Thought for the Morning
Fundamentalist Baptist Doctrine, Part 3
Article Three: "Of the holy Spirit"
From a letter to Jill, a sister who had fallen away from the faith and become a Baptist.
III. "Of the Holy Spirit . . . That the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature . . ."
Comment: This is merely a part of the doctrine of the Trinity, described above. The Spirit of God, Jill, is God's Spirit. That's it. Nothing else, and nothing hard to understand. It is never capitalized in the original Greek. It is not a name.
Your spirit is not another person, and you were made in God's image. The holy Spirit is not another person, either. It is the eternal life that dwells within God (Rom. 8:10). This holy Spirit is the eternal life of the Father which He gave to the Son (Jn. 5:26); and it is the eternal life which, in the name of Jesus, comes to us when we are baptized with the Spirit (Jn. 14:26).
What is particularly sad to me about this little section of the "Articles of Faith" on the "Holy Spirit" is what is not mentioned. There is no reference to the baptism of the holy Ghost, the most important experience on this side of the grave. There is not the first reference to the baptism that Jesus died for and that Jesus gave you, long ago. Is it reasonable, Jill, for you to give your heart, your time, and your substance to support men who omit from their statement of faith the very experience that Jesus died for? Jill, it is doubtful your "elders" know much if anything of the grace that you received.
Next Time - Article Four: "Of the Atonement for Sin"