News • November 10, 2021

Theologian delves into the gift of the Holy Spirit at lecture series

Theologian delves into the gift of the Holy Spirit at lecture series

Riverside, Calif. (Nov. 10, 2021) – Dr. Gregg Allison had one important message for audience members at California Baptist University on Nov. 9.

“The greatest gift that the Father gives to those who follow his Son Is the Holy Spirit,” Allison said. “Notice how I phrased the idea. The greatest gift the Father gives to those who follow the Son who have discovered that great gift of salvation in Jesus Christ, the greatest gift is the Holy Spirit.”

Allison is a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He has written several books, including “Historical Theology,” “Sojourners and Strangers” and “The Holy Spirit,” from the Theology for the People of God series. He spoke as part of the School of Christian Ministries Lecture Series.

The Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son in terms of his power and glory, yet He is distinct on the basis of his roles, Allison said.

“When we share the good news, we ask the Holy Spirit to speak in and through us, help us with our words, to listen well and respond rightly, to communicate comfort or rebuke, whatever the case may be,” Allison said.

According to Genesis 1-2, the Holy Spirit was active in the creation of the world, he said. Now, in the fallen world, the Spirit is part of re-creation or salvation.

“Even before we embrace the gospel, the Holy Spirit is at work to convict the world, that's you and me, people who are hostile toward God. The Spirit is at work convicting the world of sin and righteousness and judgment,” Allison said.

The Spirit also works on re-creating believers corporately, he said.

“The default mode of the church is unity. We break that unity by our political agendas, our personal agendas,” Allison said. “The Spirit grants us unity and we work to maintain that. The church also pursues greater purity through the Holy Spirit.”

The Spirit empowers the church to engage nonbelievers with the gospel, Allison said.

“When those nonbelievers cross the line of faith and they embrace the good news, the church baptizes these new converts in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” he said.

To be filled with the Spirit is an ongoing command that demands a response according to Ephesians 5:18-21, Allison said.

“It calls for a posture of yielded-ness, of submission. It's not an active command, it's a passive command,” he said. “Put yourself in a posture, in a position where you're fully yielded or submitted to the Spirit.”

Finally, the Spirit will prompt believers to do the will of God, Allison said.

“When our church members are filled with the Spirit, our church will be characterized by gratitude, especially in the tough times,” Allison said. “When our church members are filled with the Spirit, our church will be a church in which love reigns. We will honor one another, defer to one another, consider one another more highly than ourselves. It will be a loving community.

“And these results of being filled with the Spirit also push the church to engage in genuine worship and authentic fellowship and be a community of thanksgiving and work on loving one another.”