There is something healthy about returning to one’s roots. When it comes to evangelical Christianity, its roots are found in the soil of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation.

The Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments

Collapse
X
Collapse
First Prev Next Last
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    The Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments


    Question

    How does the ministry of the Holy Spirit differ in the Old and New Testaments? Were Old Testament believers permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit, or did the Spirit simply come upon them for special tasks? What is the significance of Pentecost? Was this when believers were indwelt by the Spirit? How were Old Testament believers sanctified? Was it through the keeping of the Law, the work of the Spirit, or both?

    Answer

    "How does the ministry of the Holy Spirit differ in the Old and New Testaments? Were Old Testament believers permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit, or did the Spirit simply come upon them for special tasks? What is the significance of Pentecost? Was this when believers were indwelt by the Spirit?"

    The Holy Spirit's ministry in the Old Testament differs from his ministry in the New Testament not so much in kind as in degree. We can think of this ministry under two major headings: salvation and gifting.

    In terms of salvation, the Bible is clear that fallen man is born spiritually dead and incapable of saving faith (i.e. totally depraved). In order to be justified (which is part of the salvation process), we must have faith, and in order to have faith we must first be "regenerated" or "born again." In regeneration, our spirits are made alive, or regenerated, only because they draw life from the Holy Spirit who indwells us (Rom. 8:9-11); our spiritual life lasts only so long as we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. As in the New Testament, salvation in the Old Testament was permanent, requiring the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Old Testament saints were saved, regenerated and justified, and they had faith. Thus, they were indwelt by the Holy Spirit. In this regard, the Holy Spirit's ministry was the same in the Old Testament as it is now.

    Sometimes it can be confusing to think about the Holy Spirit permanently indwelling Old Testament believers because David spoke of the possibility of God taking away his Holy Spirit (Ps. 51:11), but David was not speaking of the indwelling presence of God. Rather, he was speaking of God's anointing him as king. David did not want God to punish him for his sin by taking away the throne of Israel, as God had previously done to Saul.

    In terms of gifting, the Holy Spirit gifted people for ministry and service in the Old Testament, but he did so in ways that were very limited compared to the way he gifted people in the New Testament. Primarily, the Holy Spirit's special gifting was limited to people such as prophets, priests and kings - especially to prophets. Consider for example that when Saul (a king) prophesied, the question arose as to whether or not he was a prophet (1 Sam. 10:10-11).

    But Joel foretold a day when God's Spirit would be poured out on all people, regardless of their office within the covenant community (Joel 2:28-29). This was precisely the passage that Peter quoted during his Pentecost sermon (Acts 2:17-18) in order to state that Joel's prophecy had been fulfilled: the Holy Spirit had begun to gift everyone in the covenant community in incredible ways, empowering them in ways that had been limited to a select few in the Old Testament. Pentecost was the moment when the Holy Spirit began to give this superior gifting to everyone.

    "How were Old Testament believers sanctified? Was it through the keeping of the Law, the work of the Spirit, or both?"

    Sanctification has two aspects that theologians typically address. First and foremost, it is a setting aside as holy unto God, or what we might call "consecration." This takes place only once for each person by his or her inclusion in the covenant community, placing him or her in covenant with God (cf. 1 Cor. 7:14). For most in the Old Testament, this took place by birth (and circumcision). In the New Testament, this takes place by birth or conversion, and subsequent baptism.

    The second aspect of sanctification that theologians typically identify is purification. This is a process that continues throughout a believer's life and through which the believer is made more like Christ. In the Reformed tradition, sanctification has typically been called "progressive," meaning that the generally trend in a believer's life is that he or she becomes more righteous, less sinful. A minority view in the Reformed position (which I happen to hold) is that sanctification is not necessarily a process that makes one more and more righteous over the course of his life (although it ought to be), but rather a continual process of purification required by the fact that we continue to sin. This minority view is that our sin continually makes us less pure, and sanctification continually purifies us from that sin (cf. 1 John 1:7,9). This does not deny the idea that believers ought to become more and more righteous as they live their Christian lives, but rather assigns this idea to what the Bible calls the process of "maturation" rather than to sanctification in and of itself. If believers are obedient to God, their sanctification may make them progressively less sinful, but this is not a necessary model for all believers prior to glory (in Eph. 5:26 glorification is the ultimate act of sanctification).

    But whatever view one takes of sanctification as purification, the question of how believers are sanctified remains. According to Paul in Romans 6:19-23, sanctification occurs as believers submit themselves as slaves to righteousness, and because they have been enslaved to God. The first idea is that believers are active in the sanctification, and the second is that they are passive. Together, they indicate that sanctification is God's gracious work (cf. Phil. 2:13; 1 Thess. 5:23; 1 Pet. 1:2), and that it takes place by means of our cooperation (cf. 1 Thess. 4:3-7; 2 Tim. 2:21) and faith (Acts 26:18).

    In the Old Testament, the process was the same, though the Old Testament does not use the same vocabulary. In the New Testament, "sanctification" comes from the word group that means "holiness" (hagiasmos), "holy" (hagios), and "to be holy" (hagiazo). But the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) does not use these terms in this way. It almost exclusively speaks of "sanctification" as "consecration."

    When the Old Testament speaks of purification akin to New Testament sanctification, it often uses terms related to "purify" or "cleanse," frequently in the context of forgiveness (e.g. Lev. 16:30; Num. 8:21; Ps. 51:2; Jer. 33:8; Ezek. 36:25,33). The New Testament reflects this language in 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." In these passages it is still God who graciously sanctifies, commonly in response to man's effort. Just as in the New Testament, in the Old Testament sanctification was not earned, but it was graciously applied in response to man's submission to God.

    Source: The Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments

    #2
    Originally posted by William View Post
    Old Testament saints were saved, regenerated and justified, and they had faith. Thus, they were indwelt by the Holy Spirit. In this regard, the Holy Spirit's ministry was the same in the Old Testament as it is now.
    Old Testament saints were saved,regenerated, and justified by the Holy Spirit just as we are today but they weren't indwelt by the Spirit.

    And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16,17)

    The Old Testament sometimes speaks of the Spirit coming on a person to enable him to so something. If the Spirit was dwelling in him it would be neither possible or necessary for the Spirit to come on him.
    Clyde Herrin's Blog
    Comment>

      #3
      I would very much like to see scripture that validates the Holy Spirit being sealed in anyone in the OT. I believe that doctrine is contained in the NT with these verses but cannot find anything like it in the OT, have I missed it?

      Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” (2 Corinthians 1:21–22, NASB95)
      Last edited by tevans9129; 07-28-2017, 04:21 AM. Reason: added OT in first sentence.
      Comment>

        #4
        Originally posted by tevans9129 View Post
        I would very much like to see scripture that validates the Holy Spirit being sealed in anyone in the OT.
        From a soteriology perspective no one can stay a believer for one second without the ongoing internal work of the Holy Spirit – neither in the OT nor the NT. 1) If the Old Testament believers were real believers, the Holy Spirit indwelt them. 2) No one can be born again, believe, or repent without the inward work of the Holy Spirit. 3) Without the Holy Spirit constantly in and at work in our hearts, we will immediately apostatize.

        If #1 is true, then the Bible is not true (Jn. 8:56; Heb 11).

        If #2 is true, then Old Testament believers were not as depraved as we are, as they did not need the ongoing indwelling work of the Holy Spirit. (And in some ways, this debate really is a debate about the nature of human depravity in the Old Testament. Could anything less or other than the indwelling of the Holy Spirit keep a believer believing, repenting, hoping, obeying, etc?)

        If #3 is true, then the question that’s left is: “In what ways did the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit differ in the Old Testament compared to the New, especially post-Pentecost?” Everyone accepts there was a difference. But what was it?

        Asking whether the the Holy Spirit was sealed amongst God's people would be like stating whether the Holy Spirit was sealed in the tabernacle or the physical/building temple where God dwelt amongst His people. So, when we ask how the Old Testament describes God’s covenant presence with his people to sustain and bless them, we find God telling Israel he will make his dwelling among them in the tabernacle (Lev. 26:11–12), Solomon praying that God would indwell the temple and thereby incline the hearts of his people to himself (1 Kgs. 8:57–58), and the sons of Korah singing that a day in Yahweh’s courts, at his house, are better than a thousand elsewhere (Ps. 84:10) because under the old covenant God by his Spirit took up residence in the tabernacle and later the temple.

        Jesus came and replaced the temple as the place of God’s presence, and his death on the cross is the sacrifice whereby sin can be forgiven. Jesus gave the Spirit to his disciples, with the result that Paul can call them the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16), and Jesus also gave his disciples authority to forgive sin (John 20:22–23). The Spirit dwells in the members of the church, individually and corporately, and members of a local church in good standing (i.e., not under discipline) can be assured that by faith their sins are forgiven.

        God bless,
        William

        References: David Murray & John Starke
        Recommended Reading: God's Indwelling Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments (Nac Studies in Bible & Theology): James M. Hamilton Jr., E. Ray Clendenen: 9780805443837: Amazon.com: Books
        Comment>

          #5
          Originally posted by William View Post

          From a soteriology perspective no one can stay a believer for one second without the ongoing internal work of the Holy Spirit – neither in the OT nor the NT. If the Old Testament believers were real believers, the Holy Spirit indwelt them. No one can be born again, believe, or repent without the inward work of the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit constantly in and at work in our hearts, we will immediately apostatize.

          1) OK, I read your assertion but can you quote scripture that states the Holy Spirit is sealed in the OT believers? I quoted it from the NT but I cannot find where it is stated in the OT.

          2) Can you quote any scripture in the OT about being "born again" about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? I am not interested in what some commentary may say, I would like to see it in God's word, can you do that?

          3) Hope you got a good rest William and some catch up on your sleep.

          Comment>

            #6
            Originally posted by tevans9129 View Post


            1) OK, I read your assertion but can you quote scripture that states the Holy Spirit is sealed in the OT believers? I quoted it from the NT but I cannot find where it is stated in the OT.

            2) Can you quote any scripture in the OT about being "born again" about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? I am not interested in what some commentary may say, I would like to see it in God's word, can you do that?

            3) Hope you got a good rest William and some catch up on your sleep.
            As to number 1 there is no assertion that Scripture states the Holy Spirit is sealed "IN" the OT. The point is that the Holy Spirit worked in the hearts of people to enlighten, convict, and lead people to believe the content of the message as it existed in Old Testament times. The Holy Spirit obviously had to regenerate people and He led them. 1 Pet 1:10-11 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time[a] the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.

            Asking whether the the Holy Spirit was sealed amongst God's people would be like stating whether the Holy Spirit was sealed in the tabernacle or the physical/building temple where God dwelt amongst His people. So, when we ask how the Old Testament describes God’s covenant presence with his people to sustain and bless them, we find God telling Israel he will make his dwelling among them in the tabernacle (Lev. 26:11–12), Solomon praying that God would indwell the temple and thereby incline the hearts of his people to himself (1 Kgs. 8:57–58), and the sons of Korah singing that a day in Yahweh’s courts, at his house, are better than a thousand elsewhere (Ps. 84:10) because under the old covenant God by his Spirit took up residence in the tabernacle and later the temple.
            I believe this was addressed.

            As to number 2 not all Jews were regenerate, however, Ezekiel 36:25-27 was an allusion Jesus made to Nicodemus in John chapter 3. See also 2 Chronicles 30:11-12. Indwelling: For example, Numbers 14:24 says of Caleb, "My servant Caleb, because he has a different Spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into this land." And Numbers 27:18 says, "And the Lord said to Moses, 'Take Joshua the son of Nun, in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand upon him.'"

            The OT believers were saved the same way we are: they were born of the Spirit, they trusted in God's promises, and they followed his commandments in the obedience of faith.

            3) Thanks. I slept for 20 hours. In case you did not know I am bi-polar and all over the place with sleep. Sometimes I stay up for 2-3 three days straight. Generally this occurs during lots of stress.

            God bless,
            William
            Comment>

              #7
              Originally posted by William View Post

              As to number 1 there is no assertion that Scripture states the Holy Spirit is sealed "IN" the OT.
              1) OK, thanks for that, I did not think so but I have missed things before.



              Originally posted by William View Post
              I believe this was addressed.

              As to number 2 not all Jews were regenerate, however, Ezekiel 36:25-27 was an allusion Jesus made to Nicodemus in John chapter 3. See also 2 Chronicles 30:11-12. Indwelling: For example, Numbers 14:24 says of Caleb, "My servant Caleb, because he has a different Spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into this land." And Numbers 27:18 says, "And the Lord said to Moses, 'Take Joshua the son of Nun, in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand upon him.'"

              The OT believers were saved the same way we are: they were born of the Spirit, they trusted in God's promises, and they followed his commandments in the obedience of faith.

              3) Thanks. I slept for 20 hours. In case you did not know I am bi-polar and all over the place with sleep. Sometimes I stay up for 2-3 three days straight. Generally this occurs during lots of stress.

              God bless,
              William
              2) William, in no way do I want to be disrespectful or rude but I can save you some typing. I have read/listened to thousands of commentaries on just about every doctrine in the Bible by some very talented Bible scholars and I realize there are many different opinions. They cannot all be right but God's word never changes it is always the same and that is why I use a literal interpretation when possible. If, anyone wishes to convince me their views on scripture are correct, then the only way that will happen on subjects where we disagree is if they can answer my questions using scripture just as it is written. Such as, would you care to quote verses that result in salvation in the NT and then quote the verses in the OT that resulted in salvation for those in the first 4k years or so of Biblical history?

              3) I take Revelation 22:18,19 seriously, just as it is written.

              4) Good, but you need to take care of your health William, I do not want you to get to Heaven before me you know.
              Comment>

                #8
                Originally posted by tevans9129 View Post

                2) William, in no way do I want to be disrespectful or rude but I can save you some typing. I have read/listened to thousands of commentaries on just about every doctrine in the Bible by some very talented Bible scholars and I realize there are many different opinions. They cannot all be right but God's word never changes it is always the same and that is why I use a literal interpretation when possible. If, anyone wishes to convince me their views on scripture are correct, then the only way that will happen on subjects where we disagree is if they can answer my questions using scripture just as it is written. Such as, would you care to quote verses that result in salvation in the NT and then quote the verses in the OT that resulted in salvation for those in the first 4k years or so of Biblical history?
                John 3:10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?

                1 Pet 1:10-11 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time[a] the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.

                No sense continuing with any commentary. Right?

                Originally posted by tevans9129 View Post
                If, anyone wishes to convince me their views on scripture are correct, then the only way that will happen on subjects where we disagree is if they can answer my questions using scripture just as it is written.
                To be honest with you. I'll withdrawl from the conversation, because I couldn't care less if anyone thinks my view is Scripturally correct.

                As far as answering your questions using Scripture, you seem to indicate that you are quite frankly capable of interpreting (if that is necessary) Scripture yourself yet need someone to search the Scriptures for you? Or is this to benefit the person at hand? That is, you leading the conversation with questions?

                Not being rude. But I can provide Scriptural references all day long from a concordance or the little notations in most all bibles.

                God bless,
                William
                Comment>

                  #9
                  Originally posted by William View Post

                  John 3:10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?

                  1 Pet 1:10-11 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time[a] the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.

                  No sense continuing with any commentary. Right?



                  To be honest with you. I'll withdrawl from the conversation, because I couldn't care less if anyone thinks my view is Scripturally correct.

                  As far as answering your questions using Scripture, you seem to indicate that you are quite frankly capable of interpreting (if that is necessary) Scripture yourself yet need someone to search the Scriptures for you? Or is this to benefit the person at hand? That is, you leading the conversation with questions?

                  Not being rude. But I can provide Scriptural references all day long from a concordance or the little notations in most all bibles.

                  God bless,
                  William
                  Fair enough William, I understand and yes, I am capable of searching the scriptures but when those scriptures are not in harmony with someone's commentary, I like to ask questions and request the scriptures they are using because I have found, their commentary does not always match with the scriptures that I find in my searches. Such as your claim that the Holy Spirit indwelt those in the OT, there is no scripture that says that, none. But thanks anyway.
                  Comment>
                  Working...
                  X
                  Articles - News - SiteMap