The Holy Spirit in the Bible
and Everywhere Else

First Presbyterian Church, Santa Barbara
Telford Work, Westmont College
April 2008

"Worshipped and glorified": Discovering the Holy Spirit
The Father, the Son, and 'it'
The difference the Spirit made
(Galatians 3:1-5, Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed,
my 1986, world Christianity)
A well-rounded account: 2 Corinthians 3
Five aspects of the Spirit's work and character in the Christian story:
These cross the Old and New Testaments
Various church practices embody our relationships with the Spirit
Certain traditions develop these as constitutive of their ecclesial identity
When one dominates the others, a tradition's 'Spirit' is weakened and it sets ourselves against others and their weak 'Spirits'
They offer resources for broader dilemmas in our intellectual culture
"Giver of life": The Spirit to Us
The breath of God in the water of creation (Genesis 1:2, 2:7, Psalm 33:6, 104:29-30)
Conception and new creation (Matthew 1:18-25, 3:11, John 3:1-10, 2 Corinthians 3:1-3, Ezekiel 37:5-14, 1 Corinthians 15:42-49, 1 Peter 3:18, Revelation 21:5-7)
Baptism (not as the water of Mark 1:8 or 1 John 5:6-9 but the Creator in John 3:8 and Romans 8:11a) (Anglicans, Restorationists)
Tribalism, baptismal entitlement, Deism (and their reactions)
Religion and science
"Lord": The Spirit over Us
The finger of God in Egypt and Sinai (Exodus 8:19, 31:18, Isaiah 63:7-14)
makes a name for the Lord (Exodus 6:3-8, 7:5)
Spirit at the Jordan and in the wilderness (Mark 1:9-13, Luke 3:15-22, 4:1-15)
Signs and wonders (Mark 1-8, Luke 11:20 cf. Mark 3:22-30, Acts 2, Acts 10:34-48)
and vindication (1 Timothy 3:16, Romans 1:3, 1:16-17)
Obedience and justification (Romans 1:3-5, Hebrews 9:14, 1 Timothy 3:16, 2 Corinthians 3:4-6)
to God's direct rule (Romans 8:1-8, Galatians 5:16-26, Hebrews 10:16-17)
Blessing, covenanting, preaching, and healing (Lutherans, Presbyterians)
Forensic libertinism and legalism (and their Pietist, Arminian, and liberal reactions)
God in history
"Spoke through the prophets": The Spirit on Us
The mouth of God (Deuteronomy 1:26, Deuteronomy 8:3 in Matthew 4:4, Jeremiah 1:9-10)
Anointed Israel (Numbers 11:29, Numbers 27:18, Deuteronomy 34:9, 1 Samuel 10:1-11, 19:18ff, Isaiah 61, Micah 3:5-8, Zechariah 7:12)
The charismatic Church (Exodus 31:3, Joel 2 in Acts 2, Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14, 2 Corinthians 3:7-11)
Ordination (Roman Catholics, Pentecostals)
Enthusiasm and passivity
Divine-human agency
"Proceeds from the Father": The Spirit in Us
Seeing in Israel (Genesis 41:38-39, Daniel 5:11, Psalm 51, Wisdom 7:21-30)
The eyes of God (Isaiah 11:1-5 in Revelation 3:1 and 5:6)
The mind of Christ in the Spirit (John 14:15-17, 16:12-15, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 2 Corinthians 3:12-17a)
Contemplation, discernment, and teaching (Eastern Orthodox)
"And from the Son": The Spirit into Us
Sanctifying presence (Leviticus 26:11, Numbers 14:14, Psalm 51, Ezekiel 36:24-38, 37:12-14)
The living water of God (John 4:7-30, 7:37-39, 19:34-35)
The Spirit of Christ in the Church (1 Corinthians 2, 2 Corinthians 3:17b-18, Romans 8:1-17, Galatians 4:6, Ephesians 5:18, Revelation 22:17)
Communion, discipline, asceticism (Pietists, Arminians, and Wesleyans)
Arrogance and self-centeredness (versus mission)
Narrowed Spirits versus Holy Spirit
Which of these relationships sound natural, and which are shocking?
When one relationship dominates, the Spirit's (and Son's and Father's) specificity recedes behind an abstract "divine"/human relationship
Utilitarian and human-centered Christianity results, with:
impoverished community
thin spirituality
frustrated prayer
alienation from other communities with other "Spirits"
and a more distant Triune God
... because narrowing fails to honor the full shape of our graced relations with the Triune God whose relations are constitutive of their Trinity
2 Cor 3 (for example) honors all five types, revealing a richer apostolic Church than ours, and none other than the Holy Spirit