Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ordination #2, Art. 4b: The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

I need to do a little more work on the place of regeneration in the salvation process, but besides that, here’s the rest of the Holy Spirit Article in the Evangelical Free Church doctrinal statement...

During this age the Holy Spirit convicts men of their sin that they might see the need for repentance (Jn. 16.8-11) and regenerates the believing sinner (Jn. 3.3-8; Titus 3.5), making the believer a new creation (2 Cor. 5.17). He indwells the believer (Jn. 14.17; 1 Cor. 6.19-20) as a “down payment” assuring our ultimate salvation (Eph. 1.14), serves as a comforter (Rom. 15.13), gives assurance of our adoption as God’s children (Rom. 8.16), and intercessor when words don’t come to us (Rom. 8.26-27). While He dwells in us, we are commanded to be “filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5.18). The Spirit also empowers (Acts 1.4-5; Jn. 14.12) the believer for godly living, to be witnesses for Christ (Acts 1.8). Sanctification is the work of God (1 Thess. 5.23; Eph. 5.26), but the regenerate believer is a partner in the process. As God works within the believer (Phil. 2.12-13), the believer “works out their salvation” by living according to the Spirit rather than their flesh (Rom. 8.1-21; Gal. 5.16-18). The result is character transformation (Gal. 5.22-23). The Holy Spirit also empowers for service. The gifts He gives are spiritual in nature (Rom. 12.6-8; 1 Cor. 12.4-11) and are given according to His will (1 Cor. 12.11). The church body is created to be interdependent (1 Cor. 12.21-22), with each believer having a gift (1 Pt. 4.10) for the good of the church body (1 Cor. 12.7), but nobody having all the gifts (1 Cor. 12.29-30).

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