Direct Operation of
The Holy Spirit
Part of the Trinity
He is a person. (Personal pronoun, He, not it.)
He is an intelligent person. (Speaks, thinks, acts, moves, loves)
He is a divinely intelligent person. (Eternal, all-knowing, all-seeing)
He treats us in a divinely intelligent way. (Helps, guides, directs)
Main Issue is “How?”
The real issue involving the work of the Holy Spirit is the question of “How?” The Holy Spirit leads us, guides us, and directs us. (Romans 8:14) How does He accomplish this work?
Three common ideas:
Mystical Idea. The Holy Spirit is just a concept, an ideal, and an influence. This view rejects the person of the Holy Spirit. It just thinks of Him as an IT. The Holy Spirit is not a ghost, a mist, a impression or a idea.
Direct Operation. The Spirit works directly on the heart. This idea is from Calvinism. John Calvin taught that man is born depraved, not capable of obeying God. The only way man could be saved is by a direct operation on the heart of man by the Holy Spirit.
Through the Word. The Holy Spirit was involved in the revelation, inspiration and preservation of the Word of God, the Bible. He works through the Word.
“Through the word” – Does NOT imply:
That the Spirit and the Word are identical. The Spirit is the person. The Word is the medium, the tool, and the means by which the work is accomplished. There is a difference between the plumber and the wrench, the carpenter and the hammer or a musician and his instrument. The Word is the sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:17)
Prayer is Ineffectual. Some have tried to argue that the Holy Spirit does not work through the Word. Do not limit God’s ability to answer prayer.
Providence is nullified. Similarly, God is not limited in his power to lead, guide, influence, aid, or solve our problems. God can use people, situations and circumstances to accomplish his purpose. He does not need to operate internally to provide what we need.
He is limited to the Word in every activity. The Spirit may act in a 1,000 ways not known to us.
A denial of the work of the Holy Spirit. To say that the Spirit works through the Word is not a denial of the work of the Spirit. Just as a plumber works through a wrench does not deny the work of the plumber.
“The fact that every effect and influence that the Holy Spirit exerts upon and within us is affirmed of the Word of God proves that the Spirit operates only through the Word – that every effect or emotion that the Holy Spirit generates within us, the Word of God engenders.”
The Mission and Medium of the Holy Spirit, Foy E. Wallace, Jr., page 18
Action / Influence
|Word of God|
|2 Corinthians 3:6||
|1 Corinthians 4:15|
|1 Peter 1:23|
|Ephesians 2:1, 5|
|1 Peter 1:22||
|1 Peter 1:22|
|1 Timothy 3:16||
Filled with knowledge
|Psalm 73:24; 119:105|
|1 John 5:6||
|1 Thessalonians 2:13|
|Acts 20:24, 32|
|2 Corinthians 4:4-6|
|1 Peter 3:18||
|John 6:35, 51|
|John 4:14; 6:31-35|
|Psalm 119:130; 19:8|
|1 Peter 1:2||
|2 Timothy 3:8|
|1 Thessalonians 5:19||
|2 Peter 2:2|
Raised / Resurrection