Thought for the day: The Holy Spirit is God

Tom McDaniel, at What’s Next God? is blogging through Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic neglect of the Holy Spirit (David. C. Cook, 2009).  He’s doing a good job too!  In three separate post he does a series “Theology of the Holy Spirit.”  Part I; Part II; Part III.  In Part I covers some attributes of the Spirit and one point stuck out to me:

The Holy Spirit is God.

Again, Mr. Chan does a brilliant job describing the Holy Spirit. He is not a lessor or different kind of Being than God the Father or God the Son. The Spirit is God. When we forget about the Spirit, we really are forgetting about God.

OuchThis bears repeating: When we forget about the Spirit, we really are forgetting about God!!   This is a very serious assertion – but one that needs to be considered and taken to heart.  I think even sometimes Pentecostals, and more so those in the Charismania and Third Wave movements, how we treat the Holy Spirit often reflects our understanding of his diety and role within the Triune Godhead

When we abuse the gifts (use them for selfish gain or attention, or to control others) and prance around and crawl around barking like dogs, laughing like Hyenas claiming it is a manifestation of the Spirit – whoa, that is serious and, frankly, I am surpised more haven’t been struck by the hand of God for their irreverence.  But we are in an era of grace and God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but that it might be saved through him, I guess that’s the scandal of grace.

But, when we respect the person and work of the sovereign Spirit of God in the life of the believer and in the community of faith, the proper response is to give room for the Spirit to move and manifest his presence in our hearts and in our midst.  Usually, the most powerful way this is done is in quiet reverence, a waiting upon the Spirit, both individually and corporately.  Certainly there will be some emotion such as tears (not mournful) or a sense for the need to be solemn or joyful yet not boisterous or loud.  When this happens there are times when one can literally feel his presence – sometimes its a lightness, sometimes its a heaviness such that one can hardly stand – it can vary.   Other times, it is in the midst of worship and joyful celebration with shouts of praise and some dancing in the aisles, even some laughter but not the outofcontrolyouthinkyou’reRodneyHowardBrowne junk. 

All that to say, let’s take this to heart: When we forget about the Spirit, we really are forgetting about God.

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7 responses to “Thought for the day: The Holy Spirit is God

  1. Cool links. I enjoy. Fran’s book has been pretty influential for a few of my friends, which is good. They had a less than biblical understanding of the Holy Spirit. It seems like Fran has been used by the Lord to help many people go deeper!

    You said, “I think even sometimes Pentecostals, and more so those in the Charismania and Third Wave movements, how we treat the Holy Spirit often reflects our understanding of his diety and role within the Triune Godhead.”

    I was curious if would explain that a bit more. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love to read more of your thoughts on that statement concerning those three movements, though I’m mostly concerned about your opinion on Pentecostals and Third Wave folks (like myself). The Charismaniacs are less of a concern 🙂

    Thanks for posting this. There were some gems there!

    • Luke, I am mainly referring to those instances when the Spirit is either routinely over or under emphasized. As well know, there is a spectrum of belief and practice with regard to the person and work of the Spirit: go check out Brian LePort’s post talking about this issue here. Ome churches always go too far, others you wouldn’t know they were Pentecostal and so on. Hope that helps some.

  2. Why do you only allow “some dancing in the aisles” and “some laughter”? I agree that there are people who go over the top to attract attention. But surely it is even greater “irreverence” to impose limits, “some”, to the work that the Holy Spirit can do. David didn’t just do “some dancing”, he “was dancing before the LORD with all his might”, and it was Michal who was “struck by the hand of God for [her] irreverence” for despising this (2 Samuel 6:12-23). “God gives the Spirit without limit” (John 3:34), and if we impose our own limits we risk grieving and quenching that Spirit. Perhaps that’s why even in some Pentecostal churches there is so little of the Spirit that “you wouldn’t know they were Pentecostal”.

  3. Brian, thanks for your response. I think I need to blog a bit on this subject too.

    Most of my wife’s family are within the A/G and I still have many friends from my NCU days who inform me of the very thing you mentioned. It would seem that there are many congregations that are Pentecostal in theory but nearly Cessationists in practice. Several friends of mine are rather concerned with this as it has greatly reduced certain characteristics that they believe were not only distinguishing marks of their specific tradition but enormously important for the work of the gospel.

    Interesting thoughts. I appreciated it. Thanks!

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