The Work of the Holy Spirit | Theology Gals | Episode 19


On this episode of Theology Gals while Ashley is in Italy Coleen is joined by Marissa Namirr.  Coleen and Marissa talk about the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives and answer some objections to last week’s episode  Personal Revelation and God’s Will. 


  • What is cessationism?

Information on cessationism

  • Misunderstanding the Holy Spirit

  • We have the Word of God, the full and closed canon

“The evangelistic method of Jesus and the apostles was not to urge people to seek direct experiences with God; instead they went about preaching and teaching the Scriptures (see, for instance, Mark 1:14-15). And Jesus did not say that once we have spiritual life we live by direct mystical experience with God; rather, we “live … on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). That includes the “good work” of growing in the knowledge of God and likeness to Christ. So in Scripture the normative method of meeting God is through Scripture.” Donald Whitney

“In one of James Montgomery Boice’s final books he wrote something that has often come to my mind. He wrote about the Bible and said that as far as he could see the battle over the inerrancy of the Bible had been fought and won. The Bible is without error. But the battle for the sufficiency of the Bible was just beginning. Will the Bible be enough for us? Will we affirm that the Bible is sufficient to guide us in all of life? Or will we demand that God reveal himself to us in other ways?” Tim Challies How Does God Speak to me Today

Can Christians ever receive private messages from God?S

  • Subjective Experience

“In relation to our subject we must thoroughly wrestle with the question of how we know who or what we have encountered in our subjective experiences. All the information we have about God and our relationship to Him is found in the Bible.” Gary Gilley The Lord Told Me, I Think (this is an excellent articleł

  • Mysticism

“Let us imagine I follow the mystic way. I begin to have experiences; I think God is speaking to me; how do I know it is God who is speaking to me? How can I know I am not speaking to man; how can I be sure that I am not the victim of hallucinations, since this has happened to many of the mystics? If I believe in mysticism as such without the Bible, how do I know I am not being deluded by Satan as an angel of light in order to keep me from the true and living God? I have no standard…. The evangelical doctrine tells me not to look into myself but to look into the Word of God; not to examine myself, but to look at the revelation that has been given to me. It tells me that God can only be known in His own way, the way which has been revealed in the Scriptures themselves.” Martyn Lloyd Jones

  • Messages outside of Scripture are not consistent with Reformed Theology

“The Reformed theology and piety begins with the sufficiency of Scripture. Pentecostalism certainly and the charismatic theology and piety to a lesser degree begin explicitly or implicitly with the insufficiency of Scripture. The “due use of ordinary means” (Westminster Shorter Catechism 88) is essential to Reformed theology and piety but it is not the Pentecostal and the Charismatic movements. The union of Reformed theology and these movements is achieved by radically re-defining Reformed theology, by reducing it to a single element: divine sovereignty and by adding that to Pentecostalism or Charismatic piety.” R Scott Clark


  • Properly understanding the work of the Holy Spirit

The formula that Calvin employs is “inwardly, by his Spirit; outwardly, by his Word.” R. Scott Clark

God speaks to us by his Son, through his Spirit in the Bible. – Tim Challies

Office Hours: Mike Horton On Rediscovering The Holy Spirit audio interview

Heidelberg Catechism

  1. What do you believe concerning the Holy Spirit?
    First, that He is co-eternal God with the Father and the Son. Secondly, that He is also given to me, by true faith makes me a partaker of Christ and all His benefits, comforts me and shall abide with me forever

Series on the Holy Spirit by R. Scott Clark Heidelberg 53: We Believe In The Holy Spirit (1), Heidelberg 53: We Believe In The Holy Spirit (2),  Heidelberg 53: We Believe In The Holy Spirit (3)

Westminster Larger Catechism

Larger Catechism
Q. 4. How doth it appear that the Scriptures are the Word of God?
A. The Scriptures manifest themselves to be the Word of God, by their majesty and purity; by the consent of all the parts, and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God; by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation: but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very Word of God.

Q. 155. How is the word made effectual to salvation?
A. The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the word, an effectual means of enlightening, convincing, and humbling sinners; of driving them out of themselves, and drawing them unto Christ; of conforming them to his image, and subduing them to his will; of strengthening them against temptations and corruptions; of building them up in grace, and establishing their hearts in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation.

Luke 24:45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

“The Bible is clear that the Holy Spirit also grants spiritual life, but only to God’s people. In the outworking of redemption, Scripture emphasizes that the Father sends the Son; the Son accomplishes our salvation by His life, death, and resurrection; and the Spirit applies Christ’s work to God’s elect (John 3:16–17; 16:7–10).”

“God’s salvation is one work with three distinguishable aspects, and the Holy Spirit’s task is to draw the elect irresistibly to Christ. He does this in our regeneration, making us alive to the things of God and granting us faith in Christ Jesus. Today’s passage says that the Lord comes to we who were dead in sin and trespasses and makes us alive together with Christ (Eph. 2:1–10).” Ligonier

“The Holy Spirit is the author of our sanctification (1 Peter 1:2), he seals us unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14), ensuring that the work God has begun in us will reach completion (Ephesians 4:30). It is through the Holy Spirit that the prophets and apostles spoke (1 Peter 1:11). And Peter proclaims “[that] prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (1 Peter 1:21). Finally, there are those verses which speak of the work of the Spirit in uniting believers to Jesus Christ, enabling them to approach God without fear. The Holy Spirit is described by Paul as the “Spirit of prayer” (Romans 8:15-16). It is the Spirit who unites us to Christ and enables us to cry out to God. It is the Spirit’s work to ensure that the saving benefits of Christ become ours.” Kim Riddlebarger  Basics of the Reformed Faith: The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

Quotes from Rediscovering the Holy Spirit: God’s Perfecting Presence in Creation, Redemption, and Everyday Life by Michael Horton

“The Holy Spirit operates upon us as Lord and life-giver while we were dead (Eph 2:1–5). But having made us alive together with Christ, the Spirit empowers us by grace for good works (v. 10).”

“the testimony of the Holy Spirit works in an entirely different way. He begins to bring us into contact with the Word, either by our own reading or by the communication of others. Then He shows us the picture of the sinner according to the Scripture, and the salvation which mercifully saved him; and lastly, He makes us hear the song of praise upon his lips. And after we have seen this objectively, with the eye of the understanding, He then so works upon our feeling that we begin to feel ourselves in that sinner, and to feel that the truth of the Scripture directly concerns us. Finally, He takes hold of the will, causing the very power seen in the Scripture to work in us. And when thus the whole man, mind, heart, and will, has experienced the power of the Word, then He adds to this the comprehensive operation of assurance, whereby the Holy Scripture in divine splendor commences to scintillate before our eyes.”

*I think that much of the polarization on this topic today is due, ironically, to a shared assumption of this erroneous conception of how the Spirit works.”

Recommended Reading:

Rediscovering the Holy Spirit: God’s Perfecting Presence in Creation, Redemption, and Everyday Life by Michael Horton


Episode Music from Castle Pines

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