Church Education Trust

Christian Belief

ST007/1 The work of the Holy Spirit.


The Doctrine of the work of the Holy Spirit.
The Doctrine of the administration of Redemption.

The Holy Spirit has been called the "Executive of the Godhead". He is the One Who carries out and makes real within individuals and the Church all that the Father has planned and the Son has purchased in His atoning and redeeming work.

It is Dr. Pope who calls the work of the Holy Spirit the "Administration of Redemption" and it is a very apt expression. He is the Supreme Administrator of all the purposes of God for His creation.

The work of the Holy Spirit covers a very wide field including the preliminary states of grace,

  • Justification.
  • Regeneration.
  • Adoption.
  • Sanctification
  • The work and administration of the church.
  • Christian ethics.

This section will deal with all of these except the work and administration of the Church and Christian ethics.

1. The work of the Holy Spirit in the Administration of Redemption.

Before dealing more particularly with the work of redemption and the various states of grace it is necessary to think more generally of the whole teaching of Scripture concerning the work of the Holy Spirit as a whole.

The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is a most important one but one which has unfortunately been sadly neglected by the Christian Church generally. There is an appalling ignorance among professing Christians, and often among real ones, concerning the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

Nothing is more clear, though, than the fact that according to the Scriptures the Christian religion is a religion of the Spirit. This is shown by the following summary of the teaching of the New Testament which I have culled from lectures on the Holy Spirit by Rev. Stanley Banks.

  1. Our Lord was conceived of the Spirit - Matt. 1:18- 20.
  2. He was anointed of the Spirit - Matt. 3:16.
  3. He was led of the Spirit into the wilderness - Luke 4:1.
  4. He returned in the power of the Spirit - Luke 4:14.
  5. He began His ministry by declaring that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him - Luke 4:17-18. He offered Himself as a sacrifice to God through the Spirit Heb. 9:14.
  6. He was raised up by the Spirit - Rom. 1:4.
  7. He issued commands by the Spirit after His resurrection - Acts 1:2
  8. He promised to baptize His disciples with the Spirit - Acts 1:5.
  9. Only those born of the Spirit will enter the kingdom of God - John 3:5.
  10. Only those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God Rom. 8:14.
  11. It is the Spirit Who transforms us into the image of God -2 Cor. 3:18. It is the Spirit Who guides us into all truth - John 16:13.
  12. It is the Spirit Who glorifies Jesus - John 16:14.
  13. It is the Spirit who strengthens within - Eph. 3:16.
  14. It is the Spirit Who produces through us the Christian virtues - Gal. 5:22
  15. Our bodies are quickened by the Spirit's indwelling - Rom. 8:11. It is the law of the Spirit of life which sets us free from the law of sin and death - Rom. 8:2.
  16. It is the Spirit who gives us power to witness - Acts 1:8.

In view of the fact of the importance of the Holy Spirit and His constant activity in the Scriptures, especially in the New Testament, it is most important that we ourselves have a clear grasp and appreciation of the Scriptural teaching.

The question of the Person of the Holy Spirit has been dealt with under the doctrine of God and it must suffice here merely to affirm the fact that the Bible clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit is a Person, not merely a power or an influence, and that also He is God, the third Person of the Trinity.

The Athanasian Creed states the teaching concerning the Trinity thus - "We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost; but the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal." In this section, therefore, we deal with the work of the Holy Spirit.

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