The Person of the Holy Spirit Part 7 The Work of the Holy Spirit in Salvation -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 098:392 (Oct 1941)
Article: The Person of the Holy Spirit Part 7 The Work of the Holy Spirit in Salvation
Author: John F. Walvoord


The Person of the Holy Spirit
Part 7
The Work of the Holy Spirit in Salvation

John F. Walvoord

(Continued from the July-September Number, 1941)

[Author’s Note: This article presents the second half of the discussion of the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation. In the previous article His work in efficacious grace and regeneration was considered. Here the work of the Holy Spirit in baptism, in indwelling, and in sealing is presented. The next article will begin treatment of the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer.]

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 13–15, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1–3 respectively.}

III. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Introduction.

Of the various works of the Holy Spirit related to the salvation of the believer, the work of baptism is most difficult to present. While in its nature it is far more simple than the work of efficacious grace, it has been given such divergent interpretation that its essential character is widely misunderstood. The difference of opinion which exists on this doctrine is often found among writers who are essentially agreed on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as a whole, and at the same time, the attitude of any writer on the doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit may well be considered a definite basis of classifying his whole position.

The confusion prevailing in the treatment of this doctrine has its rise in many factors. The principal cause of disagreement is found in the common failure to apprehend the distinctive nature of the Church. Many theologians regard the Church as a universal group of saints of all ages, some extending even these boundaries to include in the conception all who outwardly belong to it, even if not saved. If this concept of the nature of the Church is held, the baptism of the Holy Spirit has no relation to it. As this ministry is not found in the Old Testament and is not included in any prophecies regarding the millennium, it is peculiarly the work of the Holy Spirit for the present age, beginning with Pentecost and ending at the resurrection of

the righteous when the living Church is raptured. If, however, the Church be defined as the saints of this age only, the work of the Holy Spirit in baptizing all true believers into the body of Christ takes on a new meaning. It becomes the distinguishing mark of the saints of the present age, the secret of the peculiar intimacy and relationship of Christians to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is, therefore, essential to a proper doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit that it be recognized as the distinguishing characteristic of the Church,...

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