Faithlife Sermons

Bible Study on the Holy Spirit

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 9 views

The Work and Witness of the Holy Spirit in and with the Church

Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Blessed Lord, You have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning. Grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and take them to heart that, by the patience and comfort of Your holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life. … through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Relevant Texts

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Small Catechism: Part II, Art III, Paragraph 5: The Third Article: On Being Made Holy
I believe in the Holy Spirit, one holy Christian church, the community of the saints, forgiveness of sins, resurrection of the flesh, and eternal life. Amen.
[6] What is this? Answer:
I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my LORD or come to him, but instead the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, made me holy and kept me in the true faith, just as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and makes holy the whole Christian church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one common, true faith. Daily in this Christian church the Holy Spirit abundantly forgives all sins—mine and those of all believers. On the Last Day the Holy Spirit will raise me and all the dead and will give to me and all believers in Christ eternal life. This is most certainly true.
Robert Kolb, Timothy J. Wengert, and Charles P. Arand, The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2000), 355–356.

That the Holy Spirit is not merely a divine attribute or power, but a person, is evident from those passages of Holy Writ that predicate of him what can be predicated solely of a person, e.g. being the Comforter or Advocate who is to take the place of Christ, continuing and completing his work (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:8, 13 sq.); bearing witness and interceding for the children of God (Rom. 8:16, 26), from whom he is distinct as a person (Acts 15:28); becoming grieved (Eph. 4:30); being on a level with Father and Son (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; comp. 1 Cor. 12:4–6; Eph. 4:4–6; 1 Pet. 1, 2). And also that he is God in truth and essence follows from 2 Cor. 13:14 and especially Matt. 28:19, where the Holy Ghost is made equal with the Father and the Son both as to revelation (“name,” which word is put only once, referring to all three persons) and as to relation to a baptized person, which is that of the most intimate union and communion (“baptizing into”). He is also called God (Acts 5:3 sq.; comp. 1 Cor. 3:16 with 6, 19 and 2 Cor. 6:16), and divine attributes are ascribed to him (1 Cor. 2:10; 12:8–11).

His Relationship to the Mission of Christ

John 15:26–16:15 ESV
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
John 15:26-16:15
Discuss this text in relation to Catechism and Heterodox teachings
Historic Christian doctrine - The Role of the Holy Spirit in the Mission of God
Heterodox doctrines

Montanism

This movement was named for Montanus (c. 170), a self-proclaimed prophet from Phrygia who believed that his revelations fulfilled the promises of the New Testament and heralded the imminent end of the world. Montanus was a gifted organizer and he attracted a considerable following among the peasants of Asia Minor. His movement was based in the villages of Pepuza and Tymion, which were not far from Laodicea and Colossae, although they have resisted all attempts at locating them precisely. Almost everything we know about Montanus comes from hostile sources and has been contested, though most scholars agree that he was a charismatic figure who proclaimed the coming of eschatological perfection in Christian communities which would resemble the heavenly city of Jerusalem.

In its own day Montanism was called the ‘new prophecy’, and there is no doubt that it had a charismatic flavour about it which probably reflected a grass-roots reaction to the increasing bureaucratization of the official church. The Montanists were accused of speaking in ecstasy and may have practised glossolalia, but we cannot be certain. It is certain, however, that the vehicle of the Montanist revelations was the ‘Paraclete’, who is normally equated with the Holy Spirit, following John’s Gospel. The content of the prophecies was not really exceptional in the context of its time, being largely concerned with matters of moral discipline and the coming end, both of which were widespread themes in the late second-century church Nevertheless, the mainline church refused to accept the genuineness of the prophetic claims made by Montanus and his followers and denounced their sayings as false. The Montanists were apparently unusually rigorous in their demands for a strict regime of fasting, and they also advocated sexual continence within marriage and celibacy after the death of a partner. This may seem extreme to us today, but in its own context it was a normal, even moderate, line to take in such matters and compares well with what came to be the accepted norm in the mainline church

Montanism spread to Rome and from there to other parts of the Mediterranean world, notably to North Africa, where it attracted the attention of the great *Tertullian who saw in the Montanists spirits akin to his own. Montanism seems to have lingered on until the fifth century, though by then it was far removed from its charismatic origins and in many places cannot have been more than a vestigial remnant of its former self. Its most lasting effect seems to be that it hastened the fixing of the New Testament canon. An official statement that prophecy of the Montanist type had effectively ceased in the Christian church accompanied the fixing of the canon.

It has frequently been postulated that Tertullian’s ‘conversion’, about the year 207, took place within the Montanist sect. It would be better to say, however, that he welcomed it as an authentic manifestation of the kind of Christianity that he was already advocating. In moral terms Tertullian no doubt reflects Montanist rigorism reasonably well, but it is difficult to say how far his writings can be used as evidence of original (or authentic) Montanist beliefs. It is also not clear whether he joined an already existing Montanist group at Carthage or whether he founded one, which was subsequently known as ‘Tertullianist’ and which survived until it was reintegrated into the Catholic Church in 388.

A special feature of Montanism was the prominence that it gave to women. Two women in particular, Priscilla and Maximilla, played a major role in the original prophecies and may well have been the prime movers of the sect. It is unclear to what extent the influence of women spread beyond Asia Minor, but if Perpetua and Felicitas can be regarded as Montanists, then the North African church also experienced an important female ministry under the Montanist umbrella. It is of course clear that female ministry was procured at the price of sexual continence, and that it would not have been tolerated otherwise. The enemies of Montanism frequently accused them of debauchery because of the prominence of women in the sect, and had such accusations been true there is little doubt that Montanism’s claims to a higher form of spirituality would have suffered an irreparable blow. In fact, the Montanists do seem to have lived exemplary moral lives and it appears that the opposition was motivated mainly by the fact that the church establishment felt threatened by their apparent extremism.

Montanism was not a heresy in the doctrinal sense, though it was later condemned as such. As far as we can tell, its adherents remained fully orthodox, even if occasionally their theological formulations were inadequate or archaic in relation to the Christological and Trinitarian controversies that tormented the mainline church. It is possible that some Montanists pictured Christ in a female form. If so, they would have strayed beyond the bounds of theological orthodoxy, but it all depends on how the evidence is interpreted and who is included in the Montanist category.

In later centuries Montanism was generally regarded as an early example of the kind of chiliast sect which sprang up in the later middle ages, and *John Wesley imagined that it was the last remnant of authentic New Testament Christianity. Today, however, such views have been generally discounted and Montanism is treated as a charismatic movement which was rooted in the circumstances of its own time and which died out without leaving any trace beyond the end of the ancient world.

GERALD BRAY

FURTHER READING: W.H.C. Frend, ‘Montanism: Research and Problems’, in Archaeology and History in the Study of Early Christianity, VI (London, 1988); R.E. Heine, The Montanist Oracles and Testimonia (Macon, GA, 1989); W. Tabbernee, Montanist Inscriptions and Testimonia: Epigraphic Sources Illustrating the History of Montanism (Macon, GA, 1996); C. Trevett, Montanism (Cambridge, 1996).

Old Testament Prophetic Reference to the Holy Spirit in the Mission of God

Ezekiel 37:1–14 ESV
The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”
Eze
What does this passage say about the Holy Spirit in relation to the Promises of God pertaining to Israel?
How does this relate to the Church?

The Holy Spirit and the Launching of the Christian Mission

Acts 2:1–21 ESV
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “ ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Acts 2:1-21
Descriptive or Prescriptive:
“Descriptive passages describe what happened; they give us the historical narratives and the stories of the events that took place. Prescriptive passages give us clear commands and instructions as to how we are to live our lives.” - http://theologyfortherestofus.com/2016/05/15/92-whats-the-difference-between-prescriptive-and-descriptive-bible-passages/
What does this passage describe to us?
What does this passage command of us?

The Holy Spirit and the Witness of Christ

Hebrews 1:1–2:4 ESV
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.” But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.” And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
- 2:4
The Central Message of the Gospel
Who are you preaching?
Closing thoughts
[5] The Third Article: On Being Made Holy56
[5] The Third Article: On Being Made Holy56
I believe in the Holy Spirit, one holy Christian church, the community of the saints, forgiveness of sins, resurrection of the flesh, and eternal life. Amen.
[6] What is this? Answer:
I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my LORD or come to him, but instead the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, made me holy and kept me in the true faith, just as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and makes holy the whole Christian church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one common, true faith. Daily in this Christian church the Holy Spirit abundantly forgives all sins—mine and those of all believers. On the Last Day the Holy Spirit will raise me and all the dead and will give to me and all believers in Christ eternal life. This is most certainly true.
Robert Kolb, Timothy J. Wengert, and Charles P. Arand, The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2000), 355–356.
Related Media
Related Sermons