Editorial: The Glorious Work Of God The Holy Spirit -- By: Stephen J. Wellum

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 16:4 (Winter 2012)
Article: Editorial: The Glorious Work Of God The Holy Spirit
Author: Stephen J. Wellum

Editorial: The Glorious Work Of God The Holy Spirit

Stephen J. Wellum

Stephen J. Wellum is Professor of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In addition to his role on the faculty, Dr. Wellum serves as editor of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. He received the Ph.D. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and he is the author of numerous essays and articles, as well as the co-author of Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants (Crossway, 2012).

Over the last year, SBJT has been devoted to thinking through and wrestling with various significant aspects of theology proper, i.e., the doctrine of God. We have done so by reflecting respectively on the work of God the Father, God the Son, and now, in this issue, we turn our attention to diverse and crucial aspects of the person and work of God the Holy Spirit.

Regarding the subject of the third person of the Godhead, we must, sadly, admit that even today he is still the neglected person in Trinitarian discussion. Even though great strides have taken place in recent years to think through Scriptural teaching and to theologize about the Spirit’s person and work, for many in the evangelical church a robust understanding and living out of the Spirit’s work in our lives is still lacking. For the most part, Christians are more familiar with the work of God the Father and Son than God the Holy Spirit. It is for this reason that we are giving special attention to the Spirit’s work and it is our prayer that this issue of SBJT will help in some small measure.

In order to set the stage for the following articles and Forum section, I want to begin our discussion on the glorious work of the Spirit by thinking briefly about three important points of the Spirit’s work which Pentecost highlights and underscores. Why Pentecost? For the simple reason that Pentecost is uniquely the redemptive-historical event where we see most clearly the Spirit’s work with respect to God’s plan of salvation centered in our Lord Jesus Christ. What, then, does Pentecost teach us regarding the glorious work of God the Holy Spirit?

First and at the most basic level, Pentecost reminds us that the Spirit’s work in redemption is a Triune work. A crucial truth of Trinitarian theology is that in all of God’s actions whether in creation, providence, or redemption, all three persons are inseparably at work yet in their own

distinctive ways. Thus, for example, in creation the one God creates but he does so as the Triune God—the Father through the Son and by the Spirit (You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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