Here are my notes for The Forgotten God, by Francis Chan, which includes questions for my small group, quotes from the book, and other observations. Remember these are notes, and not a complete article on the topic. Please purchase the book to support the author.
- I’ve got Jesus, why do I need the Spirit?
- What are you afraid of?
- Theology of the Holy Spirit 101
- Why do you want him?
- A real relationship with the Holy Spirit
- Forget God’s will for your life
- Supernatural Church
The Person of the Holy Spirit: A correct understanding of who and what the Holy Spirit is carries certain implications…
- The Holy Spirit is a person, not a vague force. He is someone with whom we can have a personal relationship, someone to whom we can and should pray.
- The Holy Spirit, being fully divine, is to be accorded the same honor and respect that we give to the Father and the Son. It is appropriate to worship him as we do them. He should not be thought of in any sense as inferior in essence to them, although the role may sometimes be subordinate to theirs.
- The Holy Spirit is one with the Father and the Son. His work is an expression and execution of what the three of them have planned together. There is no tension among their persons and activities.
- God is not far off. In the Holy Spirit, the triune God comes close, so close as to actually enter each believer. God is even more intimate with us now than in the incarnation. Through the operation of the Spirit he has truly become Immanuel, “God with us.”
The Work of the Holy Spirit: Implications of the his work…
- The gifts that we have are bestowed upon us by the Holy Spirit. We should recognize that they are not our accomplishments. They are intended to be used in the fulfillment of this plan.
- The Holy Spirit empowers believers in their Christian life and service. Personal inadequacies should not deter or discourage us.
- The Holy Spirit dispenses his gifts to the church wisely and sovereignly. Possession or lack of a particular gift is no cause for pride or regret. His gifts are not rewards to those who seek or qualify for them.
- No one gift is for everyone, and no one person has every gift. The fellowship of the body is needed for full spiritual development of the individual believer.
- We may rely upon the Holy Spirit to give us understanding of the Word of God, and to guide us into his will for us.
- It is appropriate to direct prayers to the Holy Spirit, just as the Father and the Son, as well as to the triune God. In such prayers we will thank him for, and especially ask him to continue, the unique work that he does in us.
[From Millard J. Erikson, Introducing Christian Doctrine, 2nd edition, Baker Academic, 2001, pp.274, 285]