This is the fourth series in our study. I would like to repeat that we should go into this study as brethren helping one another. We are brethren struggling to find a reasonable and balanced view about the Holy Spirit.
CHURCHES OF CHRIST
This present study should be delimited. We are not talking about the views of the Pentecostals who claim direct, baptism and miraculous operation of the Holy Spirit on everyone who prays for the coming of the Holy Spirit. We are not talking about Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses that claim that the Holy Spirit personally and directly guide their leaders in the formulation of doctrines and teachings and strategies. We are not talking about teachings that contradict what is written in the Bible and is correctly interpreted.
Historically Churches of Christ have for decades taught that there are measures or degrees of the Holy Spirit’s work in helping, guiding, influencing, nudging, encouraging the Christian.
- Holy Spirit Without Measure. This was given to Christ during his personal ministry on earth. We don’t talk about this degree of empowerment in this study. The person we refer to in this study is the Christian today, in the 21st century.
- Baptismal and Laying on of Hands Measure. The apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit as promised and they were empowered to do miraculous things to confirm the new message they delivered to the people. In turn, the baptized apostles laid their hands onto faithful men who cnfirmed the message of salvation that they preached to others. We don’t talk about this degree of empowerment in this present study. The person we refer to in this study is the Christian today, in the 21st century.
- Ordinary Measure. All members of the Churches of Christ for decades agree on this degree. But the means or the how the Holy Spirit empowers or influences, or guides, or nudges, or encourages the Christian today is the ISSUE. One side says this empowerment resides ONLY IN WRITTEN/ORAL WORD, THE BIBLE. Another side syas that this empowerment resides in the written/oral word, the Bible, and ALSO DIRECTLY OR OTHER MEANS APART FROM THE WORD, but not contrary to the Bible.
In Series #3, we have submitted Job 26:13; Psalms 19:1-5 and Romans 1:19-21. From these verses we have concluded that the Holy Spirit does declare truth through the glorious material creation. The heavens when observed by astronomers reveal a wondrous design those description is not found in my NKJV. These verses tell you that belief in God or strengthening a belief in God could be derived from sources apart from my NKJV Bible, but not contrary to it.
Add Job 12:7-10 “Now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?” Zoology, ornithology, ichthylogy, geology, biology all reveal wondrous dandy designs. Men of science quote Lord Kelvin, famous British scientist, who exclaimed: “If you study science deep enough and long enough it will force you to believe in God.”
says in Genesis 1:2b, “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” I have the picture that the Holy Spirit broaded over the globe and participated in the arrangement of the earth as a proper habitation of animals and mankind. A scientific study of nature helps the agnostics and some atheists to seriously think about the God we believe in.
Teachers of Christian Evidences also know that we have to use the Argument fom General Consent, Argument from Necessity, the Cosmological Argument, Teleological Argument, the Anthropological Argument and the Ontological Argument to reach out to the educated and scientifically oriented agnostics and atheists in order for them to pay attention. (See
discussion of these items here).
The views above considered, I would like to suggest that a deeper study of nature would help us build up our Christian faith in God apart from the Bible but not contrary to the Bible.