TELEIOS RESEARCH – SPIRIT SURVEY RESULTS
We received 475 responses.
The Holy Spirit is extremely important in our lives as Christians and often is underappreciated in preaching. Beliefs vary widely and can be emotional. I’ve tried to limit my comments to passages in the New Testament epistles.
The role of the Holy Spirit can be divided neatly into 3 general functions:
- The Spirit’s role in Salvation
- The Spirit helping us to grow spiritually
- Our responsibilities to the spirit.
Q9 – The role of the Holy Spirit in our salvation was (choose all that apply):
- Convicted us of our sin*
- Regenerated us to a new person, identified with Christ (i.e., spiritual baptism) *
- Sealed us to the day of our redemption*
- Led us to salvation by signs and/or speaking to us
- Provided us the mental capacity to choose our salvation
- No specific role
Note: Scripture indicates that the Spirit is active in our salvation by:
- Convicting us of sin to bring us to the point of belief (John 16: 8-11);
- Baptizing us, identified with Christ’s death and resurrection. This is our new life and eternity in Christ (our regeneration, Titus 3:5, Romans 6:2-9. Colossians 2:11-13, Ephesians 2:4-7). When the epistles speak of baptism they mean ‘spiritual baptism’.
- Sealing us as God’s own possession to the day of our final redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14, 2 Corinthians 1:21; 5:5).
Q10 – The role of the Holy Spirit in our Christian walk is (please choose all that apply):
- Helps us put to death the deeds of the flesh*
- Leads us by God’s word*
- Comforts us that we are children of God*
- Teaches us*
- Encourages us with signs and wonders
- Prays for us*
- Convicts us of daily sin
- Provide signs and wonders to lead believers
- Gives us power by the armor of God (i.e., Bible, faith, righteousness, truth, hope, gospel) *
- Indwells us with His full power until we are home with Christ*
- Awaits the second indwelling by asking Him to come into our lives
- Heals us of every sickness
- No specific role
Note: There are no concise texts regarding the actions of the Spirit in our lives as there are with our Savior, Jesus Christ. Key texts are Romans 8:11-16, 26, John 14-16 and Ephesians 6:11-17. These passages are the bases of the correct answers above. Importantly in the armor of God passage the Spirit uses the Word of God directly but the rest of the armor is associated with His actions through the Gospel (Romans 1:16-17, Galatians 5:5) and the fruit of the spirit (Ephesians 5:11 and Galatians 5:22-23). Therefore, it is the Spirit who matures us and His methods are signified by the armor of God passage (Ephesians 5:13-17).
Q11 – What is the duty of a Christian towards the Holy Spirit (please choose all that apply)?
- Do not grieve the Spirit* Ephesians 4:30
- Do not suppress the Spirit* I Thessalonians 5:19
- Do not commit the unforgivable sin by blaspheming the Spirit
- Walk in the Spirit* Galatians 5:16, 235
- Be zealous towards the Spirit* Romans 12:11
- Be filled (mature) in the Spirit* Ephesians 5:18
- Ask for the second filling of the Spirit
- Exercise the miraculous gifts
- Pray in tongues
- Put to death the deeds the flesh through the Spirit* Romans 8:13
- Put on the armor of God to allow the Spirit to act* Ephesians 6:11-17
- Listen to the Spirit’s guidance
- No specific duty
Note: The answers from the scripture are referenced above. One point over the blasphemy of the Spirit (Matthew 12:31). This verse relates not to Christians but to Jews primarily who rejected the witness of the Spirit at the baptism of Christ who had come to present the kingdom and salvation (Matthew 3:16).
Q12 – What are the results of the Holy Spirit acting in all our lives (please choose all that apply)?
- Controlled and/or mature behaviors* Ephesians 5:18
- Fruit of the Spirit (i.e., love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control, righteousness, truth) * Ephesians 5:11, Galatians 5:22.
- Able to interpret dreams and signs
- Act according to the armor of God Ephesians* 6:11-17
- Able to do miracles, signs and wonders
- Speak in tongues or interpretation of tongues
- Able to prophesy
- Speak the things of God Ephesians* 5:19
- No specific results
Note: Over charismatic theology, approximately one-third of evangelicals identify as “charismatic”. Generally, this theology interprets Acts 2 as an encouragement for each Christian to receive a second, more powerful filling of the Holy Spirit so that they can perform the miraculous gifts identified in 1 Corinthians 12-14.
We do not know the exact state of the signs and wonders noted in 1 Corinthians. Nonetheless, charismatic theology is controversial when compared to traditional orthodox theology and normal literal interpretation of scripture in several key points:
- Signs and wonders are used by scripture generally to note new revelation as with Moses, Elijah and Christ.
- The purpose of signs and wonders (including tongues), as predicted in the Old Testament, confirmed in the Gospels and Acts, attested to the messiahship of Christ and to condemn unbelieving Jews.
- Their presence in Acts connects the ministry of the apostles to that of Christ. God is always careful to connect in Scripture a prior era to a new one.
- Signs and wonders died out with the end of the witness to the Jews in Jerusalem early in Acts consistent with Matthew 13:11. They do not generally reappear in the later witness to the Gentiles, who wanted wisdom and not signs (1 Corinthians 1:22).
- The church in Corinth still had these signs, even as they were dying out elsewhere, as they were immature and probably needed them as support; and they had a substantial Jewish population to whom these signs witnessed. Nonetheless, their distribution was variable and incomplete (I Corinthians 12:28-30. Even so, Paul encouraged the Corinthians to seek a better way (faith, hope and love), consistent with the rest of the New Testament (1 Corinthians 12:31, 13:13).
- All Christians are characterized as having the Spirit (Romans 8:9) and there is no limitation described in the epistles of His power in our lives unless we limit it (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
- The rest of the New Testament emphasizes maturity through the Spirit, by the knowledge and understanding of His word, and as shown by biblical characteristics (Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Timothy 3 and 1 John 2-4).
All of us who are saved by faith are God’s people and we approach God in faith through scripture and the Spirit teaches us and causes us to stand.
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