Article IV – Pneumatology – The Study of the Holy Spirit
Section 1 His Work in the Salvation of Man
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the blessed Trinity, testifies of Christ, convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment in the present age (John 16:8). Though omnipresent from all eternity, the Holy Spirit has made His abode in believers in a special sense from the day of Pentecost to present (Joel 2:28-32; John 16:7-15; Acts:1:5,8). We believe that during the present age, at the moment of saving faith, all true believers are regenerated by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-5), indwelled by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9), and baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ (1st Corinthians 12:13). We believe that the work of the Holy Spirit contributes to the eternal security of the believer in that every believer is, at the moment of salvation, sealed by the Spirit unto the day of redemption (2nd Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). We further believe that the process of regeneration is utterly distinct from indwelling, and that it is an irreversible process which cannot be undone by sin in the life of the believer, or by any other means in the universe (John 3:3-16; 1st John 3:9; 1st Peter 1:23). We therefore believe that regeneration of the Holy Spirit and sealing of the Holy Spirit are distinct events, each providing a wholly distinct basis for the security of the believer.
Section 2 His Post-salvation Work
The Spirit continues to minister to believers throughout their lives by anointing them and illuminating to them the meaning of Scripture (John 16:12-15; 1st John 2:20-21), comforting them (Acts 9:31), filling (Ephesians 4:30), convicting them, strengthening and empowering them (Acts 1:8; Ephesians 3:16), witnessing to the human spirit of each believer (Romans 8:16), interceding on behalf of the believer (Romans 8:26), and leading the believer whose life is yielded to Him (Romans 8:14).
Each believer is commanded to consciously and worshipfully walk in the power and filling of the Holy Spirit, drawing upon His power and fellowship (Galatians 5:16-18; Ephesians 5:18). Those believers who live thus in submission to the Holy Spirit will have lives of fruitfulness and holiness (Galatians 5:22-24). We believe, however, that the Spirit of God does not violate the free will of the believer, who remains fully capable of sin (Galatians 5:17-21, 5:26-6:1; 1st Thessalonians 5:19), by which the Spirit is grieved (Ephesians 4:30).
Section 3 Spiritual Gifts
The Holy Spirit empowers believers with spiritual gifts for the edifying of the church (Ephesians 4:1-16, Romans 12:1-16 ; 1st Corinthians 12:4-31) and the advancement of the gospel message (Acts 1:8-9). We believe that certain spiritual gifts, such as the gift of apostleship (1st Corinthians 15:7-9), the gift of tongues (1st Corinthians 13:8-11; 14:20-22), and the gift of healing (2nd Timothy 4:20), were limited to the earliest years of the church, and are no longer bestowed in believers today, and that the gift of tongues was never the normal or necessary sign of the baptism nor of the filling of the Spirit (1st Corinthians 12:6-31). Although we do not believe that any person currently on earth possesses the miraculous gift of healing, we do believe that God listens, and, according to His good pleasure, responds to the fervent prayers of his children in all matters, including healing of the sick (Luke 18:1-8; James 5:16).
Section 4 His Activity in the World
The Holy Spirit continues to work in the world in restraining evil, and of the lawless one, in order that he might be revealed in his time (2nd Thessalonians 2:6-9).