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Keith Warrington: Discovering the Holy Spirit in the New Testament


Keith Warrington, Discovering the Holy Spirit in the New Testament (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2005), 230 pages, ISBN 9781565638716.

Every pastor should have in their library this reference on the work of Holy Spirit in the New Testament. It is a scholarly and a practical book; it is not for the casual reading, although it would be good to skim through to know what you will want to refer to later.

Keith Warrington is a member of the Elim Church in England and the director of post-graduate studies and a lecturer in New Testament at Regents Theological College in Cheshire, England.

As Pentecostals we claim we know much more than other Christian groups on the work of the Holy Spirit, while this may be true when discussing topics such as on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, most Pentecostals will have problems explaining the work of the Person of the Holy in the book of Revelation. This book will be helpful to provide a well-rounded biblical understanding of the ministry of the Spirit as it takes us through every book in the New Testament.

Discovering the Holy Spirit in the New Testament is divided into 19 chapters, each chapter is divided into a mixture of scholastic and practical information. For example chapter 8 on the book of Galatians describes the setting, what the author says about the Spirit, exposition, significance to the original reader and a bibliography.

The following is an example of the book of Romans: “What does the [canonical] author say about the Spirit? The Spirit: is set apart and sets believers apart (1:4); provides spiritual gifts (1:11; 12:6-8); provides a balance to the law (2:29; 7:6, 14; 8:2, 4); is the channel for the love of God (5:5; 5:30); opposes the flesh and identifies and empowers believers as God’s children (8: 5-13); affirms adoption for believers (8:14-17); is the ‘firstfruits’ for believers (8:23); prayers for believers (8:26-27); empowers the believer (14: 17; 15: 13, 16, 18-19).” In his section on exposition and significance for the original reader, Warrington says of Romans 8:23,

Not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit groans inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

In the context of the final redemption, Paul describes believers as having the “firstfruits,” identified as the Holy Spirit. The term “firstfruits” regularly referred, in a sacrificial sense, to the first of the flock or the first of the fruits of the harvest that worshippers gave to God (Exod 23: 19, Lev 2:14). Here, Paul uses the term to describe a down payment or guarantee of something to come. The gift of the Spirit is foretaste of what is to come …

The Spirit provides a glimpse and an insight into the life that believers will know in its fullness when the resurrection occurs. The Spirit is a flavor, a whisper, a breath of what is to come (91).

Reviewed by Aldwin Ragoonath


Keith Warrington’s introduction:

Publisher’s page: (including sample chapter)


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Category: Biblical Studies, Spring 2008

About the Author: Aldwin Ragoonath, Ph.D., is a trained homiletician with over twenty years of pastoral experience in the Caribbean and Canada. His ministry is devoted to helping pastors develop their preaching gift, teaching Pentecostal preaching courses and facilitating seminars around the world. He and his wife make their home in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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