Categories
Holy Spirit

Is your church a Holy Spirit church?

Peter Jensen

What is the mark of a Spirit-filled church?  What does it mean to be baptized in the Spirit?  How ought we to think about the Holy Spirit – third Person of the Trinity?  

Many churches claim to be “Spirit-led” or “Spirit-filled” churches because they have apparent manifestations of the Spirit in their services.  

What is the role of the Spirit?  

Recently I attended a post-graduate course at George Whitefield College with Peter Jensen and David  Höhne, entitled, “The Lord who is the Spirit: speaking of the Spirit in the Reformed tradition”.

It was good to be reminded that the doctrine of the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit has a rich tradition of historical development that we will do well to learn from (including Tertullian, Irenaeus, Basil of Caesarea etc.) There are several things that stood out for me:

Categories
Bible

Should Christians study the Old Testament?

Many people think that the Old Testament is for Jewish people and the New Testament (which is all about Jesus) is for Christian people.

There are at least four reasons why the Old Testament is important for Christian people:

Categories
idolatry

The Canaanization of the Church

In Old Testament times, God had promised to give the land of Canaan to the Israelites (Genesis 12:1-3). 

Under Joshua the Israelites invaded the land and conquered a great deal of it.  The book of Judges is the follow-up account.  Would the next generation believe God’s promise, obey God’s word and nail down their territory with a final conquest?

The people of the land of Canaan, the Canaanites, worshipped various tribal deities.  The most popular was Baal and his female counterpart, Ashtoreth – the gods of fertility. 

But rather than conquer the land and destroy its people, the Israelites compromised their faith and ended up following the false gods and wrong practices of the Canaanites.

Categories
Sin

Killing me softly

Christians never set out to be caught in scandalous sin.

The pastor never set out to have an adulterous affair.  The member of his church first came to see him after her close friend had died. She came for counselling to help her grieve.

They cried together and hugged and made another appointment.  

At the next appointment, the pastor held her hand – he thought it would be a comfort – and when she left, after they made another appointment, they hugged again and shared a quick kiss.  Meanwhile the pastor himself was feeling stressed out and undervalued; finally, there was someone who really appreciated his ministry. 

The church appointments became home visits.  The hugs lingered.  The kissing increased.  And they ended up sleeping together.

Until one day, her husband arrived home early.