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Rev. Jon Smith, his wife, Kristie, and their three children have settled into Trinity Church in Houston, Texas. Pastor Ron Cammenga conducted the Installation part of the morning worship service, on February 3. Edgerton Church in Minnesota has extended a call to Rev. David Engelsma from a trio including also Rev. DeVries and Prof. Hanko. Hull Church in Iowa has extended a call to Rev. Gise Van Baren from a trio which included also Prof. Hanko and Rev. R. Hanko.
THE REFORMED FAITH, by Loraine Boettner; The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1984; 28 pp., $.95 (paper). (Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko) Loraine Boettner is well-known to many in Reformed and Presbyterian circles for his clear and incisive writing. He has authored such books as “The Millennium,” “Immortality,” “Studies in Theology,” “The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination,” to mention but a few. The strength of his writing is always his clarity of expression, and this book is no exception.
The work of the Spirit ought to be of real interest and concern to each child of God. Jesus’ word to Nicodemus in John 3:5 indicates the principal reason for this interest: “Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of God.” His work results in our salvation.
Back in the early seventies the Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal movement swept through the world and churches like wildfire. Though the initial enthusiasm has waned, millions are still committed to the teachings of Pentecostalism.* Pentecostal teaching may be summed under three heads. With but minor variation, all Pentecostals are in agreement on these three salient points.
If we even think very much about the Spirit and our salvation, we usually have a fairly cold view of His work. I say cold because we think in terms of the Spirit merely handing to us, or pumping into us the blessings of salvation from a reservoir in heaven. And though this might be a nice figure to teach us how the Spirit works, it sometimes leads to an abstract and cold perception of the Spirit.
The work of the Holy Spirit as Comforter is not always understood among God’s people, with the result that they do not enjoy the comfort of the Holy Spirit as they should. When the church of Christ is strong and spiritually healthy and is edified by the Word of God, then the people of God walk “in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 9:31).
The Holy Spirit, in the Word of God, receives certain names which by their very nature serve to reveal to us His Person and work. He is called the Spirit of Christ because He is given to Jesus Christ our Lord at His ascension, to be the Spirit of the Mediator. He is also called the Comforter, as the One Who comes in Christ’s name and works the comfort of salvation in the hearts of God’s elect. So also He is called in Scripture, the Spirit of Truth.
Accompanying the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost were three outstanding signs. There was first the sound as of a rushing mighty wind that filled all the house where the 120 believers were gathered at the time that the Spirit was poured out (Acts 2:2). There was secondly the appearance of cloven tongues as of fire that sat upon each of them (Acts 2:3).
At least in some measure the confusion in the church over the special gifts of the Spirit and the so-called second blessing have risen because of a failure to understand what Scripture means when it speaks of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ. This failure is, at bottom, a failure to understand the distinction which Scripture makes between the Holy Spirit as the third Person of the Trinity, on the one hand, and as the Spirit of Christ, on the other hand. This mistake is very clearly evident in Edwin Palmer’s book, “The Person and Ministry of the...
No, I do not for the smallest fraction of a minute wish to maintain that the Holy Spirit once was not in our world, and that He came into it at a particular date in history. He is co-equal with the Father and Son; and He is also co-eternal with them. Do we not read inGenesis 1:2 that He was moving upon the face of the waters, when the Triune God was creating the heavens and the earth? Indeed He was there before time began.