Baptists > Doctrines > God the Holy Spirit
God is a Spirit.
  Once more, He is a Holy Spirit who leads, guides, convicts, directs, and comforts the children of God.
   Although, the Holy Spirit is referred to as the "third person" of the Trinity, no Baptist would argue that the Father or the Son are not co-equal with Him.  In fact, all are One, therefore, equal.
   Explaining the concept of the Trinity in human terms has been determined to be an impossibility.  Rationalists may balk at the idea but those who put their trust in God's perfect Word accept it without hesitation.  Divine mysteries may not line up with man's need to understand everything in a logical manner but, then again, denying the obvious Biblical teaching of Trinitarianism is one that one will have to take up with God.  It seems that He insists upon it, so any argument is mute.
   Therefore, regarding the Holy Spirit, it is He who leads people to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  One might interpret that more mystically than the Scripture clearly sets forth.  For example, is it not the Spirit of God who leads born-again believers to witness of their faith?  Is it not He who inspired the Scriptures, thus, challenging believers to go out and declare the Gospel to every creature?  Who is it that works in God's people to direct their paths, guide their every day, and speak to them with a "still small voice" when the leading is needed.  None other, than God's Holy Spirit!
   Just how intimate is the Holy Spirit of God in relationship to believers?
   According to the Word of God, it is He who deems each child of God as His temple (I Corinthians 3:16).  Baptists have been forerunners in proclaiming this important facet of the Spirit's ministry in regard to Christians who are responsible for taking care of their bodies.  After all, since our bodies are His temple, how could we possibly begin to even think that God's Spirit should be harbored within the confines of one that is dishonored, abused, and allowed to combine with that which is unacceptable to the Father?  Conversely, some Baptists tend to go beyond this truth by enforcing moral standards that are more akin to the legalism of the Pharisees.  Thus, the need to grow in grace and become mature in the Lord negates such tendencies.  Otherwise, learning how to move aside and let the Holy Spirit do His work in the minds and souls of believers as contrasted to dictating what we think God demands of believers becomes a challenge to those who struggle with the temptation to find godliness in legalism.
   God's Spirit is declared to be a 'Counsellor' or 'Helper' (Latin: paracletus), who guides us in the way of the truth.  The 'Fruit of the Spirit' is the result of those who lead a truly spiritually committed lifestyle.  The Spirit also gives gifts to Christians. The gifts claimed to still be active by the Charismatics, such as prophecy, tongues, healing, and knowledge, are believed by Baptists to have ceased once the New Testament canon of Scriptures was completed.  Thus, God's Word became the final and only revelation of His will to man.
   It is the Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised to send as the "Comforter" (e.g. strengthener, fortifier) in John 14:26.  After his resurrection, Christ told his disciples that they would be "baptized with the Holy Ghost", and would receive power from Him (Acts 1:4-8).  On the first Pentecost, Jesus' disciples were gathered in Jerusalem when a mighty wind was heard and tongues of fire appeared over their heads.  A multilingual crowd heard the disciples speaking, and each of them heard them speaking in his or her native language.  Therefore, contrary to the contemporary claims of the Pentecostals, this gift was one where the language was understood by other men as contrasted to their view that tongues are a kind of language understood only by the Holy Ghost.
   Furthermore, the Spirit's ministry also includes convicting men of sin, leading believers in their pursuit of God's truth, and providing daily guidence for the children of God.
   While those who prefer to place their trust in the view that guardian angels protect and guide us, Baptists have no doubt that the Bible would have us kick up that view a notch by understanding that it is God Himself Who does all of that and so much more for each of His children.
   That's what the Bible says!
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Slippage Questions: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

   "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."  ~ Hebrews 2:1

Does the church you attend teach the doctrine of the Trinity or do they deny the Biblical doctrine regarding the Holy Spirit of God?
Do you understand that the Holy Spirit indwells born-again believers, therefore, the more you commit yourself to serve God, the more His Spirit can guide you to do His will?
Does the church you attend emphasize the Holy Spirit over God the Father and God the Son?  If so, do you think that doing so might lead to error, especially regarding the gifts of the Spirit?
Does the church you attend under-emphasize the Holy Spirit as contrasted to God the Father and God the Son?  If so, do you think that doing so might result in not comprehending the leading of God's Spirit?
Are you clear on the teaching of spiritual gifts or do you still believe that speaking in tongues and divine healing are active gifts now that the full revelation of God's Word has been with us for nineteen centuries; the resurgence of the belief in these gifts being only of recent ?
Can you point to a clear Scripture to support everything you believe about the Holy Spirit or are your ideas concerning Him based on what others have told  you?
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