Contemporary Issues in the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit Part III: New Morality -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 130:519 (Jul 1973)
Article: Contemporary Issues in the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit Part III: New Morality
Author: John F. Walvoord

Contemporary Issues in the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
Part III:
New Morality

John F. Walvoord

[John F. Walvoord, President, Dallas Theological Seminary, Editor, Bibliotheca Sacra.]

The moral crisis of contemporary society is a pointed reminder of the need for a new morality. Such a goal is not achieved by lowering former standards of morality to correspond to present behavior. Such a move is simply to condone immorality and to develop an amoral society. Rather, in harmony with the doctrine of the holiness of God, the goal should be realized of achieving in a new way a morality in keeping with the Scriptures and the character of God. The realization of such a goal is possible only by supernatural power such as is provided by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

The relationship of the Holy Spirit to the moral and spiritual life of the believer in Christ is obviously a major factor in the whole program of God in the believer’s salvation. The design of God in the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to promote holiness and high moral standards in the experience of the believer through the work of the Holy Spirit. The fact that the Holy Spirit indwells the believer makes possible communication of the will of God not only in the understanding of the Word of God as it bears upon moral issues, but also in establishing integrity and sound judgment in ethical matters. The growth of understanding and maturity of experience combine to achieve the will of God as it relates to moral issues in the life of a believer in Christ.

In establishing a believer in Christ, the work of the Spirit which is related to salvation prepares the individual for a life in the will of God. There are a number of important factors bearing on this. The believer has (1) a new nature, (2) the life of God in him, (3) is

related vitally to God and to other believers in the baptism of the Spirit, and (4) possesses the presence of God in his body and consciousness. This sets the stage for an effective expression of a life on high moral standards in keeping with the character of God. It is intrinsic in this new relationship that a young believer only recently entering into salvation in Christ can nevertheless experience and know the will of God and achieve a high moral standard. Sometimes the change is dramatic as compared to former life and fulfills the concept of conversion as it relates to a spiritual experience. Another factor, however, is evident and that is the maturity which is achieved only in time which gives the believer in Christ greater understanding of the will of God. Maturity must be developed in coping with situations that are not expressly covered by the Bible and rela...

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