Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
(1 Corinthians 3:16)
As we continue in our discussion about the Holy Spirit’s role in the restoration process, we must acknowledge there is much confusion in Christendom today. Our personal convictions on this doctrine affect how we disciple young believers.
I believe every true born-again follower of Jesus is indwelled by the Holy Spirit (Rom 8.9). I believe upon conversion, a disciple is baptized with the Holy Spirit (Ac 2.38, 10.47, 11.16-17, Rom 8.9). I also believe the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit can be two separate events (Ac 2.4, Ac 13.52 NASB). But in these beliefs, I choose not to wrangle with my Pentecostal or Fundamental brethren. We all agree the presence and the work of the Holy Spirit is essential to every believer’s transformation in pursuing the image of God (1 Cor 3.18, 12.13, Rom 8.9).
However, there are two grave errors in Christianity today regarding the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. One is to focus on the Holy Spirit and his supporting role as primarily an emotional event rather than a life-changing agent. I find many who are so “filled with the Holy Ghost” on Sunday bear no evidence of the Holy Spirit’s transforming power during the rest of the week (1 Cor 3.11-17, 14.7-11,26, 2 Cor 3.18).
The second error is just as dangerous. Some fundamental Christians, in reaction to the abuses of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, have completely discounted any role or function of the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life. Jesus give a very stern warning against such an abuse (Mk 3.28-29).
The Holy Spirit abides in every authentic believer and is the true power for real transformation (2 Cor 3.18, Gal 5.22-23).
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