Dever discusses the working of the Holy Spirit corporately:
The church is one, though divided. This unity is not visible at the organizational level; it is a spiritual reality, consisting in the fellowship of all true believers sharing in the Holy Spirit. It becomes visible when believers share the same baptism, partake of the same supper, and look forward to sharing one heavenly city. The church on earth experiences this unity only as its members are united in God’s truth as it is revealed in Scripture. (Source)
I found a list of quotes compiled by Trevin Wax on The Gospel Coalition website. I’d like to share a few of those quotes from some notables.
I love this one by Billy Graham:
“The Holy Spirit illuminates the minds of people, makes us yearn for God, and takes spiritual truth and makes it understandable to us.” – Billy Graham
Here are some more:
“Though the Holy Spirit is God, equal in essence to the Father and the Son, yet his role is consistently to defer honor, to seek to bring about the glory of another.” – Bruce Ware
“The church becomes irrelevant when it becomes purely a human creation. We are not all we were made to be when everything in our lives and churches can be explained apart from the work and presence of the Spirit of God.” – Francis Chan
These two quotes are very good:
“There is no use in running before you are sent; there is no use in attempting to do God’s work without God’s power. A man working without this unction, a man working without this anointing, a man working without the Holy Ghost upon him, is losing time after all.” –D.L. Moody
“The Christian’s life in all its aspects—intellectual and ethical, devotional and relational, upsurging in worship and outgoing in witness—is supernatural; only the Spirit can initiate and sustain it. So apart from him, not only will there be no lively believers and no lively congregations, there will be no believers and no congregations at all.” – J. I. Packer
And last, but not least this one. Guess who said it?
“Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.”
I’m not sure if that was an oopsy-daisy on Mr. Wax’s part, but that last quote was by a woman, Corrie Ten Boom. I guess maybe she’s just telling her opinion, not really teaching men, right?
It seems that this is yet another area in which we can test a good church or not: who holds the keys to the Holy Spirit? The believers or the pastor?
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So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:9-14
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