Start here in your journey to cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
- Who is the Holy Spirit
- The Four Works of the Holy Spirit
- How Jesus Cooperated with the Holy Spirit
- How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit
At Gateways to Empowered Ministry, you’ll learn PRMI’s core teaching on the person and work of the Holy Spirit, from a biblical and reformed theological foundation.
Many who come to Gateways may have had very little first-hand experience with the gift-giving, empowering work of the Holy Spirit.
Further, many come with a lot of misunderstandings, prejudices, and hurts around the issue of tongues and the “baptism with the Holy Spirit.”
Some will come with knee-jerk reactions against anything that sounds Pentecostal.
Some may have a hard time grasping the fact that we can interpret the experiences of the Holy Spirit in a theological grid that fits in the Presbyterian/Reformed stream.
Gateways to Empowered Ministry is that safe place to deal with worldview and theological issues.
Because of this, Gateways carefully constructs the Biblical and theological framework that is point-by-point developed in the manual. Times for questions and other sharing are also important to enable the processing of this teaching. There is also an intentional movement from teaching, discussion, and reflection into actually praying for the empowering, gift-giving work of the Holy Spirit
The contents of the Gateways retreat are foundational for all of the other retreats. Because there are often new people present in each successive event, we always offer a make up of this basic teaching.
- The Nature of the Holy Spirit and the Trinity
- The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
- Jesus and the Holy Spirit
- The Four Works of the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Believer
- The Infilling With the Holy Spirit, the Biblical Motifs of the Spirit Upon for Power and Within for Salvation and Sanctification
- The Nature and Experience of the Holy Spirit’s Power
- Growing in the Power of the Holy Spirit
Besides its obvious rooting in the Bible, this understanding arises from the teaching of R.A.Torrey, principal of Moody Bible Institute and the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, and from the teaching of his grandson Archer Torrey, founder of Jesus Abbey in S.Korea. It thus predates the Topeka and Azusa Street revivals and the rise of Pentacostalism, and also the 20th century Charismatic Movement. It sits most comfortably within the more recent Third Wave movement of the Holy Spirit associated initially with John Wimber.
Third Person of the Trinity
The Holy Spirit is a ‘someone’ (not ‘something’!) – the third Person of the Trinity, whose sphere of activity is upon the earth and with whom we are called to cooperate. It is the Holy Spirit who makes real to us in practical experience the presence of the Father and the Son.
Four basic works of the Holy Spirit
All these are essential activities undertaken by the Spirit. Although our teaching intentionally focuses on ‘empowerment’, growth into Christian wholeness does not omit any of them. Anticipated in the Old Testament, they become reality in the New.
Justification – enabling a person to be born again (ie: spiritual birth as well as physical birth) through faith in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice.
Sanctification – transforming a person’s character into increasing Christlikeness, as an ongoing process which also requires our cooperation.
Koinonia – bonding Christians together in authentic unity and fellowship (koinonia) as the Body of Christ, a unity which we are called to maintain.
Empowerment – equipping us with whatever supernatural gifts he chooses in order that we may be effective witnesses for Jesus, advancing the reign of God worldwide.
Jesus and the Spirit
Jesus’ own character was Spirit-moulded from conception, and in childhood he had an inbuilt, inner awareness of his relationship with the Father. Yet somehow this fullydivine, fully-human God incarnate man did not cling to his divine ‘supernatural advantage’ but relinquished it. Only after the Holy Spirit descended upon him at his baptism was he then enabled to engage in supernaturally empowered ministry.
He promised that those who have faith in him would do the same works that he did. But we are ‘only’ human and this would be impossible if his own works arose simply from his divine nature. But he commanded his first disciples to wait until the Holy Spirit had come upon them just as he came upon Jesus himself. Only after they were clothed with that same power from on high would they then be equipped to fulfil the Great Commission and do those same works.
Jesus described this as being “baptised with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4,5) – not speaking of any single experience, gift or manifestation (such as tongues), but simply of the supernatural enabling to be his witnesses …whether that be tongues or any other gifiting that the Spirit sovereignly chooses.
Two key Biblical motifs: the Spirit ‘within’ and ‘upon’
In the Old Testament the relentlessly dominant motif describes the Holy Spirit coming upon a person, who is thus enabled to speak, act or have spiritual insight. This relates to equipping or empowerment, is episodic, and is described as an outward work.
There also emerges a prophetic anticipation of the Spirit dwelling within a person, who would thus know the Lord and live-out His holy purposes. This relates to character and relationship with God, and is described as an inward work.
The New Testament indicates that everyone who belongs to Christ has the Holy Spirit permanently dwelling within them and creating Christ-like character, fulfilling the prophetic anticipation. It also indicates that everyone who belongs to Christ may repeatedly receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon them, thereby equipping them for some action.
These distinctions are also seen in the word ‘filled’ which actually translates two distinct Greek word groups πληθω ﴾Strongs 4130﴿, and πληροω & πληρησ ﴾Strongs 1437 & 4134﴿.
πληθω pletho is used of temporary/episodic occurrences – a boat filled with fish or people filled with rage; and people filled with the Holy Spirit, empowered for action (eg: Acts 2:4, 4:8, 4:31, 13:9). This corresponds to the ‘outward’ motif of the Spirit upon.
πληροω pleroo or πληρησ pleres are used of ongoing situations – people filled or permeated with leprosy, wisdom, good works or unrighteousness; and people filled or permeated with the Holy Spirit for transformed lives, fruit and relationship with the Lord (Acts 6:3, 11:24, Eph 5:18, Php 1:11). This corresponds to the ‘inward’ motif of the Spirit within.
These motifs are not spatial locations, but indicators of the nature of the Spirit’s work in our lives. The Lord’s desire is for us to know both of these kinds of ‘filling’ with the Holy Spirit, and not be fixated or satisfied with only one or the other.