Foundational Truths - The Holy Spirit
What does Elim believe about the Holy Spirit and why? In the second article in our series on Elim’s foundational beliefs, Jamys Carter provides a snapshot.
The Bible introduces us to the Holy Spirit in the second verse of Genesis and concludes with him five verses from the end of Revelation.
Throughout Scripture, he is active in creating, empowering, guiding, revealing and transforming, with the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 a strong example of his power.
Elim’s ‘DNA’ is rooted in a firm belief that the Holy Spirit is just as active among his people now as he was following Pentecost. This expectation of his involvement and the manifestation of his gifts caused division between Christians in Elim’s early days at the start of the last century.
But today it is sparking reconciliation and fellowship between Christians of diverse church backgrounds as the Spirit is experienced across his global church.
We believe the Holy Spirit is God and is one of the three persons who comprise the Trinity. He is relational, firstly as part of the Trinity, and secondly in his dealings with humanity.
He is relational, firstly as part of the Trinity, and secondly in his dealings with humanity.
One of the Spirit’s key roles is to help us know Jesus (John 14:26, 16:13), and therefore to glorify him ( Joh n 16:14). Alongside this, Jesus was clear when reassuring his disciples about his departure that the Holy Spirit would dwell in them (John 14:17).
The Spirit is a continuing reminder that Christ is in us (Colossians 1:27).
Two key moments helped the early believers know Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit was being achieved in them.
Firstly, after his resurrection, Jesus breathed on them saying, “Receive the Spirit” (John 20:22).
Secondly, those same disciples, along with others, were filled with the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, just as Jesus promised (Acts 1:5, 2:4).
Not only do we believe that the same filling or baptism is available for all believers today, but we have an expectation that signs will follow which show the Spirit’s presence in our lives. This may be speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4, 10:46) or prophesying (Acts 19:6).
We believe in the manifestation of the Spirit, as described in 1 Corinthians 12, where believers are equipped with wisdom, knowledge, faith and gifts of healings etc. so they can do God’s work through the church.
In addition, we should each expect to be personally transformed by the work of the Spirit, growing in fruits such as love, joy, peace, patience and kindness (Galatians 5:22-23).
In all of this, we are reminded that the relational, all-powerful God lives in us. Through him we can know Jesus better, and better make Jesus known.
Through him we are given understanding and revelation, power and patience. Through him we are all joined together in Christ. The Holy Spirit is essential.
Jamys Carter is an Elim minister and academic.
First published in the October 2021 issue of Direction, Elim’s monthly magazine. Subscribe now to get Direction delivered to your home.
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