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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Identity of the Holy Spirit

Don Stewart :: What Is the Proper Way to Approach the Subject of the Spirit of God?

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What Is the Proper Way to Approach the Subject of the Spirit of God?

The Identity of the Holy Spirit – Question 2

As we begin to study the person and work of the Holy Spirit there is a proper way for us to approach this all-important subject. Three essential points must be made.

1. The Bible Alone Must Be the Guide in Deciding These Issues

First and foremost, although much that is taught with respect to the Holy Spirit is based upon tradition, a particular line of teaching, or a personal experience, the final test must be the Scriptures. We must ask ourselves the question, “What does the Bible have to say about the subject?” Our ultimate goal should be to understand what the Word of God has to say. This takes time and it takes study.

Thus, our view of the Spirit of God should be worked out from studying the entire Scripture. We need to be careful about citing one or two texts and then coming to a conclusion. There is the need for finding out what the totality of Scripture says about the Holy Spirit. This is the first important thing we should note.

2. There Is Room for Legitimate Differences about Some Aspects of the Work of the Holy Spirit

Second, there is also room for the believers to have legitimate differences concerning certain aspects of the study of the Spirit of God. Unity among Christians does not mean that we have to agree with one another on every single detail of biblical truth.

Consequently, ones view on this subject of God the Holy Spirit should not be used as a test of fellowship or a way to gauge ones spirituality. There is room for differences.

3. It Is Important to Have a Humble Attitude about This Subject

Finally, it is important that we have an attitude of humility when approaching the subject of the Holy Spirit. We can all learn something new. Unfortunately there is too much pride that goes along with the subject of the work of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. Such pride is not the work of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit. The Apostle Paul listed the fruit of the Spirit as follows.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22, 23 NASB).

These qualities should be the goal of every believer in Jesus Christ. Furthermore, they can only come about through the knowledge of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit.

Consequently, before we study this vital subject we should make certain that we have the proper attitude in our approach.

Summary – Question 2
What Is the Proper Way to Approach the Subject of the Spirit of God?

It is important that we have the right attitude in approaching the subject of the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, there are three important things which must be stressed when addressing this matter.

Of utmost importance is where we derive our information about the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. The Bible, and the Bible alone, should be our only source is coming up with answers to questions about the Spirit of God.

Tradition and personal experience should not be appealed to in an attempt to answer questions or solve problems. The final source of authority on all doctrinal matters is the written Word of God. This is particularly true when it comes to the subject of God the Holy Spirit.

There is also room for personal differences among Bible-believers about certain aspects of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, there are good Christians who differ on some of the specifics regarding the work of the Spirit. This being the case we should not assume that we have all the answers with respect to how the Holy Spirit works.

Finally, believers should exhibit humility when one explores the Person and work of the Spirit of God. There is no place for pride or arrogance when studying about this member of the Godhead.

Each of us has a lot to learn. In sum, before we look at the subject of God’s Spirit we must make certain that we are doing so with the right approach in mind.

Why Is It Important to Study the Subject of the Holy Spirit? ← Prior Section
Why Is the Subject of the Holy Spirit Neglected? Next Section →
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