Beach or mountains?
If you had to decide between one or the other as a vacation destination, which would you choose? For some, the answer would be a no brainer. You have a definite preference. For others, you may feel a tension, because you enjoy both the mountains and the beach.
Steak or shrimp? How do you choose?
What if mountains and beach, steak and shrimp were not mutually exclusive options?
What if you could have a vacation where the water meets the trail and where “surf and turf” is offered as one meal?
When it comes to theology and the spiritual life, some of us have believed that we have to make a choice–even if that choice is quite subconscious.
Just like we may feel a tension between a vacation at the beach or the mountains, we may feel a tension between “Word” and “Spirit.”
Maybe you’ve noticed that entire churches tend to drift into one camp or the other: the Word church and the Spirit church.
- The “Word” church prizes the intellectual and tends to emphasize the Bible and doctrine to the neglect of the Spirit.
- On the other hand, the “Spirit” church prizes the emotional and tends to emphasize the present, active ministry of the Holy Spirit to the potential neglect of the Word.
If the Word church values the rationality of the mind, the Spirit church values the affections of the heart.
But what if, like a surf and turf dinner, we don’t have to choose? What if the biblical model is not Word or Spirit, but Word and Spirit?
Interestingly, in Christian theology, the study of the Holy Spirit is called pneumatology, which comes from two Greek words, pneuma meaning “wind,” “breath,” or “spirit,” and logos meaning “word,” “logic,” or “study.” Even in the name of the study of the Spirit, both Word and Spirit are united into one word — pneuma and logos!
My proposition is that if we could see these two streams, the best of the Word church and the best of the Spirit church, converge into one, that we would have the recipe for spiritual revival and vitality that we haven’t seen in North America since Jonathan Edwards and the First Great Awakening. If these two streams of Word and Spirit converge, I believe we will see the formation of a mighty, unstoppable river of life.
Admittedly, Creekstone is in the Word church tradition. We prize the Scriptures. We value doctrinal study and theological education. We have the kindling. What we need is more of the Spirit’s fire to bring us alive, or as we say in our mission statement, “to help us come alive to the wonder of the gospel!”
In order to pursue more of the Spirit, we need to at least know more about the Spirit. That is our aim today. To get to know the Holy Spirit.
To this end, this message is divided between understanding the Deity of the Holy Spirit, the Personality of the Holy Spirit, and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit.