As Alexander Campbell said in his debate with N.L.Rice: "On the subject of spiritual influence
there are two extremes of doctrine. There is the word alone system, and there is the Spirit alone
system. I believe in neither." In the Christian System Campbell writes: " Christians, are,
therefore, clearly and unequivocally temples of the Holy Spirit; and they are quickened,
encouraged, and sanctified by the power and influence of the Spirit of God, working in them
through the truth" (p. 49). No one can successfully deny in the face of the scriptures the place of
the Holy Spirit in the conviction, conversion and consecration of the child of God.
The question is: Does the Holy Spirit work directly, mysteriously and supernaturally upon the
heart of man? or, Does the Holy Spirit work through the means of the Word naturally upon the
heart of man?
The Holy Spirit is probably more misunderstood than any other person or subject in the Bible.
More theories and contradictory ideas are floating around concerning the Spirit than any other
subject. More mystery surrounds the Holy Spirit than any one (or thing) in the entire Bible. Some
of this stems from the difficulty of some of the verses dealing with the Holy Spirit. Some of it
stems from an ignorance of the Bible. Some of it is due to the prejudice, bias, and confusion
that has resulted from hearing so many theories and ideas.
If man is ever to obtain an understanding of the Holy Spirit, he must first understand who or
what the Holy Spirit is. Is the Holy Spirit a person, or a thing?
The Holy Spirit is a person. When the Holy Spirit is spoken of, He is always referred to as "HE"
(Isaiah 40:13; John 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 8:15-16). The Holy Spirit has the
characteristics of a person in the scriptures: He can be counseled or taught (Isaiah 40:13); He
speaks (Mark 13:11; John 16:14; Acts 13:2; 1 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 13:7; Revelation 22:17); He
reveals (Luke 2:26); He teaches (Luke 12:12; John 14:16,17,26); He testifies (John 15:26); He
reproves, guides, shows, glorifies and receives (John 16:7-14); He witnesses (Romans 8:16);
He searches (1 Corinthians 2:10-11); He can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30); He reasons (Acts
15:28; 16:7; 21:11-14); and He is a witness (Acts 5:32; Hebrews 10:15; 1 John 5:6).
The Holy Spirit is divine. He has the characteristics of the divine (Genesis 1:2; Isaiah 40:13; 2
Corinthians 3:17,18; 1 Corinthians 2:11; 12:11; Ephesians 4:4). The Holy Spirit is spoken of as
divine in the scriptures (Acts 5:3-4; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Romans 15:30).
The Holy Spirit is one of three divine persons spoken of the scriptures. God the Father, Jesus
Christ the only begotten Son, and the Holy Spirit are three different and separate persons
(Matthew 3:16,17; Genesis 1:26,27; John 14:16,17,26; 16:7-14; Matthew 28:19; John 8:12-18).
Realizing the Holy Spirit is a person, as God and Christ are persons, will remove much of the
mystery from around the subject of the Holy Spirit and its indwelling of the Christian. God dwells
in the Christian (1 John 4:12). Christ dwells in the Christian (Romans 8:10). The Holy Spirit
dwells in the Christian (Romans 8:11). All three dwell in the Christian representatively. God
does not personally dwell in the Christian. Christ does not personally dwell in the Christian.
The Holy Spirit does not personally dwell in the Christian.
|"If any man speak, let him
of God..." (I Peter 4:11)