More than Just a Ghost- Al Mohler on the Holy Spirit

October 24, 2008

These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” -John 14.25-26

But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.” -John 15.26

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” -John 16.7-8

Growing up I did not have much church exposure, but, what exposure I did have came at services and camps which fell under the pentecostal denomination. Because of this, I had a strong initial presentation to belief in the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Now some 12-15 years later, and 7 years since joining a Southern Baptist church, a strong view of the Spirit is still a part of my faith (though with certain necessary orthodox changes from the pentecostal beliefs in spirit baptism, etc). However, as a Southern Baptist denominationally and a Calvinist soteriologically, I would have to say that the view portrayed of the Spirit in typical SBC life leaves something to be desired.

A couple of weeks ago Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern seminary, gave legs to this complaint. As one who shares the same reformed convictions as myself, Dr. Mohler knows all to well the necessity of a strong view of the Spirit in the work of regeneration and the inner testimony of assurance of salvation. He also knows the propensity of Baptists to avoid the idea of an active Spirit for fear of placing too much emphasis on seeking signs and gifts among the body of believers. Therefore, when approaching the topic of the Holy Spirit as spoken of in the Apostles Creed, Dr. Mohler delivered a thorough explication of the him as revealed to us by the words of Christ in John chapters 14 through 16, without going overboard into the more murky waters of the involvement of the Spirit in the life of the church a la the book of Acts.

I think his message, which was part of Southern seminary’s Heritage Week, is a must listen, particularly for those among us who err too frequently on the side of a passive, unimportant Spirit. As Dr. Mohler points out, the Spirit does not come to testify about himself (John 16.13), yet without his presence the church would be lost in the world (John 14.18).

Dr. Albert Mohler- The Apostles Creed: The Holy Spirit