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Bob Young

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Thanks for visiting the website! This month’s picture was taken in Ecuador in August 2019, during a seminar I presented over the book fo Hebrews. [Click picture to enlarge.]

a seminar in Ecuador

Ministry and mission work is a team effort -- Jan and I have shared the task of ministry and mission work for over 50 years! Countless people have encouraged us, supported us, loved us, and prayed for us. In addition to the customary "Brother Bob" or "Hermano Bob," I am also known as dad and papaw in my family. One of my favorite breakfasts is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of rich Colombian coffee! The greatest joy of my life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and to help develop authentic "kingdom people." I seek to share the good news about Jesus everywhere I go, helping people find Jesus and helping people mature as disciples of Jesus. One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be loved by countless people around the world!


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Study Five: The Holy Spirit Empowers and Equips [various NT texts]

When people in Acts were filled with the Holy Spirit, the first thing they did was speak!

An important part of the work of the HS in Acts and in the NT deals with the need to equip the early church with special gifts to assist with the spread of the gospel. This may be a confirming work, but given the intense interest and emphasis in today’s religious world on the gifts of the HS, this theme must be explored and explained. The gifting work of the Spirit is certainly in view in the NT, but there may be fewer texts than one would be led to believe given the contemporary emphasis on the HS. The gifting work of the Spirit provided support for any or all of God’s purposes in the early church — especially in fulfillment, confirmation, and expectation. The gifting work of the HS always corresponded to the what the church needed to accomplish God’s purpose, and in the NT the HS supplied many spiritual gifts that were non-miraculous.

A word must be said about modern claims of miraculous gifts. There is little justification in the NT for the contemporary focus on spiritual (miraculous) gifts. If modern day miraculous gifts serve as confirmation, one might legitimately inquire why the revealing, speaking, and communicating function of the HS cannot serve as confirmation today as it did in the first century. There is even less justification for seeing the modern church as ill-equipped for ministry without special visible endowments of the Holy Spirit. The presence of God in this world has never depended upon his visibility in supernatural manifestations.

What is most surprising is how few NT references there are which can be certainly applied to the gifting or equipping role of the HS. What activities may be thought to involve the HS, even though there are not specific references to the HS? Did the HS inspire preaching? If so, how? How did the HS guide in selecting the apostles and Judas’ replacement? What was the role of the HS in working miracles? What part did the HS play in providing wisdom? How did the HS help people speak boldly? How did he comfort or encourage? The list of questions may also be brought into the present to provide profitable reflection upon what it means that the HS is involved in the work of God’s church today, e.g. does the HS inspire preaching? etc.

While the HS has a role in gifting God’s people, the task of equipping the early church with miraculous or non-miraculous gifts is not as visible as we are often led to believe. This emphasis is more read into the NT (eisegesis) than out of the NT (exegesis).

The Spirit Empowers
Acts 6:1-15; 7:54-60

The Spirit Equips
1 Corinthians 12 (2 lists), Romans 12, 1 Peter 4, various other NT texts

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