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THEOLOGY OF PAUL

CHAPTER TEN

PNEUMATOLOGY OF PAUL

Perhaps the greatest contribution of Paul to Theology was in the area of Pneumatology, the importance of the Holy Spirit.

The English word Pneumatology comes from two Greek words: πνευμα (pneuma, spirit) and λογος (logos, teaching about).   Pneuma (πνεύμα) is an ancient Greek word for "breath," and in a religious context for "spirit" It is given various technical meanings by medical writers and philosophers of antiquity, including:

·                     "air in motion, breath, wind," equivalent in the material monism of Anaximenes to aer (ήρ, "air") as the element from which all else originated

·                     Pneuma (ancient medicine), the circulating air that is necessary for the systemic functioning of vital organs

·                     The connate pneuma (Aristotle), the warm mobile "air" that in the sperm transmits the capacity for locomotion and certain sensations to the offspring;

·                     Pneuma (Stoic), the Stoic philosophical concept of the animating warm breath, in both the cosmos and the body

Jesus himself compares the Holy Spirit with the wind.
J
oh 3:8  The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit."

Pneumatology would normally include study of the person of the Holy Spirit, and the works of the Holy Spirit which included new birth, spiritual gifts (charismata),  Spirit-baptism,  sanctification,  the inspiration of prophets,  and  indwelling of the Spirit.  Most of these find their origin from the writings of Paul.

The simple means of getting saved through faith is clearly stated by Paul which is the basis of most mission and revival thrusts.

Rom 10:9-10  
if you confess with your lips
that Jesus is Lord
and
believe in your heart
that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.  
For man believes with his heart and so is justified,
and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.

Acts 16:31
"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved."

Romans 3:22 "Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference."

In Paul’s theology it is the new birth

2Co 5:17-19  Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;  that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

This process of new creation Man and the redemption is attained through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that is renewed in the new birth. It is described in various terms such as   "regeneration."   (Titus 3:5)   “ receiving new life”  (Rom. 6:4), “receiving the circumcision of the heart”  (Rom. 2:29; Col. 2:11–12), and 

John 3:3 Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.'

Before his agony Jesus clearly told his disciples that they should not depart from Jersualem until they have received the Holy Spirit.   After all this was the whole plan of the salvation.  Through the death and resurrection Jesus was able to start the new creation through the sealing of the Holy Spirit within those who are willing to receive.

At the Pentecost, the Kingdom of God arrived with new power with the coming of the Holy Spirit.  Since then this power has been available to those who are willing.

John 14:16-17  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

Acts 2:32-33  God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

Sealed

 Eph 1:13  "After that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy spirit of promise, which is the earnest [the pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption

With that the believer becomes the temple of God, because the Holy Spirit resides in the person, in person.

1Co 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?

             17  But he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

             19  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have    

                  from God? You are not your own;  20  you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your      

                  body.

Eph 4:30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The function of the Holy Spirit in every believer is to transform him into the image of Christ.  This process is called Sanctification in the western theology and theosis in the eastern theology.

By cooperating with the Holy Spirit, the Christian is enabled to do "good works"

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

The transformation is found in the everyday life of the believer.  Every good tree will bring forth good fruit.  Thus good works are the outward expression of the state of sanctity of the individual believer.  It is through the practical expression of faith through good works that the Christian is "sanctified". Through the process of sanctification, the Christian is prepared for final "glorification," when the believer will enter into the divine realm of existence and to the sonship of God and brotherhood in Christ and become a participant in the eternal life of God

1Th 4:3  For this is the will of God, your sanctification:

2Th 2:13  But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

2Th 2:14  To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Koinonia (κοινωνία/communion). The Unity of the Church

 

Now so far we have been talking about individuals and their salvation.  But Redemption is more than individual salvation.  As we had discussed earlier, it is the redeeming of both Mankind and then the release of the entire cosmos.  Hence individualism will have to give way to more complex systems.  Among the first step was the Church.  The initial outpouring of the Spirit was upon a group who immediately formed a group with one accord – a unity.  This is symbolic of any living body where there are parts and individuals which are all united together by the life which is the expression of the Spirit.

It is the spirit that gives life.  When man dies, the spirit returns to its sender. Early Christian community referred to themselves as the”Israel of God” (Gal 6:16), the ”saints” (Acts 9:32, 41; 26:10; Rom1:7; 8:27; 12:13; 15:25), “the elect” (Rom 8:33; Col 3:12 etc), “the chosen race” (1 Pe 2:9 ), “the royal priesthood”  who were partakers in the redemptive process with Christ.

Galatians 3:26,27 "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ"

1 Corinthians 12:13 "For by one spirit we were all baptized into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free - and have all been made to drink in one spirit"

    

Acts 1:14 The 120 met in the upper room for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, men and women.  "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren."

The whole description is based on the body

 

Eph 4:4 -6 
There is one body,
and one Spirit,

even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; 
one Lord,
one faith,
one baptism, 
one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.

 

Rom 12:4 -6   For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members have not the same office:  so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and severally members one of another.

This forms the community of God  koinonia (κοινωνία/communion). The Holy Spirit, therefore, is incompatible with individualism, His primary work being the transformation of all reality into a relational status.  This includes every individual and the Holy Spirit pervades each and forms the binding life energy of the Church.

Each individual is given the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Spirit's gifts were given to build them into a community.    

Trinity in the Redemption

The whole trinity is at work in the process of redemption each giving diversities of gifts to the edification and sanctification of the Church.

                

Gifts of the Lord

Eph 4:11-12  And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,  to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

       

1Co 12:4-14 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of ministrations, and the same Lord. And there are diversities of workings, but the same God, who worketh all things in all.

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal:
For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom;  and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit:  to another faith, in the same Spirit;  and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit;  and to another workings of miracles;  and to another prophecy;  and to another discernings of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues:  but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will.

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.

Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.

 

Gifts of Christ  The Nine Charisms for Service

Rom 12:4-8 For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members have not the same office: so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and severally members one of another.
And having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; or ministry, let us give ourselves to our ministry;
 or he that teacheth, to his teaching; or he that exhorteth, to his exhorting: he that giveth, let him do it with liberality; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with
cheerfulness.

Each part of the body is given gifts (coded within the organ) so that the body may work perfectly in accordance with the will of the head.

Eph 4:8-11 Therefore it is said, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men." (In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors
and teachers,

To this must be added the Judaism traditional gifts for the sanctification of the person   (Is.11:2-3)

 

Isa 11:2 And the Spirit of the LORD. the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

 

 

The purpose of the gift is

Eph 4:12-13

to equip the saints for the work of ministry,
for building up the body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of the faith
and of the knowledge of the Son of God
, to mature manhood,
to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ;

Php 3:20-21  But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.

There is an on going struggle between the outer man (the unregenerated man of this world) and the inner man (the regenerated part of the world).  Paul characterizes this struggle as a war between the Principalities and Powers of this world and the Spiritual man within.

2Co 4:16  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day.

Heb 9:8  By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary is not yet opened as long as the outer tent is still standing

Eph 6:11-18 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

Thus, Paul depicts the process of theosis as a progressive and life-long struggle between the outer world and its selfish destructive philosophies and the Spirit of Christ by which the believer dies more and more to self and sin and transforms himself  more and more into the likeness of  Christ.

Rom 5:1-2 
Therefore,
since we are justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through him
we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand,
and
we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.

This is a group dynamics whereby believers are called to acquire "the full measure of perfection of Christ," This is the work of the Holy Spirit.  It is not an individual growth it has to be through the body of Christ as an organism

Through the process of sanctification,

 

2Co 3:18  
we all,
with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,
are being changed
into his likeness
from one degree of glory to another;
for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.