The Person of the Holy Spirit Part 2 The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 097:387 (Jul 1940)
Article: The Person of the Holy Spirit Part 2 The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
Author: John F. Walvoord


The Person of the Holy Spirit
Part 2
The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

John F. Walvoord

(Continued from the April-June Number, 1940)

[Author’s Note: Following the introductory article on the Person of the Holy Spirit, this discussion will begin the consideration of the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. Included in this article are the first three divisions: (1) The Work of the Holy Spirit in Eternity Past; (2) The Work of the Holy Spirit in Creation; (3) The Work of the Holy Spirit in Old Testament Revelation. To follow in a later article will be the discussion of the work of the Holy Spirit in the inspiration of the Old Testament, in working miracles in the Old Testament, and His ministry to man in the Old Testament.]

Introduction.

The great Dutch theologian of the last century, Abraham Kuyper, in beginning his classic work, The Work of the Holy Spirit, struck a note which every careful student of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit will echo when he wrote, “The need of divine guidance is never more deeply felt than when one undertakes to give instruction in the work of the Holy Spirit-so unspeakably tender is the subject, touching the inmost secrets of God and the soul’s deepest mysteries. We shield instinctively the intimacies of kindred and friends from intrusive observation, and nothing hurts the sensitive heart more than the rude exposure of that which should not be unveiled, being beautiful only in the retirement of the home circle. Greater delicacy befits our approach to the holy mystery of our soul’s intimacy with the living God.”1

The subject of the work of the Holy Spirit is frequently based on explicit revelation, the contemplation of which affords the devout soul exquisite delight. Some aspects are revealed in less detail, requiring on the part of all who study them most careful induction to avoid error. Frequently a great field of truth is revealed in a few scattered Scriptures. We all must share some feeling of futility in endeavoring to display the beauties of infinite truth, the field being so vast,

the danger of warping or slighting the truth ever being present.

Two great dangers in interpretation are apparent as illustrated in the literature on the subject. First, we are ever prone to interpret Scripture through experience, instead of interpreting experience through Scripture. The factor of human experience is very close to some aspects of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, but experience may not be normal, and if normal may not be properly interpreted. Much harm has come through arbitrary doctrines establis...

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