A Conclusion to The Holy Spirit: His Work and Ministry in the Gospels

This post brings to an end the series on: “The Holy Spirit: His Work and Ministry in the Gospels.” As we started this series we focused our attention to how the Spirit worked in the life and ministry of Jesus. From there, we moved on to what Jesus specifically taught about the Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit is vast in a believer’s life. It is one that empowers us to live, work, minister and worship. He enables us to do more things that we could ever imagine. It is a reminder that every single breath we take is a gift of our Father. The Spirit helps us in every aspect of our lives. He encourages us and will lift our prayers up to be in perfect harmony with the Father.

As we conclude this series, I posed this question earlier and will restate it: Think of the the ways you not living dependently on the Spirit. Ask God for wisdom to lead you and reveal those areas. But also ask for wisdom to start living a more dependent life on the only thing that can truly help us.


 

It is only by this Holy Spirit that Christians can conduct their ministry of witnessing to all people about Jesus. Just as the disciples received the Holy Spirit, so believers receive “power from on high” (Luke 24:49) to spread the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel writers show the Holy Spirit is the identifier in both Christ and believers, is vital for proclaiming and understanding the gospel, is given on faith in Christ, and will guide believers into all truth. His ministry to unbelievers includes conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment. Luke emphasizes the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ ministry more sharply than the other Gospels; in it, Luke “reveals the reality of the Spirit’s power and presence as he is poured upon Jesus. He traces the Spirit of Christ in his public ministry: from his baptism to the cross; from his transfiguration to his resurrection; to the glorious portrait of Christ ascending into heaven.”[1] John provides evidence of the Spirit’s filling by bringing the one in whom He abides to an ever increasing understanding of the Scriptures with all their sanctifying power (John 17:17).[2]

The Gospel writers show that the Holy Spirit was involved in Jesus’ life from conception, while in the womb, in others like Simeon, Zechariah, and Elizabeth, and in His baptism. The Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. The Spirit empowered Jesus for His earthly ministry to preach, teach and do the miraculous signs and wonders.

The Gospels provide the reader with Jesus’ own teaching on the divine Person and work of the Holy Spirit. Just as the Spirit empowered Jesus for ministry, Jesus taught that the Spirit will empower the believers to preach the good news to all nations and baptize them. He taught that the Counselor will guide believers into all truth and strengthen them to speak in times of trial. The Spirit will reveal the Scriptures and remind the believers of Christ’s teachings. Jesus taught them that the Spirit will indwell the believer as Jesus goes to the Father to intercede for them. The Spirit will make known the message to the believer that originated with Christ. Jesus told us that the Spirit’s work is in glorifying the Son and will lead believers to greater worship of the Father. The Gospels show that the Spirit is an answer to Jesus’ prayer and reveal how the believer needs the Holy Spirit every day, in every way, and in everything.


[1] R. C. Sproul, A Walk with God: An Exposition of Luke, (Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications, 1999), 14-15.

[2] Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 6, 222.


Bibliography

Blum, E. A. “John.” In The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, edited by J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2, 266-348. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1985.

Carson, D. A. The Gospel According to John. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992.

Chafer, Lewis Sperry. He that is Spiritual. Moody Press: Chicago, 1918.

______. Systematic Theology, vol. 5. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1993.

______. Systematic Theology, vol. 6. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1993.

Constable, Thomas. “Notes on John.” Sonic Light. 2015. Accessed 25 January 2015. http://soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/john.pdf.

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology, 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013.

Harris, W. Hall “A Theology of John’s Writings.” In A Biblical Theology of the New Testament, edited by Roy B. Zuck, 167-242. Chicago: Moody Press, 1994.

Huffman, D. S. “Luke, Gospel of.” In The Lexham Bible Dictionary, edited by J. D. Barry et al., section “The Holy Spirit.” Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014. Logos Bible Software.

Manser, Martin. “Holy Spirit,” Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies, section 3200. London: Martin Manser, 2009. Logos Bible Software

Martin, J. A. “Luke,” In The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, edited by J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck, vol. 2., 198–266. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1985.

Mathews, S. H. “The Holy Spirit in the Gospel of John.” American Journal of Biblical Theology. Accessed 25 January 2015, http://www.biblicaltheology.com/Research/MathewsSH01.pdf.

Schweizer, Eduard. The Holy Spirit. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1980.

Sproul, R. C. A Walk with God: An Exposition of Luke. Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications, 1999.

White, J. E. “John.” In Holman Concise Bible Commentary, edited by D. S. Dockery, 463-492. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998.

Wiersbe, W. W. “John.” In The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1996.

Zoccali, C. “Spiritual Gifts.” In The Lexham Bible Dictionary, edited by J. D. Barry et al., section “Gospel Accounts.” Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014. Logos Bible Software

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Ministering in the Spirit

As the series continues on what the Gospels show us on the Spirit, today’s post will focus on what Jesus taught about the Spirit in regards to ministry. What does it mean to minister in the Spirit? Many things can go into this ministry term. There are items like intercessory prayer, listening to the Father, obeying the Father, seeking God and obeying Him as He leads you.

These type of items lead us to think what is my ministry in my current environment? At the workplace or at home, what type of ministry has God called me to? This may change and there will be different seasons of ministry. One season, may be ministering to your family by encouragement, love, support, service, etc.

Maybe your ministry is at your workplace. My current situation, I work in an environment that is surrounded by people of the Hindu faith. I did not choose that type of ministry, but that is what God has currently called me to. It can be something grand like sharing the Gospel message with those around you. It could even be starting a lunchtime Bible study. Or inviting co-workers to church. But lets not forget the importance of the day-to-day and the minutiae of the daily grind. This is where the mission field comes alive. It is the being there for your fellow human, listening to their stories and what is happening in their lives. This is where the invitation to church and the sharing the Gospel message gets it footing. (Because I feel there may be some confusion on this sentence, let me explain. Anyone can go to a stranger and share the Gospel or invite someone to church without any problems. God will use that how He sees fit. For example, if on my first day [or week] of a new job, I invite people to church or share the Gospel, it could be met with some difficulty since the other person does not know me. But, as I do life with them and work with them, be an example, get to know them, it allows the invitation to have more traction because we have done some amount of life together. Their comfort with me and knowing I am not some weird person, will have them be more likely to listen to what I am presenting, plus it allows me to have that background on what their needs and struggles are. All that being said, when God calls you to something, it is best to obey and not delay).

God has put each of us in our current mission field. We may or may not have every expected this is what we would be doing. But as believers, we are all missionaries. We are all ministers. Ministry is not just for those in a church/parachurch organization. Ministry is part of our Christian faith. We are to follow God and obey Him in whatever our setting because He has put us there for a reason. As a believer, you are a minister. God has called you to something that He specifically designed you for. Let us live for God and embrace that ministry all in the power of the Holy Spirit. All we can do is obey, the results and the kingdom building is in God’s hands.


The first mentioned theme Jesus discusses about the Spirit’s teaching ministry is that of unveiling the prophetic Scriptures. “He will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:12-15). What also should be observed from this passage is the indwelling Spirit will glorify Christ rather than Himself. Also, the “all things” riches that are to be imparted are the things not only of Christ but also amplified to include the things of the Father.[1] A dominant theme in the John 14-16 discourse is Christ announcing that the coming of the Holy Spirit into the world would continue Jesus’ ministry.[2] When Jesus speaks of the Spirit’s coming, He is emphasizing the Spirit’s ministry of bringing truth to the saved (John 16:13) and the unsaved (John 16:8).

The promise and prayer of Christ to ask the Father to send the Spirit (Luke 11:13; John 14:16) to abide with believers forever is definitively answered. Christ introduces the theme regarding the work of the Spirit in this age that an unregenerate person cannot make an intelligent acceptance of Jesus as Savior until the preliminary work of the Spirit has enlightened an unsaved person’s heart (John 6:44).[3]

In order to enter the kingdom of God, one must be born physically (born of water) and spiritually (John 3:5-8). The second birth of the Spirit are evidence of the remarkable work that the Father does and continues to do in the regenerate person’s life.[4] “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life,” (John 6:63; see also John 3:34) refers to the Spirit as a life giver and depicts Him as the source of spiritual birth. This section is important because it shows the Spirit active in Jesus’ proclamation and also necessary in the reception of the Christian message. John (7:39; 14:15-17) and Luke (11:13) present the Spirit as a gift of the Father conditioned upon belief in Christ in answer to His prayers. The Spirit indwells the believer and as He hears the divine instructions originating from Christ for the believers specific needs, the Spirit will convey that message to the one whom He abides in.[5] This includes the conviction of sin and call to repentance (John 16:8-11).


[1] Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 6, 223.

[2] Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 5 (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1993), 151.

[3] Ibid, 153.

[4] S. H. Mathews, “The Holy Spirit in the Gospel of John,” American Journal of Biblical Theology, accessed 25 January 2015, http://www.biblicaltheology.com/Research/MathewsSH01.pdf.

[5] Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 5, 156. Also see Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 6, 37.

The Teaching of Christ Concerning the Holy Spirit

This post continues the series on “The Holy Spirit in the Gospels.” We have just concluded looking at how the Spirit impacted the ministry of Christ, so we must now turn our attention to what our Lord Jesus spoke of this Helper, Comforter, and Counselor. We remind ourselves that before Christ left this earth, He offered the disciples several words of encouragement about the coming Spirit. This post will provide an introduction to the next section of the overall paper, and will foreshadow what is to come.


 

The Teaching of Christ Concerning the Holy Spirit

The Gospels record Christ teaching about the Spirit in a variety of different ways. As Jesus lived in the Spirit and the Spirit was active in Jesus’ life and ministry, Jesus knew that He must prepare His disciples for his departure. Speaking to the disciples and people of that time, and with future believers in mind, the Gospels record Jesus speaking at lengths about the Spirit: who He is, what He will do, how He will come, why He will come, and when He will come. Jesus taught what it means to live in the Spirit, which includes: the Spirit will indwell them (John 14:17), blasphemy against the Spirit is unpardonable (Matt 12:31-32; Mark 3:29-30; Luke 12:10), the Spirit will guide them into all truth (John 16:12-15), and provide wisdom and words (Matt 10:20; Mark 13:11; John 14:15-16; 16:16). As Jesus ministered in the Spirit, it was important that they knew what it meant to minister in the Spirit, such as: Jesus promised the Spirit to the disciples and all who believe (Matt 10:20; Mark 13:11; Luke 11:13; 12:12; John 7:37-39; 14:15-17, 26), the Sprit would empower, teach and guide believers to preach the Gospel (Matt 28:19; Luke 24:48-49; John 14:26; 15:2-27; 16:13-15; 20:22), open their minds to being born in the Spirit (John 3:5-6, 8). Finally, Jesus knew that in order to live and minister in the Spirit, they must know the Spirit is worthy of worship since He is God, and the Spirit would facilitate true worship to the Father (John 4:23-24). Jesus said it was better that He go and the Spirit would come (John 16:7) since the Spirit is the “Counselor” (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7) so that the Spirit would remind the believer of the words of Christ and have communion with the Godhead (John 4:23-24).

Jesus Living by the Spirit

Continuing the study on the ministry of the Spirit in the life of Christ and what Jesus taught on the Spirit, this post will focus on the life and ministry of Christ and how He lived in the Spirit. Right after Jesus was baptized, He was led into the wilderness by the Spirit. From there, we see how the Spirit was active in the life of Christ as He walked this earth fully human, yet fully divine. We see how Jesus depended on the Spirit during the wilderness temptations, which gives modern believers an amazing example we are to follow during our times of trials and temptations.


 

Jesus Living by the Spirit

Jesus’ ministry was conducted through the Spirit’s power and direction. The immediate result of Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1) after His baptism was the series of temptations at the inception of His ministry.[1] Jesus is described as being led (Matt 4:1; Luke 4:1-2) or sent (Mark 1:12) by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness where the temptation took place. What is noteworthy here is that the presence of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ life brings him into direct and immediate conflict with the forces of evil.[2] Being led by the Spirit into the desert, and through His victory over temptation, Jesus was now ministering “in the power of the Spirit.” The Spirit’s power was the source of Jesus’ authority, which Luke describes in chapter 4-6.[3]

Luke introduces Jesus’ ministry as a fulfillment of Isaiah 61:1-2, which affirms Jesus will be empowered by the Spirit to fulfill His role as God’s agent of deliverance.[4] Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1–2, and asserted that it was now fulfilled in him (Luke 4:18–21), thus claiming that this ministry was a result of the working of the Holy Spirit in and upon Him.[5] Through His teachings and miracles, Jesus’ whole life was “in the Holy Spirit.” “Jesus was ‘full of joy through the Holy Spirit’ (Luke 10:21) when the seventy-two returned from their mission. Even his emotions were ‘in the Holy Spirit.’ This is a description of someone completely filled with the Spirit.”[6] The Gospel narratives show Jesus and His disciples performing activities that are empowered by the Spirit, such as exorcism (Matt 12:28) and healing (Matt 11:2-5; see also Acts 2:22, 43).

John 3:34 says, “For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.” This describes that the Father gave the Son the Spirit without limit which is different from the Old Testament prophets where the Spirit came on them for a limited time and purpose (cf. 1 Cor 12:4-11).[7] There is no evidence of growth of the Holy Spirit’s presence in Jesus’ life. “Other than the conception and the baptism, there is no series of experiences of the coming of the Holy Spirit. However, there is a growing implementation of the Spirit’s presence.”[8] The Spirit-led ministry of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke foreshadows the activity of the Holy Spirit initiating and empowering the Church for ministry in the book of Acts.[9] “The New Testament Gospels attest to the activity of the Spirit surrounding the advent and activity of the messianic movement of Jesus of Nazareth.”[10]


 

[1] Eduard Schweizer, The Holy Spirit, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1980), 51.

[2] Erickson, Christian Theology, 793-795.

[3] J. A. Martin, “Luke,” 214.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Erickson, Christian Theology, 794.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Thomas Constable, “Notes on John,” Sonic Light, 2015, accessed 25 January 2015, http://soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/john.pdf.

[8] Erickson, Christian Theology, 785-86.

[9] D. S. Huffman, “Luke, Gospel of.”

[10] C. Zoccali, “Spiritual Gifts.”

Jesus Christ’s Baptism and the Holy Spirit

Throughout Scripture, we see various references to the Holy Spirit in different circumstances appearing in different forms. In this post, as our focus is only in the Gospels, we look at the baptism story of Jesus and how the Spirit was involved in it. The next post will examine what happens after the baptism.


Jesus Christ’s Baptism and the Holy Spirit

“John the Baptist’s announcement of Jesus’ ministry also highlights the place of the Holy Spirit.”[1] John the Baptist emphasized that his baptism was with water, but the Messiah would baptize with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8) and attributes the Messiah with the giving of the Spirit.[2] “The Spirit is present in dramatic form from the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, when there was a perceivable coming of the Holy Spirit upon him at his baptism (Matt 3:16-17; Mark 1:10-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:32-34). John makes clear that John the Baptist also saw the Spirit and bore witness to the fact.”[3] All four Gospels record this momentous event that signaled the start of his public ministry and confirm Jesus as God the Father’s Messiah at His baptism. “The purpose of the baptism was to anoint Jesus with the Spirit and to authenticate Him by the Father for beginning His ministry. Each Person of the Godhead was involved in the activity of the Son on earth, including His baptism.”[4] As the Spirit descended on Christ as a dove and remained on Him, this identified Jesus as the Messiah to John the Baptist. John the Baptist made mention of the Spirit “remaining” on Jesus (John 1:32-33) twice, which is important as it describes the Spirit’s relationship to Jesus because permanence is implied.[5]

Furthermore, these narratives contrasts John the Baptist’s baptizing activity with the Christ, who will baptize with the Holy Spirit (Matt 3:11; Luke 3:16; Mark 1:8; John 1:33).[6] Only a divine Person could baptize with the Holy Spirit, so that John not only spoke of the might of Jesus, but of His deity.


 

[1] Erickson, Christian Theology, 793.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid, 794.

[4] J. A. Martin, “Luke,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, eds. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1985), 212.

[5] W. Hall Harris, “A Theology of John’s Writings,” in A Biblical Theology of the New Testament, ed. Roy B. Zuck, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 197.

[6] C. Zoccali, “Spiritual Gifts.”

The Holy Spirit’s Work During the Ministry of Christ – An Intro

As we look deeper into the ministry of the Holy Spirit that is described in the Gospels, this post provides a brief introduction into how the Spirit was involved in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. We will look further into what Christ said and taught about the Spirit in future posts but we first will examine how the Spirit was involved in the conception and baptism of Jesus, as well as how He empowered Jesus. The life of Christ is an example of the powerful presence of living in the Spirit and prompts the modern believer to live with that dependence.


The Holy Spirit’s Work During the Ministry of Christ

“From the moment of his conception Jesus Christ was empowered by the Holy Spirit. Christ’s possession of the Holy Spirit was demonstrated publicly at several points in his ministry. After his resurrection the Holy Spirit demonstrated him to be the Son of God.”[1] Luke portrays the Holy Spirit as active in initiating and empowering the life and ministry of Jesus.[2] While the Spirit was active from the start of Jesus’ life (John 1:32), the Spirit’s full work was to begin at the consummation of Jesus’ own ministry (John 7:37–39). The Spirit brings life (John 3:1–8), a life of the highest quality (John 10:10), and leads believers in the way of truth (John 16:13).[3] Jesus’ life exhibits the pervasive and powerful presence and activity of the Spirit. Both the prediction and the record of Jesus’s birth point to a special working of the Spirit.[4]


[1] Martin Manser, “Holy Spirit,” Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies, (London: Martin Manser, 2009), under chap. 3, sec., “3269 Holy Spirit, in the life of Jesus Christ,” Logos Bible Software.

[2] D. S. Huffman, “Luke, Gospel of,” in The Lexham Bible Dictionary, ed. J.D. Barry et al., (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014), under sec., “The Holy Spirit,” Logos Bible Software.

[3] J. E. White, “John,” in Holman Concise Bible Commentary, ed. D. S. Dockery, (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 491.

[4] Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 3rd ed, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013), 793.

The Work and Ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Gospels

Today we begin a new series on the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit as presented in the Gospels. This series will not examine the various stories of the Spirit in the Old Testament or the activities linked to the Spirit in Acts and the Church age. The goal of this series is to examine two particular topics: (1) What role did the Spirit have in the life of Jesus; and (2) What did Jesus teach about the Spirit? This second question will be examined as to how it applies to the modern believer. For now, let us look at a further intro into this exciting series.


There is much to learn about the activities and workings of the Holy Spirit and much said about the Spirit of God in Scripture. From the Spirit moving upon the face of the waters  (Gen 1:2), working in men like Balaam, Samson and David to accomplish the Lord’s will, and even being linked to the prophecies concerning the future Messiah (Isa 11), the Old Testament discusses the Holy Spirit frequently throughout its pages. The theme continues in the New Testament as the Person and work of the Holy Spirit is set forth; the Book of Acts displays the Spirit coming upon the disciples at Pentecost, enabling healings, and empowering miracles. But what about the Gospels? What did Jesus say about the Spirit and what role did the Spirit have in the life of Christ and His ministry? The Gospels present the Holy Spirit as a divine Person sent by the Father and the Son to dwell in each believer guiding them in truth to worship and fulfill the will of God for each person just as the Spirit abided in Christ and empowered Him. This paper will examine the ministry of the Spirit during Jesus’ life, specifically the conception, baptism, temptation, and how the Spirit empowered Jesus in His ministry. Jesus’ teachings about the Spirit will be examined by looking at what Jesus taught regarding daily living, ministering, and worshipping in the Spirit. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus describes the Spirit as indwelling, training, educating, cleansing, and revealing truths to the believer.

117 Trinitarian Texts in the New Testament

The argument is generally the same no matter who you ask. From atheists to those of different religions to even different sects within the Christian , all observe that the term Trinity (nor any directly related word) is found in Scripture. Many scholars agree that a reasoned concept of the triune God was not explicit in the minds of the New Testament authors even though John appears conscious of what has been termed “the problem of the Trinity.”[1] The doctrine of the Trinity, like many other classical doctrines of Christendom, was organized and articulated after the writing of the NT. However, no other confession of faith is so foundational to historic Christian faith and to a mature biblical view. The knowledge of god as Holy Trinity is formed, structured, corrected, and (to some extent) limited by witness of the Scripture.[2]

The purpose of this post is to show that while the word or related words to Trinity do not appear in Scripture, this doctrine did not appear out of thin air but is found throughout Scripture. This post will focus on Trinitarian text (passages) that are prevalent throughout the New Testament and provide a basis/foundation for a doctrine of the Trinity. I am not arguing that the word Trinity appears in some obscure form or is found in a Greek word that we no longer know about, but the idea/concept is prevalent in Scripture. The Bible is the fundamental source and controlling framework for a Trinitarian theology.

There are at least 117 text that have been compiled by Dr. Horrel of DTS and other theologians[3] by various word searches and comparisons. The text might be included for a single reference that can be subjective, but the effort is to include texts within a unit of thought. There are several references that could be included in this list but they do not have a final verdict on them.[4] Conversely, there are several that could be questioned if the author really intended Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “Certain longer passages as a single reference (or thought unit) whereas some exegetes may divide such texts into multiple Trinitarian references (e.g., Jn 16:7-15; Ac 1:1-8; Ro 8:9-17; 1Co 2:8-16). Other times it seems appropriate to divide the reference (Ac 20:21-24, 27-28). When phrases like “Son of God,” “Spirit of God,” “Spirit of the Lord,” and “Spirit of Jesus” occur (cf. Ac 8:35-39; 9:17-20; 16:6-7), the expression is taken to denote one person of the Godhead. Where the single phrase “the Spirit of your Father” (Mt 10:20) is found, this is deemed reflective of two rather than one person of the Godhead. The phrase “the seven spirits” (or “the sevenfold Spirit”) in the Book of Revelation is taken as a reference to the Holy Spirit.”[5] All citations are in the NIV

I will be breaking these down into more manageable sections over the next few days instead of posting all 117 here in one post. Here are the first 25.

  1. Mt 1:18-23 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
  2. Mt 3:16-17 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
  3. Mt 4:1-4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
  4. Mt. 10:20-22 [Jesus] “For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.”
  5. Mt 12:15-18 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, warning them not to tell who he was. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: [YHWH] “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
  6. Mt 12:28, 31-32 [Jesus] “But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” [See parallel “the finger of God” Lk 11:19-20]
  7. Mt 22:41-45 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” “The son of David,” they replied. He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?
  8. Mt 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
  9. Mk 1:8-12 [John] “I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert…
  10. Mk 12:35-37 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “How is it that the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?” The large crowd listened to him with delight.
  11. Lk 1:30-35 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
  12. Lk 1:41-45 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”
  13. 13. Lk 1:67-69 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.
  14. Lk 2:25-30 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation,
  15. Lk 3:21-22 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
  16. Lk 4:1-14 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’“ The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’“ The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’“ Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’“ When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.
  17. Lk 4:16-19 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
  18. Lk 10:21-22 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. 22 ”All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
  19. Lk 11:13 [Jesus] “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” [11:14, Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute.]
  20. Lk 12:8-12 [Jesus] “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say,
  21. Jn 1:32-34 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one [God?] who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”
  22. Jn 3:5-6 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
  23. Jn 3:34-36 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.
  24. Jn 6:61-65 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”
  25. Jn 14:16-17 [Jesus] “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

 

[1] The phrase was popularized by Arthur W. Wainwright, The Trinity in the New Testament (London: SPCK, 1962) 3-14, 235-67. Wainwright initiates his work, pp. 7-13, with the debate between Emil Brunner, who argued that the struggle regarding Trinitarian thought did not begin in the NT and Karl Barth who insisted that in some sense it did, i.e., that there is no sharp division between reflection (theology) and proclamation (kerygma).

[2] Dr. J. Scott Horrel, “Abundant Trinitarian passages of the New Testament, Theological Method, and Nicene Implications.” DTS, Fall, 2014.

[3] Listings of NT passages are discussed in Arthur W. Wainwright, The Trinity in the New Testament (London: SPCK, 1962) 237-47, Peter Toon, Our Triune God: A Biblical Portrayal of the Trinity (Wheaton IL: Victor Books, 1996) 133-229, Robert Letham, The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship (Phillipsburg NJ: P & R, 204) 52-85, Brian Edgar, The Message of the Trinity: Life in God (Downers Grove IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), Fisher Humphries’ “The Revelation of the Trinity,” Perspectives in Religious Studies 33:3 (Fall 2006) 285-304, and Allan Coppedge, The God Who Is Triune: Revisioning the Christian Doctrine of God (Downers Grove IL: InterVarsity Press, 2007) 23-78.

[4] Additional references to the Trinity are possible in Lk 11:19-20; Jn 4:23-26; Ac 8:35-39; 9:17-20; 16:6-10; Eph 6:17-24; and Rev 19:10.

[5] Dr. J. Scott Horrel, “Abundant Trinitarian passages of the New Testament, Theological Method, and Nicene Implications.” DTS, Fall, 2014.