The Role And Function Of The Holy Spirit In The Book Of Romans

2608 words - 10 pages

NEW TESTAMENT LETTERSROMANSMB637GEORGE WIELANDASSESSMENT 3THEMATIC ESSAY - THE HOLY SPIRITDUE DATE: 14.11.03WORD COUNT: 1851JARROD Essay - The Holy SpiritQuestion: The role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian believer.Paul, more than any other New Testament writer links the concept of the Spirit indwelt believer, with the day to day living and empowering of the Christian life. As Paige muses, "Christians who were formerly alienated from God have not simply been entered into the heavenly register of the redeemed; the Spirit indwells and empowers them to live a life pleasing to God." Furthermore, Paul's introduction and subsequent explanation of this theme is perhaps best articulated in his Letter to the Romans, and most particularly in his rebuttal to the objections and difficulties raised by the imaginary interlocutor concerning the Problem of Flesh and Death in chapter 8. It is this indwelling and empowering which is at the very heart of all that will be discussed in this paper.For the purpose of this discussion the following functions of the Spirit will be investigated as they pertain to the outworking of the Christian existence:As the outpouring of God's love (5:5)As the assurance and hope of future glory (8:23)As the giver of new life (7:6, 8:11)As the believer's aid in fulfilling the law (8:4)As the renewer of our minds (8:5)As the intercessor for the saints (8:26-27).Throughout Paul's writing of Romans it is inherently obvious that he is building a Theological Argument, with each element fitting systematically between those which precede and follow. With this in mind it is important that we initially consider Romans 5:5, as Paul's first fragment of discourse concerning the role of the Spirit in the life of the believer..."...and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."Here, comments Fitzmyer, "the gift of the Spirit is not only the proof but also the medium of the outpouring of God's love;" and Stott agrees in stating, "The proof that our hope will not disappoint us in the end is the fact of the amazing generosity of God's love for us - a fact which we have been enabled to know and understand by the gift of His Spirit to us." The love the apostle speaks of here is an active love - "it is a love that gives to us and takes possession of us" through Spirit indwelling and possessing our lives.This statement of guaranteed hope through the outpouring of Divine Love in the Spirit is inexorably connected to the assurance of hope and future glory so clearly laid out in 8:22-23...22"We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; 23and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies."Here, having introduced the role and person of the Spirit by means of a third restatement of...

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